Posted 5 months ago
This vase by Iwata Toshichi is 8" high x a bit over 6" widest diameter and weighs 3 lbs 4 ounces. The original, signed tomobako has survived but the signed ukon-fu (turmeric cloth), the tomonuno, has not. This one is a bit unusual as it is signed on the back of the lid and the name of the piece, Tsubomi, "bud" or "flower bud", is on the outside of the lid. I do not have a good feeling for when this was made. Maybe Karen can hazard a guess. A factory version of this vase was made later.
There is a bit of controlled bubble, applied ribs and it is thickly walled. There is some minor chipping on the base, possibly done during the making of the vase as there does not appear to be any wear to the bottom.
I was pretty proud of my August restraint, as I had not made any purchases this month, but came across this guy a couple of hours before the auction ended. I was on my way to go hiking, so sent the seller a couple of questions about the condition but their shop was not open before the auction ended with no bidders, at a very reasonable price for a piece like this. The seller eventually responded and we worked out a deal.
I have been looking for a second boxed piece by Iwata Toshichi so was unable to resist. This one is a nice contrast to my first boxed piece by Iwata, I think. My other piece is small and sleek, while this piece is rather large and ponderous.
Iwata Toshichi (1893-1980) is considered to be the founding father of Modern art glass making in Japan. Iwata graduated from the Tokyo School of Fine Arts metal-craft department in 1918. He then earned a BA in Western (Oil) Painting in 1923. Iwata next moved to study glass under Imamura Shigezo at the Tachibana Glass Factory. He and wife Iwata Itoko founded the Iwata Glass Industrial Company in 1947. Iwata exhibited his works at the Nitten National Exhibition before and after the Second World War, serving as an exhibition judge there later in life. Iwata received the Japan Art Academy Prize in 1951. In 1972 he founded the Japan Glass Art and Crafts Association. He was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1980 by the Emperor for his lifetime of devotion to the arts. His works have been collected by the The National Museums of Modern Art, in both Tokyo and Kyoto, and several of his pieces are held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York among many others.
I wonder if Japanese art glass will ever be popular in Japan?