Dragonfly-Shaped Kettle-Lifting Rings

Dragonfly-Shaped Kettle-Lifting Rings
Iron; length 6.5 cm; Edo period, 18th century; Gift of the Ii Family

This pair of kettle-lifting rings (kan) was used to move the heavy iron chagama kettles used in chanoyu. The dragonfly wings form the grip, and the elongated body the ring that hooks into a lug of the kettle. The eyes, body joints, and wings are decorated with silver inlay. The kakitsuke inscription on the storage box indicates that this pair is a copy of a work by early Edo-period metal worker Umetada Myōju, who was known for his skill at inlay. The set has been handed down as one in a style thought to reflect the taste of Sen no Rikyū.

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