This is a Japanese Banko Ware earthenware pottery pot or jar with a lid. It is NOT a teapot; there is no spout or handle. The date is the 19th century, circa 1890 or earlier.
The function may be a tea caddy, tobacco humidor, spice holder, or perhaps to hold grain, biscuits or cookies.
The pottery is a gray-brown, or brown-gray. The color of the pottery is the same as other Banko Wear from the 19th century. The pot or jar is 6 ¼” high, 7 ¾” long and 6” wide; it weighs 3.3 pounds.
The pot is an elephant with a lid. The glaze is a dark green with shades of black. The elephant is decorated on top and the lid is meant to denote the saddle for riding. The decorations are raised in the pottery and colored or glazed in cobalt blue and dark brown and light brown-gray. Some of the pottery is not colored or glazed so as to add to the decoration. The nose of the elephant curls down and attaches to the body. The ears have raised lines. The eyes are bulging with blue centers. Do note that in the middle of the forehead there is a Japanese Rising Sun in brown and cobalt blue. There is a tail and four stubby feet.
The inside of the pot or jar is not glazed. There is an age crack on the inside that I show in a closeup photo that is in the interior only and does not extend through the pottery; this sometimes happens when a piece is round and curved like this.
There are a few skips in the green glaze. There is some age staining on the underside of the lid. There are some gold lines in the green glaze in two small places on one side of the elephant’s belly. There are no nicks, chips or other cracks, just an old piece with some wear but quite beautiful because of the shape, glaze and decoration.
The bottom of the four feet are not glazed.
There is no maker’s mark because the underside of the elephant is glazed and most Banko marks are impressed in the pottery.
Japanese Banko Ware Figural Elephant Pot or Jar Glazed Green Earthenware Pottery 7 ¾” Long c 1890