By Japanese Kutani Master Saichi Matsumoto 松本斉一, a signed pair of blue gourd sake bottles are made with most excellent hands. The antique store owner from Japan noted that they are 30 year old Kutani made in the style of Imari, and we believe the painting has a Mingei style to them as well. The beautiful blue background is painted in one brush stroke from top to bottom, so as to see the perfection of the strokes under the glaze. A picture of a bell type flower is painted in yellow- gold, it’s big leaves flapping in the red. It is on a loosely made rounded square red background, encircled in a teal blue. These sake bottles are quite unusual, unique and very beautiful. It comes with the tomobako or the box made especially for the pair of sake bottles with the title and kiln name on the outside and the artist’s full name is signed by him on the inside, the box made by a wood carver. The bottles are signed on the bottom with his mark which is his initial ‘Sa’. The set of bottle and box is in excellent condition with no cracks or chips. Take this opportunity to own this very special pair or gift it, and see more below about this famous artist, his family history, and their historical Matsuya kiln.
SIZE : Height 7.0 inches or 17.78 cm, Diameter 3.2 inches or 8.13 cm, Bottles weigh 520 grams and tomobako box 340 grams, just a little under a pound for both.
Kutani Master Matsumoto Saichi 松本斉一
As with this piece, he signs most of his pieces with the Japanese ‘Sa’, the initial and mark of of Saichi-san.
On the intro to his profile and Homepage, he is Quoted as saying ‘My idea of ‘Tradition’ is, carrying out the pioneer’s legacy and carrying on innovation’. His home is in the village of Yoshinodani. Saichi comes from a distinguished line of potters, his Father being Sahei and grandfather Sataro. Both were prominent figures in Kutani. Upon graduation from the Kanazawa Institute of Fine Art, he followed in the footsteps of many greats like Hamada Shoji and Kawai Kanjiro by studying in Kyoto at the National Ceramic Research Institute before returning to Kanazawa. He was first accepted into the very famous Nitten Exhibition in 1952 and was awarded on numerous occasions, including the grand prize there in both 1985 and 1988. He was also recipient of prizes at the Asahi Togei Ten Ceramic Exhibition, Kofukai-Ten and Kutani Dento Kogei Ten which is the Traditional Crafts Exhibition of Kutani, and won the Grand prize. He has a list of exhibitions which goes beyond the scope of this description, and is in the collection of the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art among others. His 'history of pottery' begins in 1952, and the last listing here is his appointment as a Nitten councillor in 2011.
The Matsuya kiln dates back to 1847, founded by Kikusaburo Matsuya. A list of his awards is over a page long, and we are happy to share the link to this which then links to his website, it is in both English and Japanese, and too long for here. Prior to that his history is written, appears to be written by him, like a poem. It also discusses the 'Lineage of Matsuya kiln' before going on to his site.
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