One of Ryubundo’s most exquisite pieces, this kettle pot is an amalgamation of the most intricate sculpture, painting, calligraphy, and engraving craftsmanship. With bronze as its skin, silver as its insides, gold, bronze and tin as ornamentation, this kettle is engraved on the inside with patterns of evergreen pine and paper scrolls. The rare combination of this kettle pot’s use of five elements and its sophisticated craftsmanship makes it a cultured vessel for embodying over one hundred years of rich history. It is undoubtedly the finest of pots.
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 was 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”