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Little bud vase

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    Posted 1 month ago

    Whipsy
    (1 item)

    Can anyone tell me anything about this vase? Found in a charity shop. It’s very heavy? I can’t find any markings on it.

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

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    Comments

    1. Collectables59 Collectables59, 1 month ago
      Looks like pewter
    2. Whipsy Whipsy, 1 month ago
      Thank you!
    3. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 1 month ago
      I wonder... it very much reminds me of a shakutate or hishakutate. This is a vase-shaped vessel used in Japanese tea ceremony. It's used to hold the hishaku or ladle, as well as metal chopsticks that are used for stirring the ash in the hearth.
      It is exactly the right shape and size, and it needs to be heavy (whether made of ceramic or metal) as otherwise the tall hishaku and chopsticks could tip it over.
      The only thing is, I've never seen anything with this chrome appearance. When metal, they are likelier to be made from bronze.
      Anyway, I'll just throw that idea out there. Here's the results of a Google image search so you can see other examples:
      https://tinyurl.com/hishakutate-in-kanji
      A shakutate would rarely be sold alone. Rather, it is normally sold with 3 other items in what is called a "kaigu set". The other pieces are: a mizusashi or cold-water jug, a futaoki or lid rest, and a kensui or waste-water bowl.
      However, sets do get split up (especially when they are ceramic and a piece gets broken!), and I find that in the west, most sellers of shakutate just assume they are vases and sell them as such.
      Google image search showing photos of kaigu sets:
      https://tinyurl.com/images-of-kaigu-sets
      If you want to see one in action, this YouTube video shows a young man performing a tea procedure using a shakutate, although in his case he's clearly made do with found items - presumably he's a student. (It takes a long time to buy tea utensils as they can be very expensive!)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59xmS-1Q7Ac

      And conversely... what you have could just be a vase! But I can't help but think the shape and dimensions are significant.

      P.S. Can you tell me what the shape of the mouth of the "vase" is? I am wondering if it's four-lobed. If so, this argues again for a Japanese origin. That would represent mokko, a type of kamon or family crest; it's a design you also see used on the tsuba or handguard of a Japanese sword.
    4. Whipsy Whipsy, 1 month ago
      Wow! How interesting! Thank you so much! The mouth/neck is round, I’ll see if I can figure out how to add another pic.

    5. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 1 month ago
      Hi Whipsy, OK, the mouth isn't mokko-shaped, but actually the mouth of a shakutate is usually round, just like yours. Hmm. This is such an interesting mystery! I could be way off about this being a shakutate, of course.
      By the way, what metals would you say this is made of? It looks a bit like stainless steel or chrome, but the accent in the first photo looks coppery while it's more bronze-looking in your second photo.

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