tokoname pots (3)

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tokoname pots (3)

Post  marcus watts on Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:53 pm

hi all,
checking through some of my pots i have 3 tokoname pots by the look of it:
first pot i have found the maker - Matsushita Masua of izumi-ya pottery - just wondering what the time span is for his pots as an old tree was in this pot when i got it?


This pot is in Anne Swintons book with her 'un-named' ginko in it but i think it's incorrectly identified as she lists a different potter to the stamp

The second and third pots i think are tokoname but more recent maybe? - one had an A. Swinton juniper in it (old tree in unglazed drum) but the other had a nice satsuki imported to the UK in 2008/9 by Lee Verhorevoort in it (slightly ornate unglazed rectangle). The top row of both stamps seem the same but the lower row different - is this the same company but different potters - or totally different potters?


Drum


rectangle


Azalea in rectangle


Matsushita pot

thanks for any info

Marcus

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:00 am

Hi Marcus.

My oldest Tokoname catalog from the 1980's shows 2 chops for Matsushita. The Hiragana under the chop that you show actually reads "Senshirinsei" while the other simply reads "Izumigama". Sadly, neither the maker list on the Tokoname website nor the bonsaiplaza site give the Hiragana translations of the chops, so you're only really getting half of the story. There are any number of reason why he has 2 chops, my guess is the chop like you have was used on his better work. It could also have something to with a time frame, really it's anyone's guess. I'll have to look through newer catalogs and see if they still list his work.

I haven't found the other 2 chops in any of my old Tokoname stuff, but I'll do some more looking. I'm beginning to think these are new, high quality Chinese pots.

Hope this helps.

R

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  marcus watts on Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:54 am

hi Russel,
thanks for the reply and the info you have tracked down so far. on the other two mystery pots the drum was most likeley in the uk 10 years or more before the rectangle as the juniper in it was very pot bound and had been so for several years. The rectangle/satsuki was selected by Lee on a buying trip 2 or 3 years ago

here is an old pic of the drum / juniper before i got it



regards Marcus

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:30 pm

Hey Marcus.

I went through the catalogs last night. I couldn't find those chops, nor could I find that exact pot. Found a few that were similar, but not your pot. But that doesn't mean it's not a Tokoname potter. On the other hand, just because it was purchased in Japan as a new pot doesn't mean it's a Japanese pot. Found that out the hard way!

Hopefully, Ryan B will see this and fill in the gaps.

R

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  marcus watts on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:36 pm

hi, after a bit of reasearch into pot 1 (pale tan rectangle) the tree and pot were purchased and imported together in the mid 1970's and both appear in a book that was published in 1982 - this would put the production of pot one around 1973-1975 at the very latest, although it could have been even older than this when the tree was planted in it. I know that individual pictures of pots used to be sent, especially when it was for trees that were part of the chelsea flower show exibits, so they may never have actually reached catalogues of the time.
(the chop seems exactly the same as the 2nd one on the tokoname site for Matsushita Masua ) - http://www.tokoname.or.jp/bonsai/catalog/maker-e.htm.

pots 2 and 3 i'm as unsure as you are but the rectangle with the azalea in is fantastic quality of clay, colour and finish - wherever it originates from, so the potter should be very proud -



Russell Coker wrote:Hey Marcus.

I went through the catalogs last night. I couldn't find those chops, nor could I find that exact pot. Found a few that were similar, but not your pot. But that doesn't mean it's not a Tokoname potter. On the other hand, just because it was purchased in Japan as a new pot doesn't mean it's a Japanese pot. Found that out the hard way!

Hopefully, Ryan B will see this and fill in the gaps.

R

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:38 pm

marcus watts wrote: pots 2 and 3 i'm as unsure as you are but the rectangle with the azalea in is fantastic quality of clay, colour and finish - wherever it originates from, so the potter should be very proud -

That's exactly why the Japanese are having pots made in China!! That satsuki is GORGEOUS, btw, and so is the pot. Really nice combination.

