This Japanese vintage Hagi Ware pottery tea pot is dated to be somewhere between 70-90 years old, so between the Taisho and Showa period, maybe older but not too much. The figure of an elephant is hand molded drawn and glazed in old Hagi Ware fashion. This is an unusual style or motif for Hagi ware, very wabi sabi. It has a wonderful twisted finial that looks to represent the end of the tail curling up through the lid. According to the seller in Japan it is a teapot, although without a handle I question whether it i meant for cold sake. It is made by the very famous Yoshiga Taiga 1882-1960. It is signed Taigo-do, but we could not find what else it says but hope to find out, although the legibility may be an issue.
It is in good vintage condition, as far as it has no cracks or chips. It does have age wear, please use the pictures as part of the description. It has age spots here and there and the glaze and the drawing in brown of the lines to make the elephant is somewhat worn down although still raised in some areas. There is still glaze on the pot but mostly not on the lid. But, it does not leak and could still be used, unless one choose to simply display the most excellent old piece of pottery and conversation piece. We are still looking for more information about the artist, we did find some information as below.We have never had a Hagi piece this old before. It is the small size sencha tea type tea pot as far as we know.
SIZE: 4.63" or 11.76 cm Wide including spout, Height: 2.35" or 5.97 cm
The Potter Yoshiga Taiga ヨ滋賀タイガ
Yoshiga Taiga 1882-1960 was born Yosaku. He was the founder of the Senryuzan kiln 川柳の斬窯 or Senryū no ki kama, he is the father of Hagi legend Yoshiga Taibi 1915-1991, who adopted the name of an 18th-century artist, Ikeno Taiga. Yoshiga Taiga was a very successful potter. He started his business during a time when many kilns had to close down in the early years of the 20th century. He sent his son Taibi to Tokyo to study sculpture at the Tokyo Art Institute, the son continued the family tradition and also was very successful. Yoshiga Taiga produced all type of tea ceremony ware, including tea bowls and vases as well as everyday tableware.
The above was found on and excerpted from the website of the 'asianart gallery of Bachmann Eckenstein'. Their reference is Lit.: Yoshiga, Taibi: The History and Variety of Hagi Ceramics, in: Chanoyu Quarterly 22 , 1980, pp.25-48.
Hagi Ware 萩焼 Hagi
Hagi is the pottery of Yamaguchi Prefecture in Japan. It is one of the popular ware which people liked most from ancient times. Hagi Ware is a type of Japanese pottery most identifiable for its humble forms and use of translucent white glaze. It originated in the early 17th century with the introduction of potters brought back from Japanese invasions of Korea. The local daimyo of the time were very interested in tea ceremony and funded production of this ware.
Potters mix different types of local clay. The most standard result is a pink-orange color, called Korean clay. Wares are formed on the wheel and decorated with translucent glaze made of feldspar and ash. For those pieces with a signature chip located on the bottom is a local tradition from the Edo period when potters would deliberately mark their wares in order to sell them to merchants instead of presenting them as gifts to the Mori clan.
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