The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures

Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.
In accordance with the requests of local authorities our Kyoto gallery will be closed to visitors from April 14th until further notice.

Important Suwa Sozan I Porcelain Okimono

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Porcelain: Pre 1920: Item # 1425179

Please refer to our stock # TCR7868 when inquiring.
The Kura
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817-2 Kannonji Monzen-cho
Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-8385
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The mastery of expression accomplished by Suwa Sozan I is evident in this pair of porcelain children enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Gosai Doshi Okimono (Five Colored Figure of Children). This piece is published in the definitive book “Suwa Sozan Sakuhin Shu” (1971). In the book the photo title is more specific “Gosai Mimiakatori Karako Okimono” (Five Color Figure of Chinese Children Cleaning Ears) and the work is dated to 1913. The fellow doing the cleaning is absorbed in his work, an intense expression on his face, while the other fellow smiles with glee, leaning into his compatriots hands. It is 22 x 11 x 18 cm (9 x 4-1/2 x 7 inches). There are losses to the glazing, some of which are evident in the photograph in the book as well.
Sozan I (1852-1922) was born in Kutani country, present day Ishikawa prefecture, where he initially studied before moving to Tokyo in 1875. Over the next 25 years he would gravitate between Tokyo and Kanazawa, working at various kilns and research facilities. He again relocated, this time to Kyoto in 1900 to manage the Kinkozan Studio before establishing his own. His name became synonymous with celadon and refined porcelain and was one of only five potters to be named Teishitsu Gigei-in. The Teishitsu Gigei-in were members of the Imperial Art Academy, Perhaps in modern terms one might call them the predecessors to the Living National Treasures. However unlike the LNT, there were only five Pottery artists ever named Teishitsu Gigei-in, Ito Tozan, Suwa Sozan, Itaya Hazan, Miyagawa Kozan, and Seifu Yohei III. He was succeeded by his adopted daughter upon his death. He is held in the Kyoto National Museum among many others.