Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Small, mystery Japanese tetsu kyusu

In Asian > Japanese Metalwork > Show & Tell.
Japanese Metalwork61 of 136Joyce Chen gingko leaves design testsu kyusuIwachu Showa Era umahada tetsubin
Love it
Like it

vcalvcal loves this.
Daisy1000Daisy1000 loves this.
officialfuelofficialfuel loves this.
FreshAirFreshAir loves this.
BHIFOSBHIFOS loves this.
fortapachefortapache loves this.
vetraio50vetraio50 loves this.
auraaura loves this.
dav2no1dav2no1 loves this.
jscott0363jscott0363 loves this.
See 9 more
Add to collection

    Please create an account, or Log in here

    If you don't have an account, create one here.

    Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

    Posted 2 years ago

    (1023 items)

    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.

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

    Japanese Metalwork
    See all
    Antique signed Japanese Meiji bronze lion fighting statue no reserve
    Antique signed Japanese Meiji bronz...
    Vintage Japanese Tetsubin Style Cast Iron Teapot Oriental Brewing pot
    Vintage Japanese Tetsubin Style Cas...
    Antique Japanese Modernist Bronze Vase Meiji Period Early 20th Century
    Antique Japanese Modernist Bronze V...
    See all


    1. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks aura, dav2no1 and jscott0363!
    2. Newfld Newfld, 2 years ago
      Wonderful Japanese pots, you have an awesome collection of these Kevin, very elegant shapes & textures
    3. Oroyoroyisthatyourhorse2 Oroyoroyisthatyourhorse2, 2 years ago
      ya what jenni said go's from me too....smiling
    4. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, Jenni! They are definitely carefully crafted works of art!

      Thanks for your comment Oroyoroyisthatyourhorse2!

      Thanks fortapache, Oroyoroyisthatyourhorse2, Jenni and Kevin!
    5. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks BHIFOS, Thomas and FreshAir!
    6. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks for checking out my little tetsu kyusu Daisy1000 and officialfuel!
    7. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks, Thomas
    8. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comments, Eileen! I took a look at some of the figures you mentioned! They are pretty spiffy! About the only thing Chinese that I go out of my way to buy are Rough Rider pocket knifes. The knife I carry every day is a Rough Rider and I have a small collection of them. They are really great quality knives for a fraction of the cost of comparable American knives, so no big deal if you lose one. Can't think of anything else Chinese that I buy, though....

    Want to post a comment?

    Create an account or login in order to post a comment.