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As we had to cancel our trip to Japan in February, we were disappointed because we had scheduled about a week to spend with Peter in Nagoya.  But as luck has it, Peter was scheduled to travel to the US in early March and arrived back in California this past Friday, March 10th.

Peter has made it a practice after he lands from Japan to head over to our house, of which we greatly appreciate, often being kind enough to deliver an item or two for us.  This year, the end of the Peter’s first year of apprenticeship, was no different.  He brought about 40 pots from Japan and was kind enough to lay them out in our kitchen as we helped him to price them.

Peter Tea smiling as usual.

Peter Tea smiling as usual.

As Peter is performing a Yen to dollar conversion, I decided to grab a camera and just take a few photographs.  If you are paying close attention you can see three nice pots on top of one of our dog kennel.  I think Peter agrees it was a good idea to put up 3 out of our 4 labs while the pots were everywhere.

Pots on top of the range!

Pots on top of the range!

Here you can see 9 pots laid out on the range and work surface.  Peter brought back mostly antique Chinese and Japanese pots this trip.  Wonder who is just out of camera range?

Jeff doing a bit of computations himself...

Jeff doing a bit of computations himself...

As our plans with Peter include a cigar in the greenhouse out back and then off to a steak house, Jeff decided he would join us and arrived just as we were laying out and pricing all of the pots.  I’m not sure if Jeff is checking email – or maybe running a few calculations on some of the pots that he has seen and would like to take with him.  The yellow lab is Samson.  He is two years old and about 95 pounds but one of the sweetest labs around. We weren’t concerned that he would make a mess or break a pot. Now Cody and Toby where in the kennels which was wise since they would have made a mess!

My favorite from this group is the pot in the bottom right corner of the photograph above. An antique Chinese pot that would be perfect for a shohin pine or juniper.  A very rough textured pot with an exquisite artist mark on the bottom.

So where are the rest of those pots.

Pots on the floor.

Pots on the floor.

Not the best vantage point to shoot photos but we were in a rush and time didn’t allow to setup each one for photography.  You can click the photo to see a larger photo however.  The pot priced at $1,170 is a beauty.  A very strong pot but beautifully made.

Three more...

Three more...

Three unglazed pots. The leftmost is much like a duck pot, the middle pot has a beautiful patina and the right most pot is one we almost purchased – until Peter pulled out seven very small pots for us to look at.  Hint: Six of them are now in our display case.

Antique Chinese Bonsai Pot

Antique Chinese Bonsai Pot

We really liked this pot – a lot.  At first I thought we would purchase it, but since we had already purchased six pots from him and frankly we didn’t want to be a “pig” about this so we passed giving others the opportunity to purchase them from Peter.

Peter knows we have a distinct desire to purchase small pots and fortunately for us he and Mr. Tanaka were at an auction where at the end a dealer brings out dozens of very small pots (less than 10cm) to sell.  Peter indicated this was quite rare and the dealer must have been selling a collection from someone.

So they bought a number of them and Peter brought them with him.  We were fortunate enough to purchase a pot from Cha-zan (all of these will be subjects of future posts), two made by Syou-sen the grandfather of Yamaaki, an antique Japanese pot (no maker identified), an antique Chinese pot obtained for us at an early auction last summer, and two Ichiyo pots.

As KJ and I were looking over the pots, Peter handed us a small kiri-wood box which we assumed had a pot in it.  Did it ever.

We have been searching for a Yusen Tsukinowa pot for more than five years but they always seem to allude us principally due to cost.  Peter and Mr. Tanaka saw one by the dealer selling the small pot collection and purchased it on the chance we would buy it.  The pot is exquisite and the best hand painted pot we have ever held in our hands.  We didn’t want to rush and take a photo for this post, but in the days ahead we will take good photos and post them.  It is a beautiful pot and contains a mark indicating this was one of his very best pots he produced.

If you are interested in Yusen pots then check our blog article located here.

Well it was fun obtaining some new pots for our collection, but most importantly it was great seeing Peter again.  He is learning a great deal and I’m sure he will continue to communicate that via his blog.  Peter has four more years in his apprenticeship and we are sure that he will continue to “soak” up so much more information about trees, pots, stands and the like.

We know that like us, you wish him well as well Tyler who is apprenticing with Mr. Suzuki.

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