Japanese antiques, 11-12-2011

There are some very interesting items today.

The first item is a koro made in the shape of a turtle. It is ceramic and done in ungei yaki, 雲華 焼き.  An interesting point on this piece is the impressed seal。 I have pictures of it and an explanation from a Japanese book. The seal reads Tenkaichi. The photos from the book are from an entry on Soshiro. If I have my notes right Soshiro made the turtle and the ‘tenkaichi’ is a seal affixed to it to recognize its level of crafts.  The seal is from the early Edo period and handed out to the best craftsmen in different fields from Tokugawa Hidetaka The turtle itself is interesting enough. The shell can be removed and shows a lot of lacquer repair on the contact points.

The next piece is a cha-ire from the Edo period. I didn’t put it into my notes but the writing on the lid is about who it was received from. I think it was a gift from a miyako and I also remember hearing connections to the kuge class. I am still clueless about cha-ire and this one doesn’t help break the logjam.

I took videos showing the tying of the inner bag and the furoshiki. The first video shows the tying of the string at the top. Not included in the video is a point about which side of the string to tie. Look closely at the video and you will see which part of the cord is  used. I have posted other videos on this knot and in both the point to remember is the finished knot has a look that includes a ‘chomage’. That is there is a part sticking up that mimics a samurai top knot.

The second video shows the alignment of a box lid and then the tying of the furoshiki. The box lid alignment is something that is important but I never see any writing on it. On a box that isn’t square the grain of the wood of the lid will be aligned  along the long axis. That is to say point the grain of the wood of the lid to match the long measurement of the lid. So if you have a box that is 7 cm. by 5 cm. in dimensions align the wood grain of the lid to run along the 7 cm. dimension.

Some other points given in the video are that if you are going to have an ‘iemoto’, head of a tea house, write on the lid then leave it blank. Another point is that the fabric furthest from the person tying the furoshiki is on top. Look at the video to see what I mean. I don’t know if this extends to tea bowl boxes though. Note how tightly and neatly Mr. Kawase folds in the fabric during the tying process. It is a process I have seen him do hundreds of times.

Last is a Meiji makie ink stone box. Nice. It is coming up for auction next week but unfortunately I won’t be able to attend that auction.

There is a picture of the inkan for the Raku masters.

About togeii

I have lived in Japan for 19 years doing ceramics almost the whole time. I have a wood burning noborigama and a long snake kiln.. I
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