Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Japanese Porcelain

 

Japanese Imari 1690-1800

 

Page 1

When internal wars began to impede the production of, and consequently the trade in, Chinese porcelain toward the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), several Dutch Merchants began to buy porcelain in Japan. At the same time, the production of faience pottery in Delft was stimulated, in order to compensate the shortage of Chinese porcelain. From 1658 onward, the Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) also recognized these commercial opportunities and began to order greater quantities of porcelain from Japan. In addition to a very diverse assortment of blue-and-white porcelain. largely in the style of traditional Chinese export goods, the coloured Japanese porcelain formed an unexpected new article in the Netherlands. It soon became very fashionable and the Company was able to generate a great deal of profit in this field.

 

One potter who benefited greatly from the new Dutch orders was Sakaida Kakiemon, who owned a porcelain kiln near Nangawara, just outside Arita. His porcelains characterized by a lucid whit composition and texture with decorations in various tints of enamel including orange-red, grass-green and blue.

 

By the second half of the 17th century, this porcelain had already seen the rise of a serious rival, the so-called Imari porcelain, named after the port in Kyushu from which it was shipped. This Imari was cheaper, and had vibrant, full decoration in cobalt blue, orange-red and gold, occasionally with extra details in green enamel, aubergine or black. It was manufactured specifically for export and harmonized perfectly with the baroque taste of the buyers in the Netherlands. It became so popular that the Chinese also began to produce it from the 18th century onward.

2011744
2011744

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2011744

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 40 mm (1.57 inch), diameter of rim 246 mm (9.69 inch), diameter of footring 113 mm (4.45 inch), weight 530 grams (18.70 ounce (oz.)),

 

Dish on footring, flat rim with upturned edge. On the base three spur-marks in a Y-pattern. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold with a central floral spray. On the sides and rim a ground of 'crackled ice', four groups of chrysanthemums and grasses painted in red and gold over the blue ground and four reserved roundels with either a Japanese lady holding a fan or with a mother and child. On the reverse three flower sprays. Marked on the base with a square fuku (good luck) mark in running script. (Jörg 2003/1, p.112, cat. 117)

 

The 'crackled ice' ground already occurred on Chinese Transitional porcelain, but was particularly popular on Kangxi blue-and-white pieces. It was borrowed by Japanese porcelain painters in order to compete on the export market. The figures in the roundels are unusual. There is an identical bowl in the Dresden collection proving its early 18th-century date. Another is in the Hofsilber- und Tafelkammer in Vienna. (Jörg 2003/1, p.112, cat. 117)

 

The square fuku mark in running script on the base is common on blue-and-white Arita and Kakiemon ware. (Arts 1983, p.161)

 

For an identically decorated dish, bowl and cover, please see:

For an identically decorated bowl and cover, please see: 

Condition: A frit to the rim and a hairline to the centre.

 

References:

Arts 1983, p.161

Düsseldorf 2000, cat. 31

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 117

 

Price: € 699 - $ 778 - £ 631

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)

 

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2010C245
2010C245

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2010C245

 

Covered box

 

Japan                                     

 

1700-1720

  

Height with cover 110 mm (4.33 inch), height without cover 64 mm (2.51 inch), diameter 140 mm (5.51 inch), diameter of footring 66 mm (2.60 inch), weight with cover 568 grams (20.04 ounce (oz.)), weight cover 243 grams (8.57 ounce (oz.))

 

Covered box on footring. Straight sides, domed cover with strap handle. Imari, decorated with in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold. On the box flowering plants, ribbons and tassels alternating with a large shaped panel on a blue ground filled with a chrysanthemum flower head. Round the footring a narrow border with floral designs on a blue ground. On the base a single concentric band in underglaze blue. The cover is decorated en suite. The strap handle is decorated in gold. On the base a rectangular paper label that reads: 'M'.  

 

The shape, most likely, derived from an European (silver) model, it was used as a small tureen. Jörg describes a bowl with cover on three low feet with a matching saucer this may indicate that originally the covered box also might have had an matching saucer. (Jörg 2003/1, p.110, cat. 113)

 

For a similarly shaped covered box, please see;

Condition: Perfect. 

