Wine Ewer with Design of Chrysanthemums and Paulownia Crests in Alternating Fields
Momoyama period (1573–1615)
Lacquered wood with sprinkled gold (makie) decoration in Kōdaiji style
H. (incl. handle) 10 in. (25.4 cm); Diam. 7 in. (17.8 cm); W. (including spout) 10 1/8 in. (25.7 cm)
Purchase, Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, by exchange, 1980
Not on view
This vessel may have been used by the powerful and flamboyant general Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536 – 1598), who unified Japan in the 1590s. His mausoleum, Kōdaiji, was furnished with lacquers produced by the Kōami workshop, featuring close-ups of autumn plants and Toyotomi family crests. Designed in what came to be known as the Kōdaiji style (referring to black lacquerware with sumptuous gold ornamentation), this container features a stunning contrast of two patterns — totally different in color, rhythm, and motif. This type of decoration was much favored at the time by artists working not only in lacquer but also in ceramics and textiles.
Inscription: Original inscription on the lid has been effaced, although the name (undeciphered) of the man who wrote the inscription remains on the inside of the box.