Flower Basket with Side Handles
Iizuka Hōsai II (1872–1934)
Item number: T-4146
Era: Showa era (1926-89)
Fitted wood tomobako storage box inscribed on the outside of the lid Rikyū denrai hanaire utsushi (Copy of a flower vase handed down from Rikyū); inscribed on the side with the address Nagano-shi Agata-machi (Agata Town, Nagano City) and the name Miyamoto Misao , presum-ably a previous owner; signed inside Kanreki kinen Hōsai-ō kore o saku (Old man Hōsai made this, celebrating his 60th birthday); seal: Hōsai koji (Hōsai the Hermit)
This basket is apparently one of a group made by Iizuka Hōsai II to celebrate his kanreki (sixtieth birthday). Until then, he had put his signature on all baskets emanating from his studio, including many of those made by his brother Iizuka Rōkansai. After this milestone, however, it is said that he only added his signature to his own work. For another example of a kanreki basket by Hōsai, see Naej Collection, Baskets: Masterpieces of Japanese Bamboo Art 1850–2015, forthcoming, 2017, cat. no. 199 (pp. 446 and 520).
The Rikyū referred to in the box inscription is the great tea master Sen (no) Rikyu (1522–1591), after whom several famous baskets were named.