Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Japanese Porcelain

 

Japanese Imari 1690-1800

 

Page 1

2012343
2012343

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2012343

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 53 mm (2.09 inch), diameter: 295 mm (11.61 inch), diameter of footring: 142 mm (5.59 inch), weight 1,033 grams (36.44 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, spreading flat rim. On the base four spur-marks in a Y-pattern. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red, green and gold. In the centre a roundel with a flower vase filled with flowering branches and four roundels filled with butterflies and bees and surrounded by a an upturned leaf shape-pattern. The sides with a ground of dense leafy scrolls in underglaze blue outlined in gold. Overlapping four large shaped panels alternating with four small shaped panels all filled with flower sprays. Groups of pomegranates alternate with groups of flowering chrysanthemum. On the reverse three wide spread chrysanthemum sprays. (Jörg 2003/1, pp.91-92)

 

The Imari style developed somewhere between 1670 and 1690, undoubtedly stimulated by the orders from the Dutch who liked the bright colours, the strong designs and the complex compositions. 'They got a of lot of decoration for their money', a collector once remarked and I think it was this, too, that appealed so much to buyers of Imari in The Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe. In fact, the Imari style conformed to the fashion for polychromy and gilt-work in Europe at the time. The 17th century was ' The Golden Age' for The Netherlands. It was a period of great economic and cultural expansion and its impact was felt well into the 18th century. The richly decorated Imari pieces fitted perfectly into the baroque interior and appealed to the taste of the rich bourgeoisie, enhancing their social status. 

 

Condition: Some wear to the decoration and some popped bubbles of glaze, caused by the firing process, to the rim.

 

Reference:

Jörg 2003/1, pp.91-92

 

Price: € 899 - $ 1,091 - £ 795

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

 

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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.

2012458
2012458

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2012458

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Provenance: Formerly part of the Dresden collection formed by Friedrich August or August the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland and inventoried between 1721 and 1735

 

Height 29 mm (1.14 inch), diameter of rim 203 mm (7.99 inch), diameter of footring 125 mm (4.92 inch), weight 425 grams (14.99 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, straight slightly everted rim. On the base four spur-marks in a Y-pattern. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold with a low jardinière on which a miniature garden with rocks, a small palm tree and a vase filled with flowering peonies and prunus. On the sides and rim flower sprays in gold on a underglaze blue ground alternating with a river scape, a flowering chrysanthemum or peony plants  The reverse with prunus, peony and chrysanthemum sprays. On the base in a single circle in underglaze blue incised with the Johanneum mark 'N:165' and signum '+'.

 

august

Prince Elector Friedrich Augustus I, later King Augustus II (1670-1733), also known as Augustus the Strong, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, (born on 12 May 1670 in Dresden - died 1 February 1733 in Warsaw) (image source: Wikipedia)  

 

Friedrich August, Frederick Augustus I of Saxony (born on 12 May 1670 in Dresden - died 1 February 1733 in Warsaw) encountered a general enthusiasm for East Asia following the fashion for all things Chinese at other European courts during his Grand Tour, a custom for European princes, to become familiar with the standards of European court life. This enthusiasm was apparently the decisive factor in awakening his passion for porcelain, a precious and exotic luxury product, which finally infected him with the 'maladie de porcelaine'. It was not Augustus who was intended to be the future ruler of Saxony, but his elder brother, Johann Georg. However, in 1694 this brother died unexpectedly and Friedrich August I became Elector of Saxony. To be a ruler of European importance Augustus desperately needed to become a king. In 1696 the Polish king had died, and, because Polish kings were elected by an assembly of the Polish aristocracy, Augustus converted to Catholicism and applied for the crown of Poland. A lot of diplomatic activities were carried out, and a lot of money was spent on Polish noble families to make them to vote in favour of the Saxon elector. Augustus succeeded in his ambition and in 1697 was crowned Augustus II in Warsaw: not King of Poland, but King in Poland - he was generally known as Augustus the Strong - this finally created the prerequisite for his desire to use porcelain as an exotic work of art of the highest order in the representation of his royal splendour and as a demonstration of his power. The large scale purchases (mostly the best and most expensive of what was on the market in Amsterdam and Leipzig) of porcelain consonant with the activities of a collector followed between 1716 and 1718. The legendary exchange of gifts between Friedrich Wilhelm I and Augustus II in which 600 Saxon soldiers were traded for 152 blue enamel pieces of Chinese porcelain from Oranienburg and Charlottenburg is also to be seen in this context. In 1717 Augustus the Strong bought the so-called Holländisches Palais in Dresden, the use of 'Dutch' in the name of this palace does not only refer to the former owner of the palace, the Dutch ambassador, but was intended to refer to the function of the palace as a porcelain palace, the Dutch being synonymous with collecting and displaying porcelain. His precious porcelain was moved to this summer palace. In 1727 Augustus the Strong, began to convert the Holländisches Palais  into a gigantic 'porcelain palace' with four wings referred to as the 'Japanisches Palais'. In it oriental porcelain, Meissen porcelain and life size sculptures in porcelain of the animals of Augustus the Strong, were displayed. Augustus the Strong's dream of a magnificent porcelain palace did not die with him. His son August III genuinely attempted to complete the building and its fittings. The demise of absolutism finally imposed considerable restrictions on the excessive entertainments and hectic building activity of the court. An obvious lack of money prevented the continuation of the furnishing of the interiors of the Japanische Palais. Thus the ambitious project of the unique dream palace of the elector-king with the largest and most important porcelain collection in Europe gradually fell into oblivion. In 1763 when August III died, the porcelain was banished to the basement and subsequently innumerable so-called doublets were sold. In 1876 the porcelain collection was given a new home in the former royal picture gallery, the Johanneum. The porcelain which was evacuated in 1942 because of the risk of bomb raids in Dresden, largely survived the Second World War undamaged, but most of it was then transported to the Soviet Union as spoils of war and only returned to Dresden in 1958. In 1962 the newly designed collection was opened in the rebuilt Zwinger Palace Museum. (Ströber 2005, pp.48-57 & Pietsch, Loesch & Ströber 2006, pp.5-10 )

