Ueda Naokata IV (1898-1975)

Unusual Shigaraki Tea Caddy

Inv. Nr. #18.010
Date Mid 20th C.
Material Ash glazed stoneware
Dimensions H 8,8  x Diam. 7,2 cm

Comes with fitted, signed and sealed wooden box.

Excellent tea caddy (chaire) made by Shigaraki master Ueda Naokata IV 四代 上田直方 (1898-1975) who has been the first designated 'Intangible Cultural Property' of Shiga prefecture.


This museums-quality object is in excellent conditions and stamped on the bottom side with the Naokata seal. Cylindrical shape with distinct shoulders, the surface of the body shows a unique pattern of cream white and bluish gray glaze as well as heavy yellow green ash glazing on the top, which partly crystallized in single glaze drops. The typical, sand-colored Shigaraki clay lies bare at the bottom part and turned orange during firing. The composition of the ash glaze and the unusual colors makes this object truly one of the rare absolute master pieces of a potter.


The tea caddy comes with a beautiful silk pouch and an inscribed wooden box. The inscription on the outside of the box is written by Naokata himself and reads: "Shigaraki old kiln, Naokata-made" (Shigaraki koyō Naokata zō 信楽古窯直方造).


The Ueda family is along with the Takahashi family the oldest potter family in Shigaraki and largely responsible for preserving the old technique, especially after the second world war. The family has a long tradition as potters starting their business with Ueda Naokata I, who lived 1805-1891. Ueda Naokata IV succeeded his father the third Ueda in 1931.