Japanese Bronze Melon Water Dropper
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