A Japanese Kyoto ware rare porcelain kogo or box by Master Potter Great Denshichi Kanzan V 加藤幹山 also called Kato Kanzan.. 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 polygon shape is unusual and refreshing to find in a kogo. This is a beautiful kogo with the motif of a bird on a branch and the flowers around the side painted in underglaze blue. This is estimated by the dealer 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 is the higher quality type with a fitted lid. Great Denshichi Kanzan the 5th is a Kyoto descendant potter to one of the most famous families of Kyoto potters in it's history dating back to the Edo period, see more below. His work and that of his kiln and studio rare according to the Japanese dealer. The kogo is signed by the potter.
SIZE: Width 2.6” or 6.09 cm, Length 2.0” or 5.08 cm, Height 1.5” or 3.81 cm. Weight 90 grams + Signed box 50 grams Total 140 grams. Kogo: 0.20 lb. Box: 0.11 lb.Total: .33 lb.
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Denshichi Kanzan the 5th 幹山伝七, translated
He 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 Denshichi Kanzan a native of Seto and 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 cloisonne in porcelain.
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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