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Sake flask

Label Text

This Satsuma ware vessel was probably made as a ceremonial sake flask for use in a Shinto shrine, where it would have been part of a matched pair. Describing it for the catalogue to a 1914 exhibition held at the Japan Society in New York, Edward Sylvester Morse, who thought the vase was "ripping," remarked on the "variable purplish brown" glaze overlaid with a "thin mirror-glaze of rich black mingling with one of powdered tea color, these being allowed to run in rills or streamlets of greater or less length down the body." The fine-grained, purplish "iron sand" glaze seems to have been a specialty of Satsuma kilns, but in this case, the glaze effects were in fact the result of more accident and less intent than Morse understood.

Freer had described the jar with similar enthusiasm, noting that it was "very fine." In his notes on the design and layout of the museum in Washington, he suggested that it should be exhibited in an individual case. In the Peacock Room in Detroit, however, he placed it on what is now the north wall, just to the left of the La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine and adjacent to a number of other similarly dark, monochromatic vessels from China and Japan.

Object Name

Sake flask (heishi)

Ware

Satsuma ware, Ryumonji kilns

Dated

17th-18th century

Period

Edo period

Medium

Stoneware with iron glazes

Dimensions

HxWxD: 37.5 x 21.2 x 21.2 cm

Locale

Ryumonji kilns

City

Kajiki town

Country

Japan

Credit Line

Gift of Charles Lang Freer

Iteration

2

Shelf Number

13

Wall

North

Title

Sake flask

Object Number

F1896.34

Freer Source

R. E. Moore

Freer Source City

New York

Freer Source State

New York

Freer Source Country

United States

Image

http://141.217.97.109/plugins/Dropbox/files/peacock-jpg/JPEG/F1896.34.jpg

Collection

Citation

"Sake flask," in The Peacock Room, Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Accession No. F1896.34, Item #3087, http://www.peacockroom.wayne.edu/items/show/3087 (accessed November 19, 2017).