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Unusual Hexagonal Brown Glazed Mizuzashi, Molded Decor

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Tea Articles: Pre 1900: Item # 1127805

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Frederick, MD 21701


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Unusual Hexagonal Brown Glazed Mizuzashi, Molded Decor
An unusual Japanese hexagonal vessel with molded panel decoration of prunus and peonies above and decorative symbols (takara mono coins and gourd of Li Tieguai) below. Shoulder rising in convex fashion to the ring rim. Feet formed at the corners simply by scraping away clay from the straight edges of the base before glazing and firing. From the size and rim diameter, we believe it was intended as a mizuzashi. Capacity is better suited for water storage and a bit much for a flower vase (either being found in a tea house.) The brown body reminds of Bizen pottery and with a thin brown glaze. We have seen listed on Trocadero in the past a similar, ivory-yellow glazed (on ivory colored biscuit) four sided tokkuri with molded panel decoration of mythical figures in landscapes (item 776538 in Trocadero Archives.) Like this other example, the present mizuzashi can be said to have relatively thinly potted sides and bottom and slightly more stout from the shoulder to rim but still a significant hoist at nearly 4lbs (1.772 kg exactly). Looking at Bizen examples in the Morse Collection reference, case 5, can be found an octagonal Bizen water jar (fig 380 without decoration), an unusually shaped tokkuri (fig 482 with molded panel decoration), and a larger apparently hexagonal Imbe tokkuri (fig 438 with molded panel decoration.) We have held this vessel close since acquiring it in the mid 90s. Condition is good. A few small pits in the glaze going to 'sabi'. Going to 'wabi' is imperfect geometry, four spots along the rim left from stacking or resting in the kiln, and some unglazed areas with a little burned-on residue on the sides (and bottom.) What more could one ask for if seeking a good mizuzashi that is not representative of later gingerbread. 8 3/8 inches (21.27 cm) high. Width point to point is 8 inches (20.32 cm). Width flat side to flat side is 7 inches (17.78 cm). Rim diameter 4 1/4 inches (10.79 cm). Aperture diameter 3 1/2 inches (8.89cm).


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