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3/4 profile: Satsuma ware tea-ceremony water jar in the shape of a well curb

Satsuma ware tea-ceremony water jar in the shape of a well curb

Tea ceremony water jar (mizusashi)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, 1880-1890
White stoneware with enamels over clear glaze; wood, metal, and lacquer lid
Satsuma ware, Nishiki type
H x W x D: 17.9 x 17.3 x 17.4 cm (7 1/16 x 6 13/16 x 6 7/8 in)
Japan, Kagoshima prefecture
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
Water-jar (mizusashi) in form of a well-head, quadrilateral, cypress (sugi) wood cover with nashiji lacquer lining and metal ornaments of crab and bird.
Clay: hard, dense, cream-colored stoneware
Glaze: transparent, finely crackled
Decoration: in pink, light green and pale lavender enamels and gold, over glaze. Chrysanthemums, grasses and vines outside. Peony scroll band at top of inside. Underglaze impression of grasses outside.
In the tea ceremony, the water jar holds cold water used to replenish the kettle as boiling water is ladled out to make bowls of tea. Tea practitioners paid special attention to certain famous wells as sources of delicious water-a key element in Japanese gardens. This jar's form represents the wooden curb surrounding such a well. Chrysanthemums rendered in pale colors and gold suggest a private garden setting enclosing the well and also indicate the season.
Provenance information is currently unavailable
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel
crab, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), peony, Satsuma ware, Nishiki type, stoneware, swallow, tea, water
Collection(s) Area
Japanese Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

As renovation work continues in the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery also will close on July 10, 2017. This museum-wide closure will allow us to completely reinstall our exhibitions and revitalize features to improve your visit. Both spaces will reopen on October 14, 2017, when we will welcome the public back to the Freer|Sackler: two galleries, one destination. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.