Posted 2 years ago
This tiny, unused arare themed tetsu kyusu is 4" in diameter x 2" high. It weighs 1 lb 3 ounces and holds about 6 ounces (200 ml) of water. It has an unidentified, illegible foundry mark to the right of the spout and a square Kotobuki foil label on the bottom. The Kotobuki label is a guarantee that it was made in Japan.
I couldn't help contrasting it to my recent Iwachu tetsubin acquisition as these arrived a day apart and are among my largest and smallest Japanese pots.
I sent Kotobuki an image of the label and foundry mark but did not hear back from them. Guessing my cheap finds are not helping their sales, but I am about done with adding pots to my collection and will just be posting to CW pots I have not already posted from my collection. I have never seen this square label before and guess it was used between 1976 when Kotobuki was founded and 2000. I have noted that, recently, Kotobuki's offerings of a couple of dozen tetsu kyusu and tetsubins has suddenly shrunk to two tetsu kyusu and no tetsubins. CW apparently has a surprisingly wide audience of resellers and collectors.
As an aside, a dealer in Japan that I bought some Japanese art glass from was shocked to find that Japanese tetsubin and kyusu tetsu have been imported or brought to the States for several decades and can be had very inexpensively on the secondary market here, if one knows what to look for. I strongly recommend supporting Japanese foundries by buying new directly from the foundries or from American importers lest they disappear, another victim of competition from China who, by the way, export pots which are very inferior to Japanese pots by any measure. I would absolutely not trust the quality and safety of pots imported from China and just toss them in the dumpster when I find them. Unfortunately, there is a lot of false advertising of these pots as Japanese or "Japanese style", so one has to be careful when purchasing a pot or kettle, new or used, to ensure you are getting a genuine Japanese made one. Japanese pots are works of art and should be valued as such. That is if you are not living in retirement on a fixed income. ;)
Update: I later discovered that Kotobuki Trading Company had gone out of business when I wrote this post and another company (Miya) seems to have bought up their inventory.