Water Tube with Grape Design

  • Azuchi-Momoyama to Edo period, 16th–17th century
  • Black and red lacquered wood with gold maki-e and mother-of-pear decoration decoration
  • H-66.4 D-8
    Miho Museum
Catalogue Entry

Momoyama period, 16th century
Length, 66.4cm; diameter, 8.1cm

Cylindrical water tube. The top of the water tube is cut open, and a stopper is fitted into a narrow hole. The water tube was also originally fitted with an overlapping lid. A metal fitting on the side would have been attached to a cord to suspend the tube from the hip of the wearer. An extremely rare item. The lid for this water tube is now missing.

Coated overall with black lacquer. The upper section of the interior of the cylinder is coated with cinnabar red lacquer. The exterior of the cylinder is decorated with gold hiramakie and mother-of-pearl (shell fragments) to create a large, bold pattern of grapes, grape leaves, and stems. This is a particularly fine example of a flowing pattern adorning a cylindrical shape. Traces of cracks can be found at joints in the middle, indicating that the base material might be bamboo. The box inscription states, "Momoyama period, makie, water tube with grape design." AH