This boat-shaped stone, or Funagata-ishi, is a very small stone at nearly 10 cm in width, but it is highly expressive. The stone is a tad darker than shown in the photograph as we wanted you to see the daiza, unique as it is.
Boat-shaped stones are often difficult to come by and one that has not been worked is truly delightful. This is an older suiseki as its patina is just really lovely. We have examined the stone very closely and can find no tool marks of any kind.
The daiza maker was very artful in presenting the stone. It has been carved to make it appear that water is rippling just underneath the boat thereby giving it a feeling of movement and three dimensionality. The treatment at the rear of the stone is nicely done as it allows the stone to hang over the daiza. It would have been easy to have made the daiza fully extend to the right, but by reducing it the appearance is greatly improved.
This stone may also be shown in a suiban or doban. An alternate expression of display would be a thin slice of highly polished wood to provide a reflection of the stone as if it is gliding through the water or a nice highly polished lacquerware stand.
Though this particular stone is without a box, or provenance, it was acquired from Matsurra Arishige’s personal collection of suiseki in 2017.