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Recent Acquisitions; January 19, 2022.
Kakiemon / Kakiemon-style wares - Kakiemon-style wares
Objects 2011529 & 2011530
A pair of bowls
2011529 Height 43 mm (1.69 inch), diameter of rim 135 mm (5.31 inch), diameter of footring 69 mm (2.72 inch), weight 180 grams (6.35 ounce (oz.))
2011529 Height 45 mm (1.77 inch), diameter of rim 135 mm (5.31 inch), diameter of footring 62 mm (2.44 inch), weight 165 grams (5.82 ounce (oz.))
A pair of octagonal bowls on footrings, spreading rims with upturned underglaze brown-edges (2012530 with a single spur-mark on the base). Kakiemon-style, decorated in enamels and underglaze blue. On the inside with a central flower spay, on the sides bamboo growing near rocks and two prunus trees with wide-spreading flowering branches. The rim with a foliate border with flower heads . On the outside two wide spread flowering trees with a bird perched on a branch. Near the footring and on the base a single concentric band, on the outer footring a double concentric band.
The Kakiemon kiln had a preference for hexagonal and octagonal shapes. The brown edge is characteristic and does not appear on early enamelled pieces. However, it is not always clear if the iron oxide was applied on the glaze, or if the rim was unglazed or wiped clean first. Whether this had a function (some say it was added to prevent chipping), or was only decorative is unknown. (Jörg 2003/1, p.77)
Three identically, shaped, sized and Kakiemon decorated bowls are in an English private collection and two are in the National Museum of Scotland.
2010529: A firing flaw and a fleabite to the rim
2010530: Two restored spots on the rim.
Price: € 499 - $ 566 - £ 415
(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)
Japanese Blue and White wares 17th Century
Small size double-gourd bottle
Height 113 mm (4.45 inch), diameter 68 mm (2.68 inch), diameter of mouthrim 25 mm (0.98 inch), diameter of footring 35 mm (1.38 inch), weight 131 grams (4.62 ounce (oz.))
Small size double-gourd bottle with flaring neck on footring. Decorated in underglaze blue. On the lower bulb flowering and fruiting peaches with insects in flight enclosed by a single and a double line. On the upper bulb, flower sprays alternating with insects in flight enclosed by a double an a single line. Around the neck a border of descending pointing lotus leaves.
Double-gourd bottles of this small size are relatively uncommon, and the shape usually bears a later version of the Transitional style decoration. (Impey 2002, p.46, cat.16)
For similarly shaped small size double-gourd bottles, please see:
- Japanese Export Porcelain. Catalogue of the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, (O. Impey, Hotei Publishing, Amsterdam, 2002), p.46, cat. 16.
- Porzellan aus China und Japan. Die Porzellangalerie der Landgrafen von Hessen-Kassel, (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Kassel, Berlin 1990), pp.458-460, cat. 232.
- The Shibata Collection Part II, (The Kyushu Ceramic Museum, Kyushu, 1991), p.131, cat. 332.
- Complete Catalogue of the Shibata Collection, (The Kyushu Ceramic Museum, Kyushu 2003), p.181, cat. 1390.
- Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Blue and White wares 17th century - Other wares - Page 1 - Object 2010937.
Condition: Perfect with fine crazing to the glaze on the base and round the foot. Three firing flaws to the footring caused by the firing process.
Japanese Other wares
Early 19th century
Provenance: Mrs E. Walter, United Kingdom.
Height 83 mm (3.27 inch), diameter of rim 152 mm (5.98 inch), diameter of cupholderring 37 mm (1.46 inch), diameter of foot 60 mm (2.36 inch), weight 495 grams (17.46 ounce (oz.))
Exhibited: The Lost Century, Japanese Arita Porcelain 1720 - 1820 in Britain. Exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, January 20 to April 5 1998, and at the National Museums of Scotland, Chambers St. Edinburgh, April 23 to July 1998.
Cupstand on high stem. Decorated in underglaze blue. The petals with a reversed decoration of a curved camellia stamen ring a raised ring in the middle intended for a cup (now missing) with a wide footring to be placed outside the ring. Round the foot of the stem a waves pattern border. On the base a red rectangular paper label that reads: "THE LOST CENTURY" Exhibition - 1998 Cambridge & Edinburgh Loan Number:" and the hand written number : '121' in black ink.
There are examples in the Shibata collection resembling this piece. No cups are known. This piece may have been copied from the Korean, or nearer home, Hirado - or the fashion may have been taken in a general way from Hirado. This dark blue contrasty style with typical drawing style, is an example of one of the early 19th century derivatives of the Dark Blue Ground series. Formerly in the collection of Mrs E. Walter. (Finch 1998, p.23, cat. 237)
For similarly shaped cupstands, please see:
It has long seemed likely that when we discuss Japanese export porcelain of the seventeenth century we actually mean porcelain of the period from the 1650's to the 1730''s or 1740's; when we discuss porcelain of the eighteenth century we mean 1720-30 to about 1820 and when we discuss the nineteenth century we can mean 1780 or so to well into this century.
