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Bowl in the Shape of a Gourd, Kyoto Ware

Nin'ami Dohachi

Asian Art

Nin’ami Dōhachi is the most celebrated member of the Dōhachi family of potters, who were active in Kyoto for many generations. He made wares that reference the techniques and styles practiced by Ogata Kenzan a hundred years earlier, but with motifs that come closer to mimicking nature. This elegant gourd-shaped bowl would have been used for serving food in a multicourse kaiseki meal.
MEDIUM Stoneware with underglaze iron oxide decoration
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES mid–19th century
    PERIOD Late Edo Period
    DIMENSIONS 3 7/16 x 7 5/16 x 9 3/8 in. (8.8 x 18.5 x 23.8 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE The potter's signature and seal on the cover of the original storage box for the piece
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Estate of Charles A. Brandon, by exchange
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This 150 year old bowl is executed in the decorative style of Kyoto ware by Nin'ami Dohachi, (178301855), one of the best known potterns in the late Edo period. It is in the form of a gourd (hisago), or the fruit of the Evening Glory plant. Its form may be associated with the tea ceremony tradition, established during the 16th century in Kyoto. The piece bears the potter's seal in the shape of a trumpet-shell (hora-gai), possibly used during the artist's later period, known as the Momoyama kiln from 1842-55. The style of the piece is undoubtedly reminiscent of the work of Ogata Kenzan (1 663-1743), whom Dohachi often copied in specific works. The piece displays an extraordinary intrinsic aesthetic beauty. It also exhibits features of historic and documentary significance. The museum not only has the original storage box which is traditionally signed and sealed but the original packing materials such as the cord and wrapping cloths.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Nin'ami Dohachi (Japanese, 1783–1855). Bowl in the Shape of a Gourd, Kyoto Ware, mid–19th century. Stoneware with underglaze iron oxide decoration, 3 7/16 x 7 5/16 x 9 3/8 in. (8.8 x 18.5 x 23.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Estate of Charles A. Brandon, by exchange, 1994.93. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1994.93_side_PS4.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 1994.93_side_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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