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Iwachu Hailstone cast iron tetsu kyusu (teapot) with cups Showa period 1926-1989.

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    Posted 5 months ago

    (780 items)

    This tiny used tetsu kyusu, small cast iron teapot, not counting the spout and lid, is only 2" high x 6" diameter. It is lined in enamel, so that multiple types of tea may be brewed in it. The five cups are 1.5" high x 2.25" in diameter and also lined with enamel. The teapot and cups are painted, or rust finished, cast iron and are marked on the bottom. Iwachu calls this pattern "Hailstone".

    This is a used version of the teapot that I posted last week. The mark on the bottom of this one is much clearer and easier to read than the mark on the new teapot, possibly because it has been handled quite a bit which has polished it. I bought this set because it had cups with it and also a Mitsukoshi LTD department store label on the bottom. Mitsukoshi LTD is a high end Japanese department store which was founded in 1673. Everything which I have found associated with this store is very high end, especially the tea ware.

    I paid only a bit more this whole set than I did for the first teapot alone. This set is very good for documenting information about where these teapots/tea sets were sold and what kind of cups came with them. Since it is already used, I will use it for experimenting with tea. It is in better shape than I expected, the enamel is nearly perfect and there was only a slight bit of rust on the exterior of the teapot and cups which I treated with food grade mineral oil.

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    1. kwqd kwqd, 5 months ago
      Thanks for taking a look at my cast iron tea set blunderbuss2, PhilDMorris, fortapache and Vynil33rpm!
    2. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 5 months ago
      kwqd, the mark is definitely Iwachu! If you do a Google search on 'Iwachu Nambu', you'll find other instances of tetsubin with the same 4-character mark. I do believe what you've got here is the real deal. Good find!

      There's not a lot of info about tetsubin in English (that I've been able to find), aside from the book _Tetsubin: A Japanese waterkettle_ by P.L.W. Arts. I remember someone commenting that the vent hole in the lid made its appearance after WW II (in the 1950s?), and indeed the oldest tetsubin I've found are lacking that. The enameled interior is also a comparative innovation, as the manufacture shifted from tea kettles (for boiling water in) to tea pots (for steeping tea in). I'm sure you already know that enamel-lined tetsubin shouldn't be placed on a heat source. (3rd picture)
    3. kwqd kwqd, 5 months ago
      Thaks for your comment and links rhineisfine! It bugs me that the only links regarding this mark that I can find are links to auctions, not to some research based resource which cites some source for their identification. I am still looking for something authoritative. I have found several sources for their new mark which shows accompanying packaging which supports identification of the new marks. When I find that I will add links or images to my posts. The curse of being both a genealogist and a librarian...

      Thanks for loving my newest cast iron tea set fortapache, jscott0363, Jenni, rhineisfine, ho2cultcha and Kevin!
    4. kwqd kwqd, 5 months ago
      Thanks for loving my tea set, Thomas!
    5. kwqd kwqd, 5 months ago
      I finally found a boxed Iwachu piece with the same mark as this teapot which confirms the identification of the maker of this teapot.
    6. kwqd kwqd, 5 months ago
      Thanks for loving my Iwachu tea set shareurpassion!
    7. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 months ago
      you have interrupted my evening tea ritual! i have a couple of these and i was boiling the water in one of them and making the tea in the other, but now i don't know what to use to boil the water!
    8. kwqd kwqd, 5 months ago
      Oops! Stainless steel would work better and be more environmentally friendly as it will heat faster using less fuel. No real advantage to using cast iron for boiling water unless you have an iron deficiency..

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