Wine Ewer with Design of Chrysanthemums and Paulownia Crests in Alternating Fields

Period: Momoyama period (1573–1615)

Date: ca. 1596

Culture: Japan

Medium: Lacquered wood with sprinkled gold (makie) decoration in Kōdaiji style

Dimensions: H. (incl. handle) 10 in. (25.4 cm); Diam. 7 in. (17.8 cm); W. (including spout) 10 1/8 in. (25.7 cm)

Classification: Lacquer

Credit Line: Purchase, Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, by exchange, 1980

Accession Number: 1980.6

Description

This vessel may have been used by the powerful and flamboyant general Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536 – 1598), who unified Japan in the 1590s. His mausoleum, Kōdaiji, was furnished with lacquers produced by the Kōami workshop, featuring close-ups of autumn plants and Toyotomi family crests. Designed in what came to be known as the Kōdaiji style (referring to black lacquerware with sumptuous gold ornamentation), this container features a stunning contrast of two patterns — totally different in color, rhythm, and motif. This type of decoration was much favored at the time by artists working not only in lacquer but also in ceramics and textiles.

Related