Tokoname Black Chrysanthemum Teapot


In stock

Made in Japan
Craftsman: Hosei
Strainer-style: Clay ball-strainer
Packaging: Paulownia wood box, artist signed
Height: 3″ (to top of lid)
Functional capacity: 6 oz / 177 ml

The first time I saw this teapot in a photograph it took my breath away. When it arrived from Japan and I took it out of the box I decided that it was the most perfectly rendered hand-made object that I have ever held. This teapot is simply glorious and it is a joy to behold. It is jet black and very dramatic, and Hosei shows us with this teapot why he is a master of the technical aspects of carving. The handle and the spaces between the design elements are glass-smooth and highly polished. This luster finish is the result of many repetitious steps of hand-burnishing with a smoothing tool. (This technique is also employed by Native American potters such as Nancy Youngblood from the Santa Clara Pueblo, and was made famous by Maria Martinez at the San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico). The intricate carvings on the body and lid of the teapot are executed within 4 delineated panels. Inside each panel are renderings of slightly elongated chrysanthemum blossoms. These polished blossoms float above a background that is composed of painstakingly carved fine, thin lines. A red dot of color forms the center of each blossom and adds an elegant yet restrained ‘pop’ of color. This duality of black and red is achieved by controlled, multiple firings in the kiln. Chrysanthemums, the national symbol of Japan,are used as design elements on all manner of goods from fabric to paper to tea tins. In fact, a stylized image of a chrysanthemum is used as the official seal of the Japanese Imperial Family. Hosei has approached the design of this teapot as a print artist would design a mon. (A mon is a design that can denote a family or clan (similar to heraldic devices Europe) or it may be the logo or trademark of an association or local business. Mon designs consist of a roundel or square encircling a figure of plant, animal, natural or celestial objects, religious symbols and geometric shapes, all abstracted to various degrees and executed with bold confidence. Here are two examples of flower-inspired mon designs):        And a picture of Hosei’s marvelously carved teapot lid. With the lid in place and from the center square (or the diamond shape ) four thin bands of smooth black clay curve from the lid down onto the body of the teapot, linking the separate elements of the design into a unified and beautiful whole. There is perfect symmetry in the carving and pattern where the teapot lid meets the teapot body – such is the mastery of Hosei’s skill. If one places the hole in the lid opposite the spout, the most perfect match occurs, and this is, I believe, the position in which the design was crafted by Hosei. And, Hosei has added a little surprise on the underside of the lid for the pleasure of the owner of this teapot. Please Note: This is a handmade item – slight variations in the painting, colors, tooling, patterning and kiln effects of Chinese and Japanese teawares are to be expected. We have carefully photographed this item as best as possible – please be aware that different device screens can render colors and subtle tones slightly differently. Want to know more?   How to Clean a Tokoname Teapot    How We Determine the Size & Capacity of our Teawares