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 possibly the most famous female poet of 19th Century and known for her excellent skills in calligraphy and pottery. It was after the death of her stepfather in 1832, when Rengetsu began to make 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 already large recognition during her lifetime far beyond the borders of Kyōto and her pottery style was named Rengetsu-yaki (Rengetsu pottery).


By inspiring many artists with her works, some potter friends soon began to reproduce her works under her guidance. Such well-known potters are for example Issō (dates unknown) and Kuroda Kōryō (1823-1895?). This cream white glazed flower vase of irregular style with iron-brown inscription of a Rengetsu poem, however, can be possibly attributed to her friendly potter Takahashi Dōhachi III (1811-1879). It is documented that Dōhachi III, coming from an important lineage of Kiyomizu potters, worked with the same materials. The vase is made with a high artistic level, however, there is not stamp or signature indicating its maker. After forming and glazing the vase with white slip, Rengetsu's autumnal poem was brushed with iron-oxide brown on the surface.


Her poem has been published in 1870 in her first poem anthology Ama no karumo, where it can be found under number 116 as opener of the autumn chapter:








In the morning breeze

a riverbank willow

scatters its leaves

into the flowing waters

so autumn begins...