A Red Raku Tea Bowl by Famed Potter Ichigen (1662 – 1722)

Artist:Raku Ichigen (1662 - 1722)Era:EdoPrice:$25,000Inquire:info@shirakuragallery.com

Over the years we have taken a special interest in Raku-ware and especially in works produced by the Tamamizu kiln, such as the 300+ year old ceremonial tea bowl seen here. The first in this line of potters was Yahē (1662 – 1722), an illegitimate son of Kichizaemon Ichinyu (1615 – 1768) who studied under his father and then left to open his own kiln in the village of Tamamizu (known today as Ide-cho). Though he is the first potter of this branch, he is sometimes referred to as Tamamizu VI, denoting his connection to and descendance from the main Raku line. After establishing the kiln, Yahē took the artist’s name “Ichigen” and proceeded to fashion extremely high-quality tea bowls and other implements in the style of the earliest Raku potters. Eventually the line died out in Meiji, making these tea bowls all the more rare and worthy of preservation.

A book containing secret techniques used by the kiln has been handed down to each successive generation since the age of Dō’nyū. Unlike the main Raku line—that to a certain extent allows each generation of potter to follow their own aesthetic sense—Tamamizu potters stayed true to the original forms set out by Chōjirō, Dō’nyū, and Kōetsu. The line of Tamamizu potters continued up to early Meiji with the death of Tamamizu 14. However, a recent attempt was made to revive the kiln by a descendent (later dubbed Tamamizu 15) who spent his life collecting Tamamizu-ware from earlier potters, researching the techniques used by studying old manuscripts, and training with main-line Raku potters. Despite these efforts, there remain many historical gaps in our collective knowledge of the kiln and of the individual potters themselves.

A beautifully crafted and remarkable example of Edo period Raku pottery, this tea bowl is 4.3 inches in diameter (11cm) and stands 3.2 inches tall (8 cm). It comes in a period wood box certified by the 5th Horinouchi Tea Master of the Omotesenke school, Fushikisai (1780-1854) and a recently furnished protective pouch with drawstrings. On the rim of the tea bowl is one gold repair that appears to have been applied some time ago and has taken on a soft patina. For more information on Tamamizu-yaki and how it relates to the 450 year history of Raku pottery, have a look at the Raku Museum official web page here: https://www.raku-yaki.or.jp/e/history/genealogy.html. For detailed information regarding this piece, including examples of the 5th Horinouchi Tea Master signature, contact us for details.