 

The most ambitious project along these lines was never completed: the Japanese Palace at Dresden which Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, planned to decorate, room by room, exclusively with porcelain. Nevertheless, Augustus' great career as connoisseur and collector sums up all the contemporary European interest in the porcelain of China. Porcelain was his consuming passion, and he had the money and power to let his passion rule him. There has never, even in modern times, been a collector of Oriental wares who could vie with him. Augustus owned literally thousands of pieces. Yet in the story of porcelain Augustus has still a greater claim to fame. It was he who ordered the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger to turn his talents from a search for gold by the process of transmutation to a search for the secret of porcelain manufacture. Marvellously enough, Böttger succeeded. Thereafter Augustus could have his own porcelain- the very first hard-paste or true porcelain to be produced in the West- as well as his Chinese pieces, The factory at Meissen, near Dresden, where he established Böttger in 1710, was to prove to be the most brilliant in Europe, unequalled by the many factories that in the course of the century rose in imitation of it. (Goldsmith Phillips 1956, pp.48-50)

 

A special feature of the Dresden Porcelain Collection is comprised by the surviving  eighteenth century inventories. The first inventory from the year 1721 (Inventarium über das Palais zu Alt-Dresden), mentioned  above lists both the porcelain displayed at the Japanese Palace and the acquisitions till 1727. The porcelain was allocated to different groups, given a number and described briefly, giving measurements. The number was incised or painted on the bottom of the object. In order to distinguish the different groups a 'signum', or symbol, was added to the number. (Japanese porcelain had the signum of a cross). Besides information of the individual pieces, we find in the inventory remarks regarding circumstances of acquisitions ad losses. Only a few pieces were added after his death in 1733 and in fact it became a 'closed' collection. (Ströber 2005, pp.48-57Jörg 2011/2, p.52)

 

Prince Elector Friedrich Augustus I, later King Augustus II (1670-1733), also known as Augustus the Strong, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, shared the passion for Chinese and Japanese porcelain held by his father, Prince Elector Johann Georg IV (1669-1694). The extensive sums of money they spent on collecting this art, brought the scientist Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus (1651-1708) to refer to the Chinese as 'Saxony's porcelain bloodsuckers'. August II, King of Poland, acknowledged his addiction in a letter to Count Jacob Heinrich von Flemming (1667-1728), the king's Prime Minister and one of the most influential persons at the Dresden court, writing: 'Do you not know that it is the same with the oranges as with porcelain? Namely, that those who have one sickness or the other never believe that they have enough but always feel that they need to have more?'. (Sargent 2012, pp.120-121 & pp.186-187)

 

From the second half of the seventeenth century the most important cargoes were tea and gold, but increasingly porcelain was seen as a useful and decorative cargo for the new drink of tea tasted at its best from Chinaware, while the garnitures were particularly decorative on great fireplaces such as those at Hampton Court and Burghley and other great houses in England, while on the Continent, Augustus King of Saxony collected it for his mirrored halls and as inspiration for the porcelain factory he supported at Meissen. (Howard 1994, p.15) 

 

