This A Collection of Japanese Signed Bizen Ware Pottery Bells Representing an Owl, Hyottoko, and a Chime bell all came from one seller in Japan, but all represent different artists. Bizen Ware is most often called Bizen yaki in Japan and written Bizen Ware 旧備前. They are all made with great detail, please see the pictures as we have tried to show as much as possible and represent great artwork in Bizen small items. One represents an Owl, one has a face on each side, one representing Hyottoko and the other Otafuku. The one with all the writing for which we have an interpretation below represents a Temple Bell. We decided as bells, they seemed best all hung together which we did. Of course, the buyer may choose to separate them or use another piece of rope to string them together, this was what we had on hand at the time and just could not bring ourselves to separate them. They are all signed and why each artist has not been identified, we do have the information below about the one with all the writing from Kusaba san who is always so willing to help. However the signatures on the others are recognised, just not yet placed and matched with the artist. The seller used the word Zaimei on all of them, I am not sure what he meant yet by that, the closest we can find is that it means signature. They all age to between 20-40 years old, with appropriate Bizen patina of each of their ages. The one with the interp below may be older due to its writing. They all come from different parts of Japan and are for sure by different makers. They are all in excellent condition with no cracks or chips.
we have now split these up into individual pricing!
Owl Bizen bell Size: The width, depth and Height are all 3.14" or 8 cm
Hyottoko Bizen bell Size: Width 2.95" or 7.5 cm, Depth 2.55" or 6.5 cm, Height 2.95" or 7.5 cm
Chime bell style size: Height: 2.75" or 7 cm, Diameter 2.55" or 6.5 cm
Interpretation on Chime Motif Bell:
The writings on your clay bell: 刀剣のふるさと Tōken no furusato (home of sword-making) • 備前長船 Bizen Osahune- Osahune is the name of the town in Bizen, which is Okayama Prefecture today. The inset characters 芳仙 Hōsen has nothing to do with your bell. The inscriptions "刀剣のふるさと Tōken no furusato 備前長船 Bizen Osahune" has to do with the fact that the town of Osahune in Bizen or Okayama Prefecture today, was well known for sword-making since the ancient times, and especially in the Edo period dating from 1603-1868, the town attracted master sword makers. There is even a museum dedicated to this in Osafune . This may be where the term Zaimei the seller is using comes in, then. Interesting.
Bizen Ware Pottery or Bizen- Yaki 旧備前
Bizen is the pottery of Okayama Prefecture in Japan and was chosen as one of the famous old 6 potteries, called Rokkoyo. This pottery is also one referred to as of the Wabi-sabi, the comprehensive view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, or incomplete.
Bizen ware is a type of Japanese pottery most identifiable by its iron like hardness, reddish brown color, absence of glaze though there can be traces of molten ash looking like glaze, and markings resulting from wood-burning kiln firing. Bizen is named after the village of Imbe in Okayama prefecture, formerly known as Bizen province. This artwork is Japan's oldest pottery making technique, introduced in the Heian period. Bizen is one of the six remaining kilns of medieval Japan.
Bizen clay bodies have a high iron content and, traditionally, much organic matter that is unreceptive to glazing. The clay can take many forms. The surface treatments of Bizen wares are entirely dependent on yohen, or kiln effects. Pine ash produces goma, or sesame seed glaze spotting. Rice straw wrapped around pieces creates red and brown scorch marks. The placement of pieces in a kiln causes them to be fired under different conditions, with a variety of different results. Considering that one clay body and type of firing is used, the variety of results is remarkable.
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