Handwarmer with design of vine scrolls

Artist: School of Ogata Kenzan (1663-1743) Ogata Ihachi (Kyoto Kenzan II) (active 1720-1760)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, mid-late 18th century
Buff clay; white slip, iron pigment under transparent glaze, and enamels over glaze
H x W: 12 x 13.7 cm (4 3/4 x 5 3/8 in)
Japan, Kyoto prefecture, Kyoto
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hand warmer (teaburi)

Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan

Y. Fujita and Company, Kyoto 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Y. Fujita and Company, Kyoto in 1911 [2]

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 2187, 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)

Y. Fujita and Company (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


The general proportions and metal fitting suggest the function of this vessel as a small handwarmer; it would have been filled with ash, with live embers set inside. The rectilinear form in general borrows from Kenzan-ware precedents, although this six-sided shape has a more distant ancestry in Ming dynasty incense burners; mass-produced connoisseur's manuals bestowed approval on the six-sided shape.

The painted surface is a mix of elements taken from late-Ming, common-ware porcelains imported into Japan in the early seventeenth century. The cloud band at the top appears, for example, in the underglaze blue porcelains called undo-de in Japan. There is also a good dose of the Kenzanesque, such as the flatly rendered flowers.

Published References
  • Richard L. Wilson. The Potter's Brush: The Kenzan Style in Japanese Ceramics. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 29, p. 104.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.