Period: Momoyama period (1573–1615)
Date: ca. 1596
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)
Credit Line: Purchase, Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, by exchange, 1980
Accession Number: 1980.6
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.