Japanese Square Burl Hibachi

c. 1800
W: 10.75" D: 10.25" H: 10.0"
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Known as a kaku-hibachi, this container was the center of social life in a Meiji era home. Used to brew tea or heat sake, the kaku-hibachi is a portable form of the traditional hearth. Carefully crafted, the square box is topped with a copper well in which ash and coal would heat the hibachi. Made of an expressive burl wood, the kaku-hibachi is compact with inset side handles and little embellishments. The top corners of the box are trimmed with kurogaki, or black persimmon, a valued wood in Japanese carpentry. With time, oil, gas, and electrical heaters gradually replaced such hibachis for the Japanese aristocrats, with some still in use in rural households. Now, we celebrate this kaku-hibachi for its storied and lively past.

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Suzanne Lovell | Suzanne Lovell, Inc.

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