Yamada Takeji, Japan. 
Takashi Yanagi, Kyoto, Japan. 
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Takashi Yanagi, Kyoto, Japan. 
 Curatorial Remark 13 in the object record. According to Louise Cort’s January 1998 statement: “This water jar formerly belonged to the collection of Yamada Takeji, a Kobe collector and industrialist (involved with iron) who died some twenty years ago. He was a friend of the collectors who formed small private museums in the Kobe/Ashiya area”…
 Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.
 See note 2.
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Container with cover, probably for food; wheel-thrown; straight sides; knobbed, slightly domed cover; foot slightly stepped-in, low and straight on outside, flat unglazed base barely recessed within it; auxiliary lacquer cover.
Clay: light buff, coarse Shigaraki type pottery.
Glaze: transparent running to whitish opacity in thickest areas, somewhat uneven thickness, fine crackle, low gloss. Glazed inside cover. Interior has a thin reddish-brown coating, apparently iron oxide, underlying a silvery layer which has some blackened areas. There is crackle in some areas.
Decoration: overglaze enamels; blue and turquoise, iron-red and gold, the blue and turquoise being thickly applied. Design is achieved by direct application of enamels, no outline being used. Petal contours are in reserve, details incised. One side of container has pair of large peony blossoms, red and blue, flanked by turquoise and blue scrolls and leaves, stamens and one leaf in gold. Same is repeated with variations in number and size of blossoms and in composition of scrolls on other side. Cover: single flower in each color, leaves in three colors and gold; gold-dotted center and rows of chrysanthemum petals outlined in iron-red decorate flattened knob and the relief petal row at its base.
Wooden storage box (possibly not made for this box).
A lavish design of peony flowers in full bloom decorates this container intended for serving rice. The peony motif, conveying notions of wealth and nobility, made this vessel ideal for celebratory occasions.
Another container of identical form, made at the same Kyoto workshop, is stored in an old wooden box whose inscription indicates that the container was used by a member of the imperial family. That container is now in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
- Published References
- Zaigai Nihon no Shiho [Japanese Art: Selections from Western Collections]. 10 vols., Tokyo, 1979 - 1980. vol. 9: pl. 86.
- Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 59.
- "日本の陶磁." Nihon no toji. 14 vols., Tokyo. vol. 13: pl. 25.
- Sato Masahiko. Kyoto Ceramics. Arts of Japan, no. 2, 1st ed. New York and Tokyo. pp. 63, 66, pl. 44.
- Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 84.
- Constance Bond. Daimyo's Choice at the Freer. Washington, April 1986. p. 162.
- Richard L. Wilson. Iidamachi iseki. Tokyo. p. 560, fig. 12.
- Collection Area(s)
- Japanese Art
- Web Resources
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