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Loan Object
Artist: Kubo Shunman, Japanese, 1757–1820

Blue: Celadon Standing Ladle Holder (Ao: Seiji shaku tate), from the series Five Colors of Tea Utensils (Chaki goshiki)

ca. 1818

Surimono, shikishi-ban; polychrome woodblock print with brass pigment and gauffrage

sheet: 8 × 6 7/8 in. (20.3 × 17.5 cm)
Promised gift of Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian, B.A. 1970

窪俊満 「茶器五色 青 せい磁杓多て」 江戸時代

Some of Kubo Shunman’s prints, including this one and two others nearby, bear the seal “Shō sei,” or “made at Atelier Shō” (Shō being one of Shunman’s art names). It is believed that Shunman was engaged in studio production of surimono—that is, he designed the images, engraved the woodblocks, and probably hand-printed the final print as well. The dominant item in this print is a shakutate—a container for a long-handled fresh-water scoop for the tea ceremony—which is decorated with a pair of carp. The first poem states that it is a tea connoisseur’s dream to possess a “carp-eared” water-scoop holder like this. The third poem evokes the most popular tale associated with this water-scoop holder, when a carp successfully climbs up a rapid stream and becomes a flying dragon.

On view
Edo period (1615–1868)
Works on Paper - Prints

Joan B. Mirviss (dealer), New York; sold to Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian, Koenigstein im Taunus, Germany, 2012 (on loan to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2017–present)


Sadako Ohki and Adam Haliburton, The Private World of Surimono: Japanese Prints from the Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian Collection (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2020), 192–94, no. 52, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.