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History of Tetsubin

Tetsubin Gallery


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Tetsubin Gallery

An interesting and unique collection housed in the Department of Anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences is the Rietz Collection of Food Technology, which includes nearly 1400 objects. These pieces, utilized for different aspects of food processing, storage, preparation and serving, were collected from cultures all over the world by Carl Austin Rietz in the mid-20th century. A particularly interesting series within this collection are the Japanese iron water kettles called tetsubin. The tetsubin is a fairly small, teapot-shaped, cast iron water kettle, with a lid and a top over handle. What makes the tetsubin particularly intriguing is not only their charming aesthetic quality but the history of their development in Japan.

Visit our online collection database to search for food-related objects in the Rietz collection. Search on Collection: "Rietz Collection of Food Technology" and a category or object of interest.