|Very rare and probably early to middle Meiji period tokkuri. The hand-painted, blue underglaze design
shows the Gatling gun, and there were four in Japan at that time. A few more were imported in 1874, and
this gun may have been used here and there as late as the Russo-Japan War.
The Gatling gun in Japan was also famously used on the ironclad warship Kotetsu in 1869 near Hokkaido.
Her opponent was the warship Kaiten, headed by the survivors of the Shinsengumi. It is said that the
Gatling gun was the main reason the Kotestu won that battle.
One would like to think that this tokkuri was on board that ship, but since the design celebrates the
Gatling gun, this must have been after the gun's exploits. Still, the shape of the tokkuri suggests that this
was used on some kind of ship. In Japanese tokkuri of this shape are called Fune Tokkuri, or ship bottles.
When a bottle was used on a ship, this shape was common because it didn't tip over so easily in rough
waters. And this one is really heavy and weighted at the bottom.
As for the pottery, this is Shigaraki ware. It is signed 'Tsubokurou' which is one of the famed traditional
artists at this kiln. However, I am not sure which generation of Tsubokurou made this bottle.
A phenomenal piece. Scarce and quite attractive. Heavy, wide, and tall. Because of this, I am quite sure
this was not meant for home use..
Height: 22 cm. Diameter of base: 15 cm. Weight: 1165 grams (2.5 lbs)
|Superb and quite scarce three-piece artillery shell tokkuri. The top pointed piece in this
set is not the cup as in the two-piece sets. It is a cover for the cup.
The design is also fairly uncommon. It shows a Japanese soldier on horseback.
Although the gold paint is hard to see in the photos, it is really quite clear. The top of the
soldier's hat did not transfer onto the bottle well, though.
There is also a raised Army star painted gold. This set looks to be a chocolate brown,
but against the blue background a deep dark green color is revealed.
Inscribed '8th Transport, Commemorative, Otsuka.'
No chips or cracks on any of the pieces.
|Both the shape of this tokkuri and its
painted design are rare. The shape is a
gourd and the design shows crossed
wrenches over an anchor, signifying a
Inscribed 'Navy Discharge