Pitcher with Handle

  • Muromachi period
  • 15c
  • Black and red lacquered wood
  • H-36.2 D-30
Catalogue Entry

This water pitcher has a full, weighty torso. The bottle is light overall, seemingly carved from some light wood such as paulownia, and has been coated in lacquer. The base is inscribed with the date Bunmei 3, or 1471, drawn in red lacquer characters. The box inscription indicates that this work was used at a tea ceremony at Saidaiji temple in Nara, and that it was formerly in the collection of the Edo period literati, Kimura Kenkado and Tanomura Chikuden. It is clearly a form of tea utensil which would have been greatly appreciated by men of literati taste. This type of pitcher would have bee used to pour water or hot tea, or could have also been used as an interesting form of flower vase. This vessel with its nonchalant, unstudied air has a lovely flow of lines from handle to spout and torso, filling its viewers with a warm, expansive sense of beauty.