And, yes, the other chop is exactly the same as the 2nd one on the Tokoname site for Matsushita, but it reads "Senshirinsei". My 80's catalog lists the potters in the back with the chops they use/used, sometimes several chops, along with the Hiragana translation for each chop. This catalog has a green and white cover, if you're lucky enough to find one. None of my other catalogs have this. Sad

One other note, in my old catalog all of the potters' works are mixed up. The pots are organized by shape and glazed/unglazed, and not identified by the potter. In the newer catalogs each potter has their pots together with their chops at the top of the page. I haven't looked to see if Matsushita's chops and pots are there.

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Ryan B on Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:13 am

Russell...TaDa!(unlike most magicians, I just don't get enough chances to say "TaDa!") anyway, ask and he shall apear. Marcus, the first pot you show is from the Izumi-Ya kiln. Pots with this stamp are actually his lower end, the other stamp is his higher, and pots with this stamp are more appropriately reffered to as "Zenigo". Of the "Ya" in "izumi-ya" thats his wife. Her pots are very cool too. Purchase from other than the "Tokoname Yuyaku" and theyre easily had for 50-100$, ive got a bunch for these prices. I think the other two pots are Chinese. There are literally hundreds of potteries making bonsai containers in China, this book will help you find your maker:
http://www.paragonbook.com/html/browsesubj/fullcitation.cfm?item=37114
These two stamps are not from the antique kilns, hope this helps.
Ryan
http://japanesepots.wordpress.com/

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:44 pm

Thanks Ryan! I always wondered where 'Zenigo' comes from since it's not listed as such.

So let me see if I have this correctly. The chop Marcus shows is 'Zenigo' and the lesser of Matsushita's work? Are both chops read 'Zenigo'? Where do 'Izumigama' and 'Senshirinsei' come in?

There are 4 1/2 pages of Matsushita pots in the "Y" catalog. These 2 handmade pots are on page 78 and are signed, not stamped with a chop. Are these 'Izumi' pots, the work of his wife? I've never found any reference to this signature.





Thanks for your help. Glad to see you also suspect the other 2 pots are Chinese.

R

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Ryan B on Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:09 am

Good eye Russell, those signed pots do indeed read "yae" and those pots were Made by Masuos wife. To tell the truth, I have no idea where the "Zenigo" comes from, I only know that in Japan that's what pots with this stamp are reffered to as, while pots with the other stamp are reffered to as "yu-Izumi" and are more expensive by about half.

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:33 pm

Thanks for the clarification!

Where do 'Izumigama' and 'Senshirinsei' come in regarding those chops?


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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Ryan B on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:04 pm

Well, "Izumigama" means "Izumi made", so thats easy enough. The other, no idea. Could relate possibly to the origins of the stamp...I'm out in theory land here, but I believe Masuo(like many other famous potters) based his stamp on one of the old crossing famous kilns. There's a very similiar stamp of old crossing Chinese pots, also unglazed. Could have something to do with this homage?

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  GaryWood on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:14 pm

Ryan & Russell, "gama" also means kiln if that helps.
Wood

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Ryan B on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:28 pm

Thanks Gary.. I don't speak or read a lick of Japanese, so that's newsto me! Thanks. I was told by a friend in Japan that the "gama" in thus sense meant "made" so I guess "from the kiln of" or "kiln" would be the same thing! Nice clarification. Thanks.

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:07 pm

Ryan B wrote:Thanks Gary.. I don't speak or read a lick of Japanese, so that's newsto me! Thanks. I was told by a friend in Japan that the "gama" in thus sense meant "made" so I guess "from the kiln of" or "kiln" would be the same thing! Nice clarification. Thanks.

Yep!

Marcus, I know this isn't what you were expecting - but it sure has answered a ton of questions for me. Shocked

I bought those 2 pots in Japan in 1985 along with 2 others. I also have 'Zenigo' pots, now I'll have to pay closer attention to that other chop! Glad to see the Matsushitas are still going strong, or at least they were according to the 2006 catalog.