 

References:

London 1997, cat. 95

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 106 & 113

 

Price: € 899 - $ 999 - £ 812

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)

 

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2011559
2011559

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2011559

 

Bowl

 

Japan

 

1700-1730

 

Height 75 mm (2.95 inch), diameter of rim 148 mm (5.83 inch), diameter of footring 60 mm (2.36 inch), weight 305 grams (10.76 ounce (oz.)), weight 357 grams, including the silver mount (12.59 ounce (oz.))

 

Bowl on footring, spreading straight rim. Fitted with a (marked) Dutch silver mount. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold with flowering plants and a white hare running from foaming waves. Round the foot a band of floral sprays. On the bottom a single flower spray in a double concertric band. The silver marks explained: the makers mark 'B&Z3 stands for 'Burger & zonen' who were active in Haarlem from 1952-1975, the sword mark was used as the standard mark on articles too small for the full hallmarking, this is most likely the third and final version of the sword mark that was used after 1953. 

 

Apparently, the motif of the running hare was popular on Japanese porcelain. It is generally depicted combined with waves or the moon in some form or amidst waving pampas grass.

 

This particular hare pattern is known on bowls, teacups and saucers and a rare milk jug, indicating that tea sets with matching parts were made for export.

 

The hare (usagi) is associated with the moon and old age. Legends says that the female conceives by running on the waves –  represented by the curved underglaze blue lines -  on the 18th day of the 8th month when the sky is clear, and the moon is reflected in the water. The female can also conceive by licking the fur of the male during the same period or simply by gazing at the moon. 

 

Another version of the legend tells of a white hare on the island of Oki who wanted to go to the mainland. As he could not swim, he cunningly asked a number of crocodiles to line up in the water, under the pretence of counting them, to see if there were more crocodiles in the sea than hares on Oki. He had almost reached the shore by jumping across their backs, when the last crocodile saw through his deception and snapped off all his fur before the hare leapt ashore. (Arts 1983, pp.113-114, p.143, plate 89), (Piggott 1997, pp.109-110), (Fitski 2002, p.6), (Jörg 2003/1, pp.117-118), (Fitski 2011, p158

 

Yet another account says that the crocodiles ran after him and snapped his white fur to take revenge because he had laughed at them for their stupidity. After the hare repented and promised never to use deceit again, the fairy Okuni-nushi-no-Mikoto helped him regrow his fur.

 

For an identically shaped and decorated bowl, please see:

For other identically decorated objects, please see:

Condition: A firing flaw and a chip to the rim, two pierced holes in the wall to affix the mount.

 

References:

Arts 1983, pp.113-114 & p.143, plate 89

Piggott 1997, pp.109-110

Fitski 2002, p 6

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 126, 247 & 247a

Fitski 2011, p.158

 

Price: € 399 - $ 444 - £ 360

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)

 

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2011363
2011363

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2011363

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1710-1730

 

Height 30 mm (1.65 inch), diameter of rim 255 mm (10.98 inch), diameter of footring 141 mm (6.02 inch), weight 555 grams (19.58 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, flat rim. On the base four spur-marks in a Y-pattern. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold with flowering Fringed pink (nadeshiko) plants in a central roundel, surrounded by three flowering camellia (tsubaki) plants and serrated leaves in underglaze blue, gold and pink-wash. On the cavetto three underglaze blue cartouches filled with a florets between scrolls in gold alternating with iron-red and gold florets between scrolls. On the rim the following six groups of flowering plants; 

  • Fringed pink (nadeshiko), the Fringed pink (or large pink nadeshiko) blooms towards the end of summer, and as an early harbinger of the season is one of the Seven Flowers of Autumn. This flower is used in Japanese poetry as a poetic appellation for a woman.
  • Lotus (hasu), the close connection of the lotus with Buddhism has led to its being associated with death in the minds of the Japanese and it is not very often used as a decorative motif on Japanese porcelain. 
  • Peony (botan), the peony plant was probably introduced into Japan in the 8th century from China and has appeared as a motif on Japanese decorative arts ever since. As in China, in Japan, it is a symbol of high position and wealth.
  • Prunus mume (ume), in Japan the blossoms of the prunus mume primarily heralds the coming of spring, and is also used in art and literature to evoke the feel of the cold of winter loosening its grip.
  • Chrysanthemum (kiku), in Japanese culture, like many autumn motifs, the chrysanthemum evokes feelings of melancholy.
  • Cherry (sakura), in Japan the cherry blossom, along with the chrysanthemum, are regarded as the most important flowers. It is because of its immaculate, pure white blossom that the cherry is esteemed so much in Japan. The cherry blossom is emblematic of purity of life and of the samurai spirit. This is derived from the fact that the petals of the  cherry blossom leave their calix when still fresh, and twirling in the air, as if dancing and unmindful of their approaching end, show gaity and merriment before touching the ground, that will be their grave. Thus unlike all other flowers, whose petals cling to their calix until they shrivel and rot, as if its afraid to die, the cherry shows beauty to people. Similarly it may be said of the samurai, who when still in full vigour, was always ready to give his life for a good cause.  

(Arts 1983, pp.136-153), (Fitski 2001, pp.148-154)

 

Between all flowers dense leafy scrolls in gold. On the reverse three sprays flowering prunus. Round the footring three concentric bands. On the base a single concentric band.  

  

The abundance of different types of flowers on this one dish is very striking and rarely seen.

 

Condition: Perfect, wear to the iron-red and golden decoration. The glaze heavily crackled.

 

References:

Arts 1983, pp.136-153.

Fitski 2001, pp.148-154

 

Price: € 399 - $ 444 - £ 360

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)

 

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2010114
2010114

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2010114

 

Small bowl

 

Japan

1720-1740

 

Height 49 mm (1.93 inch), diameter of rim 82 mm (3.23 inch), diameter of footring 35 mm (1.38 inch), weight 124 grams (4.37 ounce (oz.))

 

Small bowl on footring, straight rim. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue and overglaze iron-red and gold with flowering chrysanthemum and peony plants. Round the footing a marubatsu pattern (modern Japanese for 'naughts and crosses' or 'Os and Xs'). On the bottom a single flower head.

  

Condition: Perfect.

 

Price: € 149 - $ 166 - £ 134

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)

 

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2010142
2010142

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2010142

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 45 mm (1.77 inch), diameter 275 mm (10.83 inch), diameter of footring 145 mm (5.71 inch), weight 862 grams (30.41 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, flat rim. On the base four spur-marks in a Y-pattern. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold with a vase on a veranda filled with flowering peonies. The underglaze blue rim is decorated with chrysanthemums divided by three panels decorated with a hõ-õ bird flying in between flowering plants and trees. The reverse with three wide spread prunus blossom sprays. On the base a single concentric band. Fitted in an iron frame. 

  

Condition: A strange (glazed) chip (this could very well be a firing flaw) with a firing flaw both to the rim and a firing hairline originating from a spur-mark on the base probably caused just after the firing process when removing the dish from the firing spur-mark.

 

Price: € 349 - $ 388 - £ 315

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)

 

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2010143
2010143

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2010143

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 42 mm (1.65 inch), diameter: 268 mm (10.55 inch), diameter of footring: 140 mm (5.51 inch), weight 706 grams (24.90 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, flat rim. On the base four spur-marks in a Y-pattern. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold with a vase on a veranda filled with flowering peonies. On the underglaze blue rim scrolls of leafy branches with peony flower heads and three lantern-shaped motifs filled with flower heads and three panels filled with two quails. On the reverse three wide spread prunus blossom sprays.  

 

The quail, or a pair of quails, fairly often used as a motif on fine porcelain, is a symbol of courage because of its fighting qualities. (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.213)

 

Condition: A firing flaw to the rim.

 

Reference:

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 237

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2010930
2010930

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2010930

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 32 mm (1.26 inch), diameter 220 mm (9.92 inch), diameter of footring 130 mm (5.12 inch), weight 470 grams (16.58 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, flat rim. On the base four spur-marks in a Y-pattern. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold with a central roundel filled with a vase on a veranda filled with flowering peonies and wisteria encircled by a narrow border with six reserves filles with flowerheads. On the sides and rim three panels decorated with flowering peony, chrysanthemum and pomegranates divided by chrysanthemums flower heads reserved on a underglaze blue ground with leafy scrolls in gold. On the reverse three peony sprays. To the base an old paper collectors label that reads: '6'.

 

Condition: Perfect.

 

Price: € 299 - $ 333 - £ 270

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)

 

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2010696
2010696

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2010696

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 32 mm (1.26 inch), diameter of rim 200 mm (9.65 inch), diameter of footring 118  mm (5.12 inch), weight 346 grams (12.21 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, flat rim. On the base three spur-marks in a V-pattern. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold. In the centre a chrysanthemum spray in a roundel surrounded by an underglaze blue border with blank panels filled with florets between scrolls. The sides and rim with two large panels filled with flowering peonies and two shaped panels filled with  flowering plants birds and quails. Peony flower heads are reserved on a underglaze blue ground decorated with leafy scrolls in gold.  The reverse with three wide spread prunus blossom sprays. On the base a single concentric band.

 

Condition : A firing flaw to the footring and some wear to the decoration.

 

Price: € 249 - $ 277 - £ 224

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)

 

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2010144
2010144

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2010144

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 32 mm (1.26 inch), diameter of rim 245 mm (9.65 inch), diameter of footring 130  mm (5.12 inch), weight 641 grams (22.61 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, flat rim. On the base three spur-marks in a V-pattern. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold. In the centre a chrysanthemum spray in a roundel. The sides and rim with two panels filled with  flowering plants and hõ-õ birds in flight. Peony flower heads are reserved on a underglaze blue ground decorated with leafy scrolls in gold. The reverse undecorated. Fitted in a contemporary brass frame. 

 

Condition : A firing flaw to the rim.

 

Price: € 299 - $ 333 - £ 270

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)

 

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2010596
2010596

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2010596

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 27 mm (1.06 inch), diameter of rim 218 mm (8.58 inch), diameter of footring  129 mm (5.08 inch), weight 408 grams (14.39 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, flat rim. On the base four spur-marks. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold with a central roundel filled with a figure standing on in a riverscape with houses trees and mountains surrounded by an underglaze blue border with three reserves filled with flowering scrolls. On the sides and rim three panels decorated with flowering peony, chrysanthemum and pomegranates divided by chrysanthemums flower heads reserved on a underglaze blue ground with leafy scrolls in gold. On the reverse three wide spread prunus blossom sprays.

 

Condition : Two firing flaws to the rim.

 

Price: € 249 - $ 277 - £ 224

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)

 

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2010543
2010543

Japanese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2010543

 

Large bowl

 

Japan

 

c.1800

 

Height 115 mm (4.53 inch), diameter of rim 250 mm (9.84 inch), diameter of footring 113 mm (4.45 inch), weight 1.702 grams (60.04 ounce (oz.))

  

Large bowl on footring, steep sides and straight rim. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, various overglaze enamels and gold. Near the footring a border design as copied from Chinese Transitional porcelain and on the outer footring a spiral pattern border. On the exterior wall a continuous decoration of houses with figures sitting on a terrace, riverscapes with mountains, clouds, trees, sailing boats, bridges and figures. On the rim a trellis pattern border with four cartouches filled with leaves. On the bottom a totally faded and worn off decoration of a sailing ship surrounded by a trellis pattern border with four cartouches filled with leaves. On the inner wall a decoration of houses with figures sitting on a terrace, riverscapes with mountains, clouds, trees, sailing boats, bridges and figures. Round the interior rim a trellis pattern border with four cartouches filled with leaves. On the base a single flowering spray.

  

Condition: Two restored small chips and a firing flaw to the rim.

 

Price: € 699 - $ 778 - £ 631

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)

 

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