This kettle pot from Ryubundo has plum blossom and orchid on two sides, with gold inlaid to outline these patterns. The orchid has flowy leaves extended into the space surrounding it, vivid and charming. On the other side, the plum blossom is elegant, with curvy and bold outlines. The contrast between softness, elegance and rough texture brings a hint of unpeace and a wabi-sabi feeling to the entire work.
From the very early of its history, dating back to the early 18th century, the metalwork studio “Ryubundo” 龍文堂 always represents the highest standard of tetsubin (Japanese iron kettle) making. From the founder of the studio, Shiho Ryubun (1735-1798), every successive director of the studio ryubundo were talented not only in metalworking, but also in painting, calligraphy, and poetry. Therefore, the aristocratic, literatic taste are the main features of ryubundo tetsubin. From the middle of Edo Period (1603-1868) when tea culture were popular everywhere in Japan, the development of ryubundo reached a boom, and this boom continued to the latter Meiji Period (1868~1912), and the studio was mentioned in the ironic novel by the famous Japanese writer Natsume Soseki, I Am a Cat. The sentence writes “those people living a luxurious life would lose their sleep if they could not hear the sound made by the lid of ryubundo iron kettles when water is boiling”