Here is a fine example of a scholarly pursuit of finding the accoutrement for the use of calligraphy. A Japanese bronze tsuteke water dropper, in the form of an old sage or “Sennin” riding on the back of a turtle with its flowing hair-like tails. The turtle is lifting its head so that the angle would allow to pour water from its mouth. The hole is located on the back top of the turtle’s shell, allowing for water to flow in. The general use is to submerge the water dropper in a bowl until the air bubbles escape out of the sculpture. When it has stopped, the water dropper is filled. The figure shows traces of gilt gold on a richly patinated bronze through use.
Edo period (1603-1868)
Dimensions: 4″ x 2 1/2″ x 3 1/4″ H