Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Japanese Porcelain

 

Japanese wares with Western Shapes or Designs 1653-1800

 

Page 1

The knowledge and expertise required to make porcelain was already present in Japan as far back as the early 17th century. According to legend a Korean potter discovered clay suitable for making porcelain near Arita on the island of Kyushu in the south of Japan in around 1605. Porcelain made from this clay, called shoki-Imari, was intended for the foreign market and soon acquired a surprisingly characteristic Japanese style of decoration, first with a blue underglaze decoration and later in enamel colours. The experience of the manufacturers with enamel colours turned out to be of great importance later. (source: Groninger Museum, Groningen) 

 

When Japanese potters started to make porcelain. It was inspired by underglaze blue porcelain manufactured in kilns of Southern China. By the mid-17th century, Chinese porcelain went into decline due to social unrest and accompanying dynastic change. Dutch merchants, from their base on the small island of Deshima, near Nagasaki, were permitted to trade with Japan. Responding to European demand, the Dutch encouraged the fledgling Japanese porcelain industry to fill the gap left by China.

 

The porcelain the Dutch brought to Europe in the 17th century was in most cases consciously designed to cater to western tastes. To ensure that they would find a ready market, the Dutch often made wooden or earthenware models of designs and sent those to Japan to be copied. 

 

Flasks, ewers and large dishes are examples for shapes made for the Dutch. They are painted in underglaze blue or a palette of enamels dominated by red, green and blue with flowers, figures and landscapes which would not follow traditional Japanese aesthetics. Vessels with landscape designs are often inspired by 17th century Chinese Transitional style. Plates decorated with designs organized by panels imitate the successful blue-and-white Chinese Kraak ware. To make these export wares even more attractive for the Dutch clients numbers of early Japanese export wares are painted with a stylized tulip, referring to the tulipomania, the great Dutch craze of the 1630s. (source: Keramiek Museum Princessehof, Leeuwarden)

Japon de commande

 

In Japan porcelain was also manufactured to order, both for private parties as well as, in a few cases, for the Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC). The private buyers were in fact solely Dutch East India Company employees of Deshima, The Dutch trading post in Nagasaki in Souhern Japan. As only European company, The Dutch East India Company was given the monopoly to trade in Japan. Japon de commande was therefore much more exclusive than Chine de commande.

 

Striking are the blue dishes featuring the Dutch East India Company monogram on them. There is hardly any record of these specific pieces to be found in the Dutch East India Company achieves, but they were apparently often manufactured to order as the Company's 'official' tableware, which was used aboard the ships, in the trading posts all over Asia and even at the dinner table of the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies in Batavia. Oddly enough it was never actually made in China itself, nor painted in enamel colours. Other motifs are family coats of arms, depictions of Dutch landscapes as well as of Dutch people and their ships. Also, quite striking are the bulbous flasks initialled with either their alcoholic or medicinal contents or with their owner's name. (Source: Groninger Museum)

2010227
2010227

Japanese wares with Western Shapes or Designs 1653-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2010227

 

Ewer

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 100 mm (3.93 inch), diameter 75 mm (2.95 inch), diameter of mouthrim 35 mm (1.38 inch), diameter of footring 50 mm (1.96 inch), weight 147 grams (6.84 ounce (oz.))

 

Oviform ewer on footring, wide neck with pinched spout. Curved pierced handle placed at an angle to the spout. Imari decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold with flowering prunus branches  and a reserved roundel with the initial 'A' for the Dutch word azijn (vinegar), the underglaze blue handle and spout set at right angles. The hole in the top of the handle was meant to affix a metal or silver cover.

 

A specific group of ewers is decorated with the letters 'O', 'A', or 'S' indicating their contents: 'O' stands for olie (oil), 'A' for azijn (vinegar), 'L' for limoen (lemon), the 'S' or 'Z' for soya or zoja (soy). They were used at the dinner table in The Netherlands. Arts adds the letter 'C' for conserven (?) (preserves). (Arts 1983, p.50),  (Jörg 2003/1, p.176)

 

For an identically decorated ewer, please see:

 For an identically decorated ewer with the initial 'O', please see: 

 For an identically decorated ewer with the initial 'Z', please see: 

Condition: A fleabite to the tip of the spout and a chip to the rim.

 

References:

Howard & Ayers 1978, cat. 111

Arts 1983, Plate 22

New York 1985, lot 63

Jörg 1999, cat. 97-1 & 97-2

New York 1985, lot 63

Jörg 2003/1, pp.176-177

 

Price: € 699 - $ 778 - £ 631

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

 

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2011854
2011854

Japanese wares with Western Shapes or Designs 1653-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2011854

 

Ewer

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 89 mm (3.50 inch), diameter 70 mm (2.76 inch), diameter of mouthrim 28 mm (1.10 inch), diameter of footring 42 mm (1.96 inch), weight 121 grams (4.27 ounce (oz.))

