An unusual Japanese Kyoto Ware porcelain kogo or box designed as Ginkgo tree by Great Denshichi Kanzan 加藤幹山 also called Kato Kanzan..and his stuidos. A kogo is a box most often used for placing incense in at the tea ceremony. The traditional method is to hand roll the incense balls and place them in the kogo. Kogo also make wonderful decorative items and small boxes for storing other small items in. The great Denshichi Kanzan the 5th is a descendant Kyoto potter to one of the most famous families of Kyoto potters in its history dating back to the Edo period. His work is rare, there are very few of his works to be found as I am told. This is also an unusual design for a kogo.
It is handmade and underglaze painted in lovely sometsuke- sei style. Ginkgo is the tree where Ginkgo biloba comes from and a unique species. This kogo is estimated to be about 30 years old. There is a signed box made especially for this item, and it is signed by the potter. This is important for both the preservation and value of this piece. The tomobako or box made especially for this item is signed by the potter and is the higher quality type with a fitted lid. We have more pictures including close ups of both signed sides of the tomobako. The kogo is signed Kanzan.
SIZE: Width 2.4” or 6.60 cm, Length 2.1” or 5.33 cm, Height 1.2” or 5.33 cm
Denshichi Kanzan V 幹山伝七
Kanzan Denshichi V is the descendant of the most famous first Kanzan Denshichi 1821 to 1890, who also went by Kanzan Kato. Because I am still looking for information on Denshichi Kanzan the 5th, we are sharing his family history for now. The original a native of Seto, settled in Kyoto in 1862, opening a workshop under the name Denshichi Terao changed first, in 1863, to Shontei, then to Kanzan Kato and finally, in 1872, to Kanzan Denshichi. In 1867 he moved to the Kiyomizu Gojozaka district and in 1870, at Gottfried Wagener’s suggestion, became the first potter in Japan to employ Western pigments and glazes, instructing Kyoto craftsmen in their use in preparation for the Vienna world fair. According to Augustus Franks, Japanese Pottery 1880 - Kanzan Denshichi invented a manner of representing in porcelain, iron inlaid with gold. This item is an example of iron inlaid with gold in porcelain, otherwise known as cloisonné in porcelain.
Kanzan Denshichi(1821-1890) was born in a potter family in Seto, who moved to Kyoto in the end of the Edo period, after working at a Koto ware kiln, which was the Hikone Domain kiln. After the Meiji Restoration, he was the first in Kyoto to specialize in porcelain, and ushered a new phase into traditional Kyoyaki, by constructing a large scaled workshop and actively adopting western colored glaze. In a short time, Kanzan's polychrome porcelain became popular, being purchased by the Imperial Household Ministry, and also received high appraisal at international expositions.
In 1873 Kanzan received a commission from the Ministry of the Imperial Household for a seventy-five-part Western- style table service. Subsequently, he opened a factory on a 9,000 square-metre site, employing approximately one hundred people and building the first round kiln in Kyoto. Participating widely in national and international exhibitions, and receiving a large number of awards, Kanzan became one of the best-known and most successful manufacturers of ceramics in Kyoto. In 1885 he reorganized his firm as Kanzan Toki Kaisha Kanzan Ceramics Company, but inadequate management led to it falling victim to the slump in exports: Kanzan sold Kanzan Toki Kaisha in 1889. * This information can be found in Gisela Jahn’s book, Meiji Ceramics.
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