19/20th C Japanese Sumida Gawa-Vase With Man in a Boat

Sumida Gawa


A vintage Japanese Sumida Gawa vase with a little man in a boat/gondola. This is an unusual style vase with rough and smooth textures, a mountain and windswept tree all in low relief. This is on a red rimmed background with glossy shades of green, gray and light brown. It measures 9" tall x 3 1/2" at the base x 2 3/4" at top opening. Vintage condition is very good, with small chip on base. If this piece is signed, it is under the vintage label on bottom and we did not want to remove it.

FYI: This colorful ware was made for export to the West and is usually heavy and covered with figures in relief. Most pieces are everyday objects such as tea pots, vases, and mugs. This distinct type of wares got its name from the Sumida River running near the Asakusa pottery district near Tokyo. Sumida pottery has often been called by many names - Poo ware, Sumidagawa, Banko, or Asakusa Banko. The style of applied figures on a surface with flowing glaze was invented about 1890 by the Seto potter Ryosai I, who worked in Tokyo from about 1875 to 1900. They are often embellished with glazed plaques with hand written signatures or general good luck symbols. A great number of the pieces are probably the work of a single family - Inoue Ryosai I (1828-), Inoue Ryosai II (born c. 1860), and Inuoue Ryosai III (1888-1971) who moved the manufacturing site to Yokohama in 1924. After the move to Yokohama more colors e.g. orange were added to the wares. The later pieces also have an unglazed background.

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