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A large Ukibori vase covered in iron with yellow slip raised imagery of birds in a pomegranate tree by Ito Tozan I enclosed in the original signed wooden box dated 1917. It is 16 inches (40 cm) tall 10-1/2 inches (26 cm) diameter and in fine condition.
Ito Tozan I (1846-1920) began as a painter in the Maruyama school studying under Koizumi Togaku. In 1862 he became a pupil of Kameya Kyokutei, as well as studying under Takahashi Dohachi III and Kanzan Denshichi (who made the dishes for the imperial table). In 1867, with the fall of the Edo government, he opened his kiln in Eastern Kyoto. Much prized at home, he was also recognized abroad at the Amsterdam, Paris and Chicago World Expositions. With an emphasis on Awata and Asahi wares of Kyoto, he began to use the name Tozan around 1895. In 1917 he was named a member of the Imperial Art Academy, one of only five potters ever given that title, and like his teacher Denshichi, created the dishes from which the Imperial family would eat. He worked very closely with his adopted son, Ito Tozan II (1871-1937).