Signed antique Japanese tetsubin cast iron kettle in desirable Mt. Fuji form. This kettle features wild horses, in the form of a mare and her colt, with mountain scenery behind. The handle is hollow, a difficult technique found only on higher end pots, used in order to keep the handle cool when heating over a fire. The pot is signed with a raised maker's mark, which is somewhat hard to make out die to the softening of the edges of the characters over time.
Quality collectible tetsubin are increasingly hard to find as stocks were decimated when they were required to be turned in for are their iron content during the second world war. In addition, during war-time, only a very few makers were allowed a special dispensation to continue to practice their art, perhaps permitted to make 20 tetsubin a year to keep the art alive; so many older family businesses that had passed on the craft generationally turned to other occupations.
Earlier tetsubin were often in Mt. Fuji shapes and decorated with wild horses, seashells, or occasionally farm animals such as oxen. This particular kettle has a striking silhouette, wonderful patina and charming decorations in a classic theme. The bottom edge was deliberately scalloped in an asymmetrical fashion in order to create an organic edge, but has since there have been losses from age so that now the original design and age related losses have blended into each other. The body is is strong, heavy and structurally sound but there is some surface oxidization inside the pot, which we have left as found.
Measures approximately 12' high from base to extended handle, and 9' wide
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