Leaving aside the latter as to contentious, let us consider the two " centuries". On the whole, the "seventeenth century" is clear enough, beginning with the start of export trade and lasting until the high quality market was destroyed by competition from Jingdezhen (and possibly Meissen and Chantilly).This clear enough in economic terms; comparison of prices of the same shapes and sizes of Japanese and Chinese wares sold by the East India Company's auctions in London in the early years of the eighteenth century demonstrate that the Japanese wares were about four times that expensive as the Chinese.
The greater expense of Japanese porcelain had not mattered when it was novel - it was high fashion and worth paying for. Chinese Imari may, as I have suggested, killed that. This is not clear as it might seem, for the major production of the output of most of those European factories that imitated oriental wates, even in the 1740's, was of the imitation of Kakiemon style porcelain.
All the same, the market clearly changed in the third of fourth decade of the eighteenth century and not in Japan's favour.
So what was made in the "eighteenth century", the ''lost century'' (1720-1820) of the title of this exhibition? Circumspice. The exhibition shows and extraordinary range of porcelains that have hitherto tented to be dismissed as ''late'', ''por quality'', ''imitations (of what?)'' without careful consideration.
Nor, from a European perspective, do we know how or when these porcelains arrived in Europe. One variety is claimed only to be found in England; if this is so then how did these pieces get here? Who shipped them from Japan? It seems unlikely that the Chinese continued to purchase Japanese porcelain for sale to European East India Companies other than the Dutch, after about 1720 or so; the production of Jingdezhen, let alone that of the Southern provinces, was so much greater than that of Arita and prices were correspondingly lower. Officially the Dutch shipped no porcelain to Europe between 1757 and 1795; trade must have been the allowed private trade by servants of the Company, or illicit.
FOREWORD by Dr. Oliver Impey, Senior Assistant Keeper of the Department of Eastern Art at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford in the cataogue; The Lost Century, Japanese Arita Porcelain 1720 - 1820 in Britain: Selective Catalogue, (I. Finch, exhibition catalogue Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 1998), p.2.
On the base a red rectangular paper label that reads: "THE LOST CENTURY" Exhibition - 1998 Cambridge & Edinburgh Loan Number:" and the hand written number : '121' in black ink.
For the cupstand in the exhibition catalogue, please see:
- The Lost Century, Japanese Arita Porcelain 1720 - 1820 in Britain: Selective Catalogue, (I. Finch, exhibition catalogue Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 1998), p.23, cat. 121.
Condition: A firing flaw to the base, some glaze rough spots to the tips of some petals and a chip to the underside of one petal.
Blue and White Kangxi Period 1660-1722 & Japanese Blue and White wares 17th Century
Objects 2012441 & 2012442
China / Japan
1690-1700 / c.1700
Object 2012441 (China): Height 42 mm (1.65 inch), diameter of rim 318 mm (12.52 inch), diameter of footring 175 mm (6.89 inch), weight 1,019 grams (35.94 ounce (oz.))
Object 2012442 (Japan): Height 50 mm (1.97 inch), diameter of rim 345 mm (13.58 inch), diameter of footring 195 mm (7.68 inch), weight 1,505 grams (53.09 ounce (oz.))
Dishes on footrings, spreading flat rims. On the base of the Japanese dish five spur-marks. Both dishes decorated in underglaze blue with a garden scene landscape with blossoming cherry trees, two roses on a small mound in the foreground. In the centre a pot with a peony. On the right a woman with a fan, another woman carrying a tray. On the left a woman with a flower spray and a servant kneeling in front of a stove. The rims with two groups of three female musicians and two pairs of women. In between the groups roses alternating with peonies. The reverses with three rose sprays. On the bases a six-character Chenghua mark in a double circle.
In his Fine & Curious, Jörg compares two identically decorated dishes. He states that the Japanese example was clearly copied from the Chinese Kangxi dish, but it is noteworthy that it is better painted with more attention to detail (compare the flowers) than its Chinese counterpart. (Jörg 2003/1, p.138)
For an identically decorated Japanese dish, please see:
- Fine & Curious, Japanese export porcelain in Dutch Collections, (C.J.A. Jörg, Hotei Publishing, Amsterdam, 2003), p.138, cat. 151.
For an identically decorated Chinese dish, please see:
- Fine & Curious, Japanese export porcelain in Dutch Collections, (C.J.A. Jörg, Hotei Publishing, Amsterdam, 2003), p.138, cat. 151b.
2012441 (Chinese dish): A chip, a hairline and various glaze rough spots al to the rim.
2012442 (Japanese dish): A chip to the rim.
Prices: Both sold.
Chinese Imari 1700-1800
Height 35 mm (1.38 inch), diameter of rim 217 mm (8.54 inch), diameter of footring 135 mm (5.31 inch), weight 384 grams (13.54 ounce (oz.))
Dish on footring, straight underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with a two peony sprays one with pomegranate the other with finger-lemon fruit also called 'Buddha's-hand citron' (Citrus medica). On the rim four reserves filled with florets between scrolls on a iron-red ground with flower heads and leafy scrolls in reverse decoration. The reverse is undecorated.
Fingered citron or Buddha's hand (Citrus medica) (images courtesy of S. Fan)
Condition: A firing flaw to the footring and a flebiate to the rim.
Price: € 99 - $ 111 - £ 84
(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)
Chinese Imari 1700-1800
A double gourd miniature "doll's house" vase
Height 70 mm (2.76 inch), diameter of mouthrim 7 mm (0.28 inch), diameter of footring 15 mm (0.59 inch), weight 38 grams (1.34 ounce (oz.))
Small double-gourd miniature "doll's house" vase, on a flat unglazed base. The rim in underglaze brown (jia mangkou). Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with flowering Aster and grasses alternating with an insect in flight. Round the neck two single branches.
At the beginning of the 18th century, there was a fashion among wealthy Dutch ladies to have models made on the scale of a house, the so called "doll's houses". The rooms of these doll's houses were furnished with miniature pieces of porcelain, furniture, paintings, upholstery and all other sorts of objects that would have belonged to the interior of a wealthy home. These doll's houses were very costly and certainly not meant for children to play with but were proudly displayed for friends and visitors and regarded as extremely luxurious items - counterparts of the cabinets of curiosities that were a fashionable hobby of rich men. Only a few of these doll's houses have been preserved. One example can be found in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague showing an 18th century room with porcelain miniatures in cupboards and on brackets along the wall. In reality the majority of these "miniature doll's house vases" would have been part of the interior. A good example of an authentic porcelain room is the famous cabinet in Pommersfelden Castle, Germany, where groups of pieces on brackets are surrounded by these miniature vases lining the borders of the consoles. (Jörg & Flecker 2001, pp.50-51)
Among the ceramic cargo of the Ca Mau shipwreck (1725) identical shaped miniature doll's house vases decorated with stylised flowers and foliage within fine borders were found. (Amsterdam 2007, p.186)
Condition: Firing flaws to the body and foot.
Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Flowers, Animals and Long Elizas
Height 35 mm (1.38 inch), diameter of rim 360 mm (14.17 inch), diameter of footring 186 mm (7.32 inch), weight 1.578 grams (55.66 ounce (oz.))
Large dish on footring, flat rim. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with a jardinière filled with a flowering tree on a fenced terrace with a taihu (garden) rock. On the sides a continuous scroll with flower heads and leafy stems. On the rim onion shaped panels filled with a river scene alternating with a roundel filled with flower heads. The panels and roundels are flanked by flower heads and leafy stems who are connected to the floral scroll on the sides. The reverse is undecorated. On the base the symbol mark, Artemisia leaf, in a double circle, underglaze blue.
In his Chinese Export Porcelain, Chine de Commande (1974), Lunsingh Scheurleer states: A plate, once in the Dresden collection of August the Strong (Plate 316) (4), has a more Chinese style of decoration. The central part is decorated with a flower-vase behind a fence, and the rim with alternating round and ju-i panels with flowers. In note (4) he writes: This plate was bought in June 1723, and is mentioned as Japanese in the catalogue; the inventory number, a cross and 'NZAIO' point in the same direction. I have to thank Dr. F. Reichel, director of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen at Dresden, who gave me this information. The thin white body and the design prove its Chinese origin. In the Franeker museum there are two similar plates. This may indicate that the Dutch East India Company at one time bought a lot of these plates at Canton and sold one or more to Augustus. (Lunsingh Scheurleer 1974, pp.165-166)
Reproduced from: Chinese export porcelain. Chine de Commande, (D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, London 1974), cat. 316. This dish is not included in this sale/offer. (copyright in bibliographic data and images is held by the publisher or by their respective licensors: all rights reserved)
For an identically shaped, sized and decorated dish, please see;
- Chine de Commande, (D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Hilversum, 1966), cat. 307.
- Chinese export porcelain. Chine de Commande, (D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, London 1974), cat. 316.
Condition: Overall fine crazing to the glaze. A firing flaw to the inner footring and a filled chip to the reverse rim.