UEDA NAOKATA IV 四代 上田直方 (1898-1975)

Shigaraki Tea Caddy with Appraisal by 14th Head of the Urasenke Tea Ceremony School Tantansai Sekisō (1893-1964)

Inv. Nr. #17.017
Date mid 20th C.
Material Ash glazed stoneware
Dimensions H 8,3  x Diam. 6,5 cm

Comes with silk pouch and signed, sealed and inscribed wooden box.

Price: EUR 5,000

This excellent tea caddy was made by Shigaraki master Ueda Naokata IV (1898-1975), who was the first to be designated an "Intangible Cultural Property" of Shiga Prefecture.


The octagonal body, made of sand-colored clay that turned red during firing, is covered with a heavy, thick ash glaze that is partly encrusted with black and partly fused into an emerald green glaze. Particularly on the shoulders, the green glaze is glassy, resembling ponds of water on a rocky surface. 


This museum quality piece is in excellent condition and stamped with the Naokata seal on the bottom. It comes with a beautiful silk pouch and a double inscribed wooden box. The inscription on the outside was made by Naokata himself and reads: "Shigaraki old kiln, Naokata-made" (Shigaraki koyō Naokata zō 信楽古窯直方造). On the inside of the lid of the wooden box is an appraisal written by the 14th head (iemoto) of the Urasenke Tea Ceremony School Tantansai Sekisō 淡々斎碩叟 (1893-1964), who simply says that this item is a "Shigaraki chaire" and marks it as a high quality item with his signature mark (kaō).


The Ueda family, along with the Takahashi family, is the oldest pottery family in Shigaraki and is largely responsible for preserving the old technique, especially after World War II. The family has a long tradition as potters, starting with Ueda Naokata I (1805-1891). Ueda Naokata IV succeeded his father, the third Ueda, in 1931.