Friday, May 25, 2012


Over the years, I have collected up whatever catalogues on modern Japanese pottery, that I can find that is of interest to me. In that time, I have also developed some relationship with book dealers and collectors who from time to time send catalogues/books my way. About three weeks ago, a friend mentioned he had a group of misc. catalogues on Japanese pots and wanted to know if I wanted them, at cost, I emailed back and told him to send them.  So after about a week via media mail the catalogue arrived and I was very pleased to get them, several on potters I have nothing on and a few on potters who are among my favorites.

So here is where things get a more interesting. Yesterday while looking through the best catalogue of the lot, which I had done several times prior, the sunlight was just right to make me notice, the front picture page was actually signed by the potter. The first time I saw the signature, I assumed it was printed on the page as is somewhat common.  But in this light, I could see the variables in the strokes and the thick to thin where the pen was lifted off the page. Now I know this sounds like much ado about nothing, but the catalogue I was flipping through is on my favorite potter, Arakawa Toyozo! To me, this is what it must be for a baseball fan to have a Mickey Mantle autograph on a baseball program. The catalogue is from Showa 54, 1979 and is a wonderful cross section of the variety of works that Arakawa had made. I realize this doesn't add any value to the catalogue, but it sure makes it a bit more meaningful. Now if only I can find that signature on a wood box, with a nice little pot inside it!

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