Antique Japanese Blue and White Porcelain Sake Cask / Taru Porcelain Barrel Dispenser

Sale price$335.00

Dimensions: 10-1/2”h (Add 2" with Handle Up) x 8-1/2” dia.

Offered is this wonderful small porcelain Sake cask with porcelain barrel (daru) ears used to hold the original bamboo woven handle and original porcelain knot motif lid to accommodate refilling. This particular type and size is also known as Maru or Komodaru, and designed using cedar or straw matted cores, paper, and wrapped cord and used in the Edo period to transport Sake on horseback and on special ships moving around the island called taru kaisen. Sake has been ingrained in Japanese life and culture since rice made its way to the country. 

It is an integral part of local cultures and traditions featuring in celebrations, festivals, and religious practices. Large jugs are the most common, but some smaller ones such as the one offered are rare and mostly used at private celebrations such as weddings and business festivities, and used to dispense the host's favorite brand. This particular container has a molded shape in porcelain designed to resemble traditional wooden kegs, with hand-painted symbols such as the pine tree which is iconic for Japanese New Year festivities and represents longevity, good fortune, and rebirth. Additional graphics represent the Sake suppliers logo executed in blue calligraphy/kanji on white ground. The keg is coated with a creamy white glaze, contrasted by deep cobalt blue calligraphy, with the sides, top, and lid surfaces having molded double rope-like decorations accented in gold. The back side is the family name executed in blue kanji with a family crest that represents a stylized version of the Asanoha Star symbolizing growth, strength, beauty, and by extension, it augurs prosperity

The piece has its original porcelain and cork-inspired top aesthetic as well as a serving spigot to the front with the original elongated wood-fashioned stopper (these were used before the cork was in fashion) set into a raised lip that holds the stopper in place. Finally, the bamboo-wrapped handle over heavy wire supports the carrying in the cask.

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Condition: Excellent meaning the piece is perfect, totally original, and complete and functions as intended and no cracks, no breaks, no missing pieces, and retains its wonderful presence. There is a degree of light fading to the red calligraphy symbols which corresponds to its vintage. All other graphic symbols are very distinct with the original blue remaining crisp. The artifact meets all the standards of the collectible Vintage Sake Vessels.