Takahashi Dōhachi III (1811-1879) (attr.)

Rengetsu Flower Vase with Handles and Autumn Poem

Inv. Nr. #20.006
Date Late Edo period, 1870s
Material Glazed stoneware with iron brown inscription
Dimensions H 24 cm x Diam. 14 cm

Comes with new, fitted wooden box.

Price: EUR 2,500

Ōtagaki Rengetsu is perhaps the most famous poet of the 19th century and is known for her excellent skills in calligraphy and pottery. It was after the death of her stepfather in 1832 that Rengetsu began making her extraordinary pottery, which she usually inscribed with her own waka (31-syllable classical poem) and sold to support herself. With her unique combination of pottery, calligraphy, and poetry, Rengetsu gained recognition far beyond the borders of Kyōto during her lifetime, and her style of pottery was named Rengetsu-yaki (Rengetsu pottery).

Inspiring many artists with her works, some of her potter friends soon began to reproduce her works under her guidance. Such well-known potters include Issō (dates unknown) and Kuroda Kōryō (1823-1895?). However, this cream-white glazed flower vase in an irregular style with an iron-brown inscription of a Rengetsu poem may be attributed to her friendly potter Takahashi Dōhachi III (1811-1879). It is documented that Dōhachi III, who came from an important lineage of Kiyomizu potters, worked with the same materials. The vase is made with a high level of artistry, but there is no stamp or signature to indicate its maker. After forming and glazing the vase with white slip, Rengetsu's autumn poem was brushed on the surface with iron oxide brown.

Her poem was published in 1870 in her first anthology of poems, Ama no karumo, where it can be found at number 116 as the opening of the autumn chapter:








In the morning breeze

a riverbank willow

scatters its leaves

into the flowing waters

so autumn begins...