Sake bottle, Arita-related ware

Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1780-1830
Porcelain with cobalt decoration under clear glaze; silver collar
Arita-related ware
H x Diam: 20.7 × 10.7 cm (8 1/8 × 4 3/16 in)
Japan, Kyushu
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Sake bottle (tokkuri)

Arita-related ware, Edo period (1615 - 1868), gourd, iridescence, Japan, Kyoto ware, porcelain, sake, wine

To 1901
Siegfried Bing (1838-1905), Paris, to 1901 [1]

From 1901 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Siegfried Bing in 1901 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 948, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Siegfried Bing (C.L. Freer source) 1838-1905
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


The design on this gourd-shaped bottle refers to the story of Kikujido [Jap] (Chinese: Chu-tz'u-t'ung), a page in the court of the Chou-dynasty king, Mu Wang (947-928 B.C.). The youth inadvertently insulted the king and was banished to the south. Chrysanthemums grew abundantly in the place of exile, and Kikujido (literally "the chrysanthemum boy") sustained himself by drinking the dew from their leaves. The dew proved to be an elixir of immortality. This design is particularly apt for a sake bottle, and the bottle's extensive use is shown by the beige sake stains and by the silver collar, probably added to repair a chipped rim.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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