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Kanchiku Flower Basket by Wada Waichisai I


Wada Waichisai I


Flower Basket made of Kanchiku, Spotted Bamboo

43x 23 x 23 cm
17 x 9 x 9 in
Original box signed and sealed by Waichisai II

This basket has a classic flower basket form, with lovely texture and pattern and a natural complexity that is very easy on the eye. Body, rim and handle seem to extend from each other inevitably. The basket is particularly distinguished by the use of thin, deeply colored "black" hanchiku, a material whose earthy spalted (or spotted) surface was prized by the Chinese literati whose 16th and 17th century aesthetic sensibility so influenced the steeped tea (sencha) world of late 19th + early 20th century Japan.

The layered spotting -reminiscent of the different layers of black in Chinese ink painting- is caused by a fungus growing on the live plant, and is especially prominent on the lovely unspilt lengths that form the handle. Hanchiku is a thin-stalked variety of bamboo that is said not to grow in Japan, and was imported by sencha tea aficionados. When found in basketry this prize material appears most frequently as an accent, almost never as the principal material. In this case, the rich, spotted coloration and narrow, rounded lengths of bamboo bring a unique feel to this rare basket.

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