 2011458 11c 

The incised number identifies dishes like these as part of the collection of Friedrich August I, The Strong, Elector of Saxony later August II, King of Poland, which he amassed in Dresden. Only a few pieces were added after his death in 1733 and in fact it became a 'closed' collection. (Jörg 2011/2, p.52)

 

A special feature of the Dresden Porcelain Collection is comprised by the surviving  eighteenth century inventories. The first inventory from the year 1721 (Inventarium über das Palais zu Alt-Dresden), mentioned  above lists both the porcelain displayed at the Japanese Palace and the acquisitions till 1727. The porcelain was allocated to different groups, given a number and described briefly, giving measurements. The number was incised or painted on the bottom of the object. In order to distinguish the different groups a 'signum', or symbol, was added to the number. (Japanese porcelain had the signum of a cross). Besides information of the individual pieces, we find in the inventory remarks regarding circumstances of acquisitions ad losses. (Ströber 2005, pp.48-57)

 

Two identically shaped, sized and decorated dishes are in the collection of Augustus the Strong in Dresden and registered under the number P.O. (Porzellan Ostasien) 2960 and 2961. For these two dishes, please see;

For another Japanese Imari dishes from the collection of Augustus the Strong in Dresden, please see:

Condition: Firing flaws to the rim and reverse rim.

 

References:

Goldsmith Phillips 1956, pp.48-50

Howard 1994, p.15

Ströber 2005, pp.48-57

Pietsch, Loesch & Ströber 2006, pp.5-10

Jörg 2011/2, cat. 47

Sargent 2012, cat 34 & 86

SKD Online collection, PO. 2960

SKD Online collection, PO. 2961

 

Price: € 1.499 - $ 1,659 - £ 1,248

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

 

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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)

 

Two identically shaped, sized and decorated dishes are in the collection of Augustus the Strong in Dresden and registered under the number P.O. (Porzellan Ostasien) 5092 and 5093. For these dishes, please see;

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

SKD Online collection, PO. 5092

SKD Online collection, PO. 5093 

 

Price: € 399 - $ 447 - £ 341

(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 bowl

 

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 bowl 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 bowl, 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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2012334
2012334

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2012334

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 35 mm (1.38 inch), diameter of rim 219 mm (8.62 inch), diameter of footring 98  mm (3.86 inch), weight 641 grams (22.61 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, flat rim. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red, gold, green and black enamel. In the centre a chrysanthemum spray in a unglazed roundel filled with a continuous wave pattern. The sides and rim with two wide spread opened curtains tied with strings with tassels and flanked by a peony tree growing from behind a screen on a plank bridge (yatsuhashi).  The reverse undecorated.

 

On sold object 2011818a shaving bowl, the following was published in Fraeylema Nieuws, number 52, September 2015; 'Most shaving basins are decorated in Imari, but this example was made in one of the smaller kilns which used a different technique, in which the objects were stacked on to each other in the oven while in the middle of the shaving basin, in the glaze, a large ring was left unglazed in order to prevent that the objects would stick to each other during the firing process. That ring is sometimes quite visible, on this object it is subtly hidden in the decoration in enamel colours.'

 

Condition : Two firing flaws to the rim.

 

Price: € 299 - $ 314 - £ 251

(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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2012385
2012385

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2012385

 

Covered bowl

 

Japan

 

2nd half 18th century

 

Height including the cover 82 mm (3.23 inch), height excluding the cover 64 mm (2.60 inch), diameter of rim bowl 116 mm (4.41 inch), diameter of footring bowl 46 mm (1.65 inch), diameter of ring knob cover 37 mm (1.34 inch), diameter of rim cover 105 mm (4.09 inch), weight bowl 184 grams (4.82 ounce (oz.)), weight cover 84 grams (2.79 ounce (oz.)). 

 

Bowl on footring, narrow spreading rim, domed cover with ring knob. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red, green and black enamel and gold with groups of flowering bamboo, pine and prunus. Near the footring a pointed lotus leaves pattern border. Inside the bowl and cover flowering bamboo plants and a blossoming prunus spray, round the rims zig zag lines pattern borders. On the outside of the cover flowering bamboo, pine and prunus plants and round the outside of the ring knob a lotus leaves pattern border. Marked on the base of the bowl and in the centre of the covers ring knob with a fuku ['luck'] mark within a double-lined square in seal script.

 

The lavish decoration on the inside of the cover is unusual and rarely found on Japanese export porcelain. The decorative pattern of the, rather coarse, blossoming prunus branches is characteristic for the later second half of the 18th century.

 

Condition: A firing flaw to the outer rim of the bowl and a frit to the outer ring knob.

 

Price: € 299 - $ 361 - £ 265

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

 

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