Seisai - Tea Bowl (Cha-wan), Kurobotan (Black Peony), 19th century

Attributed to Seisai

Tea Bowl (Cha-wan), Kurobotan (Black Peony), 19th century

Ceramic with black raku glaze, 7.3 x 12.1 cm (2 7/8 x 4 3/4 in.)

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Object details

Accession number

CR34n8

Provenance

Gift from Okakura Kakuzo (1862-1913), Japanese art historian and philosopher, to Isabella Stewart Gardner, 11 September 1905.

Dimension Notes

Diameter 4 3/4"

Bibliography

William Thrasher and Caroline Graboys. "The Beginnings of Chanoyu in America." Chanoyu Quarterly (1984), pp. 20, 24, 28, ill. (as attributed to Raku Seisai)
Sunao Nakamura (ed.). Okakura Kakuzo: Collected English Writings, III (Tokyo, 1984), pp. 61-63, 58-59.
Victoria Weston. East Meets West: Isabella Stewart Gardner and Okakura Kakuzo. Exploring Treasures in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum V. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1992), p. 28.
Rebecca G. Breslow. "Humanity in a Tea-cup: Isabella Stewart Gardner and Okakura Kakuzo" in Chanoyu Quarterly: Tea and the Arts of Japan, No. 85 (1996), pp. 51-53.
Alan Chong et al. (eds.) Eye of the Beholder: Masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 2003), pp. 176-77, ill.
Louise Allison Cort. "Mrs. Gardner's 'Set of Tea-Things.' A Vehicle for Friendship, Power, & Aesthetic Instruction" in Alan Chong and Noriko Murai. Journeys East: Isabella Stewart Gardner and Asia. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2009), pp. 385-86, 393, 396, fig. 11. (as attributed to Raku Sensai, as possibly Kiyomizu Rokubei II (1790-1869), as dated 19th century)


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Commentary

This bowl was made at one of many kilns in Kyoto making Raku-style tea bowls by the 19th century, using printed handbooks that explained technology. Seisai has not been identified with certainty, although the name was used by the Kyoto potter Kiyomizu Rokubei II (1790-1869), who is known to have made Raku-style bowls, between 1811 and 1845/6.

Source: Louise Allison Cort, "Mrs. Gardner's 'Set of Tea-Things,'" in Journeys East: Isabella Stewart Gardner and Asia, edited by Alan Chong and Noriko Murai (Boston: ISGM and Gutenberg Periscope, 2009): 396.

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