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Oigen sakurahide (cherry bark) themed cast iron kyusu

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Japanese Metalwork88 of 136Mystery maker flower themed cast iron kyusuTerumata (?) cast iron Arare nabeshiki (trivet)
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    Posted 2 years ago

    (1023 items)

    This Oigen cherry bark themed Japanese kyusu is about 3" high minus the handle and about 3.25" in diameter minus the spout. There is a maker mark to the right of the spout when facing the pot. It is either new or new old stock, not sure which, is marked and came in the original cardboard box. It weighed in at 1 lb 6.5 ounces. I found another new, boxed kyusu from another seller in Japan who described this as "Seieidou OIGEN Nanbu Tekki Kyusu Sakurahide Cun". I don't know what "Seieidou" means and could not translate it. The marking on the box mine came in was different, but the marks on the two kyusu are identical. Mine was purchased directly from a seller in Japan. The seller neglected to mention it came in its original box, a nice surprise.

    Cherry bark is a very popular medium for tea related paraphernalia like tea scoops and tea caddies and I occasionally see these cherry bark themed iron kyusu and have wanted one. I found another nice example from a U.S. which arrived yesterday. There was this really bright light coming in my windows today and I vaguely remember that it is sometimes like that, but not recently. I may redo the images when we get a less bright day.

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    1. jscott0363 jscott0363, 2 years ago
      Another outstanding tea kettle. I do love the color and design of this one. How many do you have in your collection?
    2. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks jscott0363! Teapots (kyusu), not tea kettles (tetsubin)! Kyusu are lined with enamel or lacquer and only used for brewing tea in, not for heating water in. Kyusu should not be exposed to a direct heat source. Tetsubin are not enamel or lacquer lined, but initially have a rust proof surface obtained by applying high heat to the kettle. That surface can be maintained in various ways. I have about two dozen kyusu and only one tetsubin. Kyusu can be pretty small but most tetsubin take up a lot of space and require a lot of heat to boil water in. Boiling water in a tetsubin removes chlorine from the water and makes it much milder, but I cannot taste the difference. I just use a stanless steel kettle to heat water in. I never use my tetsubin, but wanted one for my collection...

      Thanks jscott0363, dav2no1 and Hoot60!
    3. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks for loving my fauz cherry bark kyusu Kevin, Ben, PhilDMorris, nutsabotas6, aura, Karen, Jenni, RichmondLori, fortapache and Watchsearcher!
    4. apostata apostata, 2 years ago
      JAPAN / KOREA/CHINA: ART FOR THE WAY OF TEA - Christie's N.Y. 07 + results

      pending on ebay now
    5. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks for the information apostata! This one was made in Japan, but I have not been able to identify the maker, yet. I will add an image of the box it came in when I get a chance. The seller had two of these by the same maker which were slightly different in design. I will send them an email and see if they can tell me who made it, if I can't figure it out.

      Thanks Eileen! I was happy to add a nice example of this style to my collection. I was thinking that the finial is a pine cone, but not sure of that. I have seen a variety of finials on these little pots, but this one is my favorite. I'm really trying to discourage folks from calling these little lined teapots "kettles" but even some of the Japanese sellers use the word for kettle (tetsubin) for these little teapots. Just trying to make folks aware that they should not be placed directly on heat sources and are not for heating water in, only receiving heated water from another source. Putting one of these little teapots over fire can damage it beyond repair.

      Thanks for loving my latest kyusu Eileen, officialfuel and valentino97!

    6. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thank you blunderbuss2!
    7. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      I was able to identify the maker of the pot as Oigen....
    8. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 2 years ago
      Congratulations on your beautiful kabazaiku-style 'pot!
      The finial is certainly a pine cone, and a very gracefully modeled one too. Finials are often shaped like pine cones on tetsubin and cast iron kyusu. I've never heard why, but I'll hazard it has to do with the pine being a traditional symbol of longevity (because it's the longest-living tree), so it's probably an implicit wish for the long life of those who drink the tea.
      As you probably know, those aluminum strainers speak to its being vintage; modern strainers are made of stainless steel. So this is definitely older! And all the nicer for it.
      Gorgeous pot that really glows in your photographs, thank you for sharing it!
      P.S. I believe Seieidou means something like "the way of eliteness".
      I have a kabazaiku-style 'pot similar to yours, except that the lid on mine is a little different (it has an outer ring of relief cherry blossoms and the finial is a very large cherry blossom). I think your photograph #4 shows a lid design of sprays of cherry flowers around the finial, too. I guess it's "blossoms above, bark below" :)
    9. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comments, rhineisfine, and for loving my cherry bark kyusu! I have two of these cherry bark kyusu by different makers, but both have the pine cone finial:

      The other pot is an older one, as well, and also appears to be unused. That one I purchased from a seller in the U.S., so it was probably purchased as a souvenir and never used.

      What, I think, makes these pots even older is that the lining is not the typical urushi formula used in the 1960s, which is glossy, thicker, and has a gray tint to it. Both of these predate that finish and have what I believe to be a finish which is mostly created by heating the pot to a high temperature, and, I think painting it with a different formula containing urushi and other ingredients which results in a thinner lining. I have several older pots like this. Later pots, say 1980s and later, have a thick, black urushi lining which is a different formula that those used on older pots.
    10. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks Vynil33rpm!
    11. kwqd kwqd, 7 months ago
      Thanks vcal!
    12. kwqd kwqd, 7 months ago
      Thank you Watchsearcher!
    13. raven3766 raven3766, 7 months ago
      This is beautiful, love the color and that handle is perfection.
    14. kwqd kwqd, 7 months ago
      Thanks for your comments, raven3766! Oigen does nice work!

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