We had admired this stone for quite a while it being on Matsuura Arishige’s personal website; he was the past chairman of the Nippon Suiseki Association. An opportunity arose last December and we elected to add it to our collection of small stones.
The box was inscribed by Tanimoto Hyakusui a Furuya specialist from Wakayama. The stone has a deep patina giving it that feeling of a very, very old stone. It is strikingly nice being only 9cm in length. The daiza is unsigned therefore the maker is unknown.
On the right side of its box it reads “Kamuikotan ishi”, and the name is “Shoshuhei”, the three characters of which literally mean, “Small superlative flat”. “Shuhei” is a name that has been given to other danseki, and even doha, and if you put it into more natural English it would be something like “Great Plane” or “Outstanding Plane”. The prefix “sho”, meaning small, has been added here, because the stone is small!
The box is then signed on the left side, “Sekiyusai”, which was one of Tanimoto’s artistic names later in his career, and the seal reads “Hyakusui”, which was his given name.
The provenance is well documented as the stone was from Tanimoto and was sold to Sugii Chugi a prolific collector from Kyoto, and then passed on to Matsuura, who signed the inside of the box lid to document his ownership and then the stone was passed on to us. We are grateful and privileged to have ownership of this stone for a while. The last two stones we have posted we hope to bequeath to a museum, or give them to a collection in the future that can be seen by others. Stones of this quality should be seen and enjoyed by many.
We hope it is cooler where you are as it is 95F or 35C here today!