 

Oviform ewer on footring, wide neck with pinched spout . Curved pierced handle placed at an angle to the spout. Fitted with an contemporary unmarked silver mount. Imari decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold with flowering prunus branches  and a reserved roundel with the initial 'A' for the Dutch word azijn (vinegar), the underglaze blue handle and spout set at right angles.

 

A specific group of ewers is decorated with the letters 'O', 'A', or 'S' indicating their contents: 'O' stands for olie (oil), 'A' for azijn (vinegar), 'L' for limoen (lemon), the 'S' or 'Z' for soya or zoja (soy). They were used at the dinner table in The Netherlands. Arts adds the letter 'C' for conserven (?) (preserves). (Arts 1983, p.50), (Jörg 2003/1, p.176)

 

For identically decorated ewers, please see:

 For an identically decorated ewer with the initial 'O', please see: 

 For an identically decorated ewer with the initial 'Z', please see: 

Condition: A firing tension hairline, caused by the firing processs, to the handle and a chip to to underside of the spout.

 

References:

Howard & Ayers 1978, cat. 111

Arts 1983, Plate 22

New York 1985, lot 63

Jörg 1999, cat. 97-1 & 97-2

New York 1985, lot 63

Jörg 2003/1, pp.176-177

 

Price: € 199 - $ 215 - £ 174

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

2010707
2010707

Japanese wares with Western Shapes or Designs 1653-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2010707

 

Ewer

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 100 mm (3.93 inch), diameter 72 mm (2.84 inch), diameter of mouthrim 34 mm (1.34 inch), diameter of footring 48 mm (1.89 inch), weight 164 grams (5.79 ounce (oz.))

 

Oviform ewer on footring, wide neck with pinched spout. Curved pierced handle placed at an angle to the spout. Imari decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold with flowering prunus branches  and a reserved roundel with the initial 'Z' for the Dutch word zoja (soy), the underglaze blue handle and spout set at right angles. The hole in the top of the handle was meant to affix a metal or silver cover.

 

A specific group of ewers is decorated with the letters 'O', 'A', or 'S' indicating their contents: 'O' stands for olie (oil), 'A' for azijn (vinegar), 'L' for limoen (lemon), the 'S' or 'Z' for soya or zoja (soy). They were used at the dinner table in The Netherlands. Arts adds the letter 'C' for conserven (?) (preserves). (Arts 1983, p.50), (Jörg 2003/1, p.176)

  

For an identically decorated ewer, please see:

 For an identically decorated ewer, decorated with the initial 'A', please see: 

 For an identically decorated ewer, decorated with the initial 'O', please see:

Condition: A tiny glaze chip to the underside of the triangular spout and a 2 mm (0.08 inch) fleabite to the rim.

 

References:

Howard & Ayers 1978, cat. 111

Arts 1983, Lochem 1983, Plate 22

New York 1985, lot 63

Jörg 1999, p.74, cat. 97-1 & 97-2

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 214

 

Price: € 699 - $ 778 - £ 631

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

 

More pictures >>

2010615
2010615

Japanese wares with Western Shapes or Designs 1653-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2010615

 

Ewer

 

Japan

 

1710-1730

 

Height 105 mm (4.13 inch), diameter 80 mm (3.15 inch), diameter of mouthrim 32 mm (1.26 inch), diameter of footring 50 mm (1.97 inch), weight 194 grams (6.84 ounce (oz.))

 

Oviform ewer on footring, wide neck with pinched spout. Curved pierced handle placed at an angle to the spout. Imari decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold wiith the initial 'A' in (faded) black for the Dutch word azijn (vinegar), with flowering chrysanthemum and peony plants. On the handle and spout a floret between scrolls. The hole in the top of the handle was meant to affix a metal or silver cover.

 

A specific group of ewers is decorated with the letters 'O', 'A', or 'S' indicating their contents: 'O' stands for olie (oil), 'A' for azijn (vinegar), 'L' for limoen (lemon), the 'S' or 'Z' for soya or zoja (soy). They were used at the dinner table in The Netherlands. Arts adds the letter 'C' for conserven (?) (preserves). (Arts 1983, p.50), (Jörg 2003/1, p.176)

 

Condition: Four spots on the belly were the glaze did not catch on to the body during the firing process.

 

References:

Arts 1983, Plate 22.

Jörg 2003/1, pp.176-177

 

Price: € 449 - $ 499 - £ 405

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

 

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