Suzu ware storage jar

citation

Storage jar with small mouth (tsubo), formed by coiling-and-throwing, finished by paddle and anvil, in several stages, using paddle carved with parallel grooves, creating striated surface on body from neck to near base. Smooth upright, short neck with rim rolled outward. Overall vessel form off balance, with mouth not aligned directly over narrow base.

Clay: Stoneware, containing numerous small stones, gray on surface as result of firing in heavy reduction.
Glaze: none. Light dusting of wood-ash “natural glaze” over shoulder, now dissolved, left whitish specks where clay was protected from reduction.
Decoration: none.
Mark: short vertical line incised on shoulder just below neck, usually interpreted as “potter’s mark.”

Historical period(s)
Kamakura period, early 14th century
Medium
Unglazed gray stoneware
Style
Suzu ware
Dimensions
H x Diam (overall): 49 x 40.4 cm (19 5/16 x 15 7/8 in)
Geography
Japan, Ishikawa prefecture, Suzu kilns
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1998.79
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Jar

Keywords
Japan, Kamakura period (1185 - 1333), stoneware, Suzu ware, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

Unidentified owner, Japan [1]

To 1998
Eric J. Zetterquist, New York, acquired from an unidentified owner in Japan, to 1998 [2]

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Eric J. Zetterquist in 1998

Notes:

[1] According to Curatorial Note 4, Louise A. Cort, May 7, 1998, in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Eric J. Zetterquist

Description

Storage jar with small mouth (tsubo), formed by coiling-and-throwing, finished by paddle and anvil, in several stages, using paddle carved with parallel grooves, creating striated surface on body from neck to near base. Smooth upright, short neck with rim rolled outward. Overall vessel form off balance, with mouth not aligned directly over narrow base.

Clay: Stoneware, containing numerous small stones, gray on surface as result of firing in heavy reduction.
Glaze: none. Light dusting of wood-ash "natural glaze" over shoulder, now dissolved, left whitish specks where clay was protected from reduction.
Decoration: none.
Mark: short vertical line incised on shoulder just below neck, usually interpreted as "potter's mark."

Marking(s)

Short vertical line incised on shoulder just below neck, usually interpreted as "potter's mark."

Label

Between 1100 and 1600, more than eighty regional kilns in Japan manufactured unglazed stoneware vessels in a standard repertory of wide-mouth vats, narrow-necked jars, and mortars. The versatile jars were used for any purpose that required a durable and watertight container, from storing seed grain to fermenting wine to interring cremated remains according to Buddhist practice. The makers of these jars were farmers who occasionally made pottery; thus the jars exhibit a range of skill.

This gray jar was made at a kiln in a region where the technology of earlier sue ware was adapted to produce heavier, flat-bottomed jars. Potters at such kilns continued to finish the jars with carved wooden paddles, which left their imprint on the textured surface, and the sue-ware firing procedures produced gray surfaces on the jars. Such wares gradually lost their market to kilns producing with more fuel-efficient firing methods, especially to those located near water transportation for efficient distribution.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 278-279.
  • Narasaki Shoichi. Seto Bizen Suzu. Tokyo. .
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum