Posted 6 months ago
This small Iwachu kyusu is 4.1" (10.3 cm) in diameter x 3.1" (8 cm) high minus the lid. It has a very clear Iwachu mark which reads "Iwachu Nambu" and an original foil label. The theme of the teapot is sakura (cherry blossoms). It holds about 8 ounces (240 ml).
I violated my policy of not paying over $40, including shipping, for an Iwachu teapot but there are a few special things about this one. It is new old stock, never used, with the original label still on it. Unfortunately, it did not include the original box.
It has the clearest maker's mark that I have ever seen on an Iwachu kyusu, which suggests that the mold work is very fine.
Though it may be very common in Japan, I have never seen an Iwachu pot of this vintage which did not use the typical black finish which is made by heating the kyusu to 250 degrees Celsius and first applying a layer of lacquer, then brushing on a solution of vinegar, rust and green tea followed by polishing with a damp cloth containing the same solution. That process is what gives the matte black finish to older teapots which can be touched up by wiping a hot pot down with a cloth soaked in concentrated green tea. I like that finish a lot because I can maintain it. That is not possible with enameled pots like this one, but I couldn't resist adding it to my pile. The color is burgundy.
I did pay under $40 for the kyusu but shipping costs from Japan put it well over that amount. Dang. I am trying to focus on kyusu about this size and a bit larger, as they will be easy to display, not taking up much space, but still having enough detail to make them enjoyable to look at and handle. I will put this one in my rotation to use, but would probably have put it away if it had included the original box.
I am going to add some shelving in my kitchen to display my teapot collection. I figure that I will have room for about 15 kyusu and now have 10, so going to slow down a bit and make the last five special. Well, they are all special, so I guess "extra" special. Over the past few weeks, I have added to my collection four Chen & Co. small kyusu which are very well done and made by Oigen.