Pater Gratia Oriental Art

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Sold Japanese Blue and White wares 17th Century

 

Tