Is it Worth It?

Bonsai Nut

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Personally, I think that is a lot of money for a very small pot. However I like the craftsmanship, design, and strength. So to me it is a good quality new pot at about twice what I would normally place as the ceiling for this size of pot. But that's just me and I have a lot of trees - I could never afford $150 for all my trees.
 

capnk

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Ryan,
We sometimes trade in "vintage" shohin pots, and it's not unusual for them to sell over $100. However, there is nothing in this eBay add that allows you to value the pot. We typically get information on the kiln the pot came from, perhaps even the potter. As presented, this is an unknown, in my opinion.
 

rockm

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That's not all that expensive for a handmade pot with such design. It doesn't appear to be a molded pot, but hand-cut and designed piece. It's small, but for the workmanship, $150 is not unreasonable. Small handmade pots with specific designs (like dragons) are often the trademark of skilled potters. Smaller intricate pots like are not generally considered "useable" for bonsai purposes. They're more artwork.

the potter--"bigei" is listed as a Tokoname potter of some skill:
http://bonsai.ocnk.net/product-list/21
http://www.tokoname.or.jp/bonsai/bigei.htm

One of the quickest ways to see if someone's trying to rip you off on Ebay is to look at the other items hte seller has up. This seller looks to have some pretty good pots on his sales list....
 

irene_b

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To me the price is way to high....
 

JasonG

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Vintage shohin pots from Japan can sell for far more than $150....if this is indeed a handmade pot from Japan and (Most importantly) you like it and want to start a collection of pots then yes I would buy it. I know a few people who spend waaay more than that on shohin pots of high quality.

Happy bidding!

Jason
 

Smoke

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Vintage shohin pots from Japan can sell for far more than $150....if this is indeed a handmade pot from Japan and (Most importantly) you like it and want to start a collection of pots then yes I would buy it. I know a few people who spend waaay more than that on shohin pots of high quality.

Happy bidding!

Jason

Me too;);););)
 

Smoke

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That's not all that expensive for a handmade pot with such design. It doesn't appear to be a molded pot, but hand-cut and designed piece. It's small, but for the workmanship, $150 is not unreasonable. Small handmade pots with specific designs (like dragons) are often the trademark of skilled potters. Smaller intricate pots like are not generally considered "useable" for bonsai purposes. They're more artwork.

the potter--"bigei" is listed as a Tokoname potter of some skill:
http://bonsai.ocnk.net/product-list/21
http://www.tokoname.or.jp/bonsai/bigei.htm

One of the quickest ways to see if someone's trying to rip you off on Ebay is to look at the other items hte seller has up. This seller looks to have some pretty good pots on his sales list....


Begei is a trade name used for one potter in Japan. Other trade names well known are Yamaaki, Shigaraki, Kouzan, Youzan, Yoshimura and a pottery known all over the world Sakura. All these names are trade names either for a group of potters or for a specific kiln in the region of Japan known as Tokoname. Tokoname was not known for producing good bonsai pots but for making the countries pottery utility ware. Things like toilets and roof tiles. Bonsai pots were made there as a side commodity. That commodity has grown and is quite prevelent there while still making plenty of toilets and water basins and flower pots and roof tiles.

The master potter of Begei is Atsumi Hirata. He has more than "some skill" and is quite well known as one of the best potters of bonsai ware in Japan. His burnished pots are unlike any from the region. He specializes in small pots and will someday be replaced by some young potter of a different name still working for Begei. Think of the word Begei as like Chevrolet. We know the trade name yet your Chevrolet was designed by someone who's name you have never heard of.

I own several of his pots and many are signature pots while some just have a hanko. His pots are also very distinguishable as having a combed interior to keep the roots from racing around the pot as it grows. It does not work too well but is a trademark.

I do have a glazed Begei and these are very rare as he does not glaze many pots. He sticks with unglazed burnished pots which have a luster like glaze anyway.

Edit: all Begei pots are hand made, but are pounded into a mold. They are not slab rolled pots. While they may go for 125.00 a copy, totally handmade pots would sell for hundreds more.
 

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Smoke

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This pot, a Yoshimura is a hand made pot. Two potters work for this trade pottery studio.

The Kataoka name is pretty prevelent in pottery there. Sasumu and Hidemi Kataoka work there at Yoshimura, Toshio and Sadamitsu Kataoka work at Yamaaki while Makoto and Katsushi Kataoka work at Seizan.

I wonder if they are all brothers?

This Yoshimura is made from one piece of clay. The pot is carved from the lump of clay.

Cheers, Al
 

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Smoke

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I used a magnifying glass to see the signature chop on this pot listed. All my Begei's have the same signature. My oldest one is 9 years old as when I purchased it.

In looking at this signature at ebay the first two kanji are the same as mine but the third charecter is different.

About half of my signature pots were bought here in the USA while the other half have been purchased for me in Japan and brought back so I can assume they are all Begei, at least with all the same signatures. It would be nice to see a better picture of the hanko and signature.
 

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Klytus

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I had trouble focusing on the raised image as it looked like an imagined ultrasound Tapeworm.

Probably not what you wanted to read but that was my initial impression.
 

Smoke

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Tapeworm...hmmm...thats what I thought too...
 

RyanFrye

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Thanks to everyone for their replies. I've lately become interested in collecting pots for the sheer artistic aspect and not necessarily how they would fit with my trees. This thread has really helped me :D Thanks again.
 

Klytus

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I would also guess that a price of £120 without shipment would be asked by an e-bay.co.uk buy it now vendor,seems like a bargain if you look at it that way.
 

RyanFrye

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I would also guess that a price of £120 without shipment would be asked by an e-bay.co.uk buy it now vendor,seems like a bargain if you look at it that way.

This is true.
 

cquinn

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Alright. You've convinced me. I'm buying it. Thanks for the link.
 

cquinn

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LOL Go for it. I wish I had the money right now to get it:(

I was just kidding........Merry Christmas! I do think that the pot is worth it though. It would look great with a $1,200 twisted semi-cascade Shimpaku in it. The price of the type of tree that would suit it best sort of puts the price of the pot into perspective doesn't it.
 

Dav4

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I own maybe 10 or more pots made by Bigei, some shohin sized and some larger. I agree with everything that Al said concerning this artist and the pots themselves. I actually don't have any trees planted in these pots right now (that will hopefully change in the next few years), but have the pots displayed here and there throughout my house. They are almost all works of art by themselves.

Dave
 

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