R

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  marcus watts on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:32 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Marcus, I know this isn't what you were expecting - but it sure has answered a ton of questions for me. Shocked

I bought those 2 pots in Japan in 1985 along with 2 others. I also have 'Zenigo' pots, now I'll have to pay closer attention to that other chop! Glad to see the Matsushitas are still going strong, or at least they were according to the 2006 catalog.

R

it has been very interesting - i'm actually very happy to know the actual potter of one of the pots, and that its genuine - although I'll immeadiately buy five or six 19.5" x 13.75" x 3.75" tokoname rectangles like my one from Ryan for $50 ea ! (if he has a 27" unglazed one for my large rigida i'd go $80 Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy ) I'll arrange collection !)

i suspected the other two pots were certainly not older tokoname as well - but when you see them 'in the flesh' they are better by miles than many modern japenesse ones - In all honesty the better chinese potters are completley equal to the japanesse counterparts, and probably better than many others producing pots these days.


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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:16 pm

[quote="marcus watts]it has been very interesting - i'm actually very happy to know the actual potter of one of the pots, and that its genuine - although I'll immeadiately buy five or six 19.5" x 13.75" x 3.75" tokoname rectangles like my one from Ryan for $50 ea ! (if he has a 27" unglazed one for my large rigida i'd go $80 Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy ) I'll arrange collection !)

i suspected the other two pots were certainly not older tokoname as well - but when you see them 'in the flesh' they are better by miles than many modern japenesse ones - In all honesty the better chinese potters are completley equal to the japanesse counterparts, and probably better than many others producing pots these days. [/quote]

I'm pretty sure the pots that Ryan was talking about are Mrs. Matsushita's pots like the 2 I showed. These were shockingly inexpensive in Japan when I bought them, although that was 26 years ago. Last month one of her pots was on ebay for 40$ from a seller here in the States, so the shipping was inexpensive too.

And I know what you mean about those other pots. The clays, workmanship and finishes are second to none. They are producing some stunning pots and don't think for a minute that the Japanese aren't aware of it. I have a really high quality Chinese pot that's signed and not stamped with a chop. The only way I would have known that it's Chinese is the "Made in China" sticker on the bottom. Hopefully one day they'll get the recognition they deserve.

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Rob Kempinski on Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:42 am

marcus watts wrote:

i suspected the other two pots were certainly not older tokoname as well - but when you see them 'in the flesh' they are better by miles than many modern japenesse ones - In all honesty the better chinese potters are completley equal to the japanesse counterparts, and probably better than many others producing pots these days.


I visited Xijing last year and saw the quality of the Chinese pots up close. While there are Chinese kilns that cater to the low end market, there are also many high end Chinese pots that rarely reach the export market. Factors like the clay quality - first time used from the ground (and not repugged) gives the clay a distinct color, hand made versus mold, versus slip cast, and finish work. I purchased a small shohin pot of first use clay for $65 US - seemingly high for a shohin pot but first rate quality.

Remember the "Old Crossing pots" favored by many Japanese exhibitors are from China. And then, there are the Ming dynasty pots. affraid

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Ryan B on Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:15 am

I agree with Rob, the High End pots from China rarely reach the west, I have a few I purchased from sellers in Japan. The mid-high range of Chinese pots currently being produced are very nice, their inexpensiveness comes from their levels of production, and the fact that they're not often not made by a named artist, rather a kiln that employs multiple potters making handmade pots, all with the kiln stamp(like Yamaaki in Japan, and they run around the same price as low end Yamaaki).
Regarding prices of Izumi Ya pots, Hiro has a nice one with the other stamp up on eBay now, find it here Russel and Marcus.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Genuine-Japanese-Bonsai-pot-Izumiyo-Zenigo-dragon-/170664854766?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27bc6b04ee#ht_2559wt_922
Ryan
http://japanesepots.wordpress.com/

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Re: tokoname pots (3)

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:31 pm

Thanks for that ebay link. That's a good shot of the chop, and it's nice to have that signature too!

I'll try to get some decent pictures of my signed Chinese pot posted, I'd like some feedback - if anyone has some to offer. Although they're nice, I think most of my Chinese pots aren't chopped, much less signed.

R

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