Posted 2 months ago
This arare (hobnail) themed tetsu kyusu is 5.75" in diameter x 2.75" high, weighs 2 lbs 10 ounces and holds about 20 ounces of water. It is marked, but the maker is unknown to me.
I bought this pot for three reasons. First, I recognized the nabeshiki that came with it as a very expensive, uncommon Japanese trivet. Second, the seller said it had no maker's mark on it, which I have never seen for a tetsu kyusu of this size and quality. Third the seller said it was found in the closest of a deceased person and appeared to be new. Mmmmm, dead guy's stuff is the best stuff! Come to my estate sale and see!
Examination of the images with this post, reveals that it is indeed marked. I had seen this mark a few times before on very distressed (banged up) tetsu kyusu and maybe on a testsubin, but only in images. I had never been able to physically examine an actual tetsu kyusu that has this mark before and did not think that the quality was very good. Based on my examination of the pot now in my collection, I have revised my conclusions.
This tetsu kyusu is of very high quality, made with a very fine mold, well finished and probably Japanese. There are no visible urushi plugs or a sprue found on the bottom of the products of some Japanese foundries. It is probably not Iwachu since every tetsu kyusu or tetsubin by that foundry which I have examined has one or both of those marks on the bottom. The exterior finish and lining appear to be traditional urushi, not enamel, but the spout, lid and handle have a glossy finish with a matte body.
The bottom of this tetsu kyusu shows significant wear from the very sharp hobnails on the nabeshiki which accompanied it. This is the only wear on this pot and why I am not a fan of using metal nabeshiki. I prefer wooden trivets, which are another common material used to make Japanese trivets.
UPDATE: A few months after adding this tetsu kyusu to my collection, I found an on line auction which had a new old stock Teavana set with pot of a different design which also had this mark on it in two places and it included the Teavana box, labels, literature and tags. It also had a "MADE IN JAPAN" label under the lid, so there is now no doubt that the mark is of a Japanese foundry and that the quality is high as Teavana imported only very high quality Japanese pots and no Chinese junk. Unfortunately, there was nothing in the auction to indicate which Japanese foundry made the pot and cups and saucers which accompanied it.