At first Suiteki were simply jars or bowls used for holding water, but as interest in the accoutrements of calligraphy grew, water-droppers became more specialized. Suiteki are used by brush calligraphers to hold and dispense exact amounts of water onto an ink stone for the purpose of mixing and diluting ink pigment. Due to the limited space inside, water droppers in writing boxes (suzuribako) were low in height and were uniform in shape – round, oval, or square with line-engravings or low relief designs. The Edo period, however, saw the emergence of Suiteki in larger 3-dimensional other shapes including animals, plants, and popular deities that could also serve as desk and shelf ornaments. Water-droppers varied greatly in material, shape and design and typically, are made of ceramic, semi-precious materials, copper, bronze and other metal alloys.
This heavy bronze Suiteki is in the shape of a melon in which natural vines complement the overall design. Typically found is the opening to fill the dropper and a spout for allowing only the exact quantity of water to escape. It is in perfect condition. No signatures or stamps. Dates from the 1930-1940s.Dimensions: 2-1/2”w x 2-3/4”d x 1-3/4”h
Excellent Condition- In unused, or like-unused condition. No visual or structural or surface wear or damage shown. Pristine. As good as the day it was made.
Great Condition- Appears in slightly used condition but looks "Like New". Some minor wear, but retains the original craft/workmanship. May show minor wear, that does not affect the main design, or associated motif. No cracks, dents, chips or missing elements.
Good Condition- Minor wear which can be restored or repaired; may have surface flaws, like staining or soiling, confined to a small area. The flaw(s) are counterbalanced by another feature, like brilliant color or innovative design. Some fading or the piece may have been altered in some fashion.
Fair Condition- Main aesthetic/design showing damage. Excessive noticeable wear or damage. Worth buying if can be restored/repaired because of its aesthetic or design appeal or rarity. Note: wear/damage consistent with age/use can often enhance the 'Antique' qualities of a piece, giving it a desirable second chance in one's collection