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: Rectangular dish with design of iris

see also: 1087

Rectangular dish with design of iris

Tray (tanzaku)
Artist: Ogata Ihachi (Kyoto Kenzan II) (active 1720-1760)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, mid 18th century
White clay with enamels and iron pigment under transparent lead glaze
H x W x D: 42.5 x 8.2 x 2.4 cm (16 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 15/16 in)
Japan, Kyoto prefecture, Kyoto
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
The analogue for this shape is a paper strip called tanzaku, used for inscribing poems. "Tanzaku dishes" were made by the first Kenzan throughout his career. Those, however, are inscribed with poetry while this piece is painted. The theme, as indicated by the motif of iris, is the "eight bridges" from the Tales of Ise. In this context, the rectangular dish could also be interpreted as one of the planks of the bridge across the iris swamp.

To 1896
Bunkyo Matsuki (1867-1940), Boston, to 1896 [1]

From 1896 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunkyo Matsuki in 1896 [2]

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, 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.

Former owner
C.L. Freer source: Bunkyo Matsuki 松木文恭 (1867-1940)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Container
Edo period (1615 - 1868), iris, Japan, poems
Collection(s) Area
Japanese Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

The Freer is closed for renovation and reopening in 2017. The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC.