Sake kettle (choshi)

Sake kettle (choshi)

The cast iron body of the kettle (Japanese: choshi) for rice wine (Japanese: sake) has been patinated (through a pickling process involving hot plum wine) to a dark russet shade. It is decorated in low relief with hanging pine boughs and pine needles, both suggesting New Year. The pierced attached handle has a silver inlaid design of chrysanthemum blossom and the shippo (seven lucky treasures) motif. The lid is of copper with cloisonné enamel decoration of abstract motifs: this type of cloisonné is typical of the early attempts at this technique to be found in the Nagoya area of Japan around 1850. Iron kettles of this type, with their distinctive flattened spout, were used during the cold winter months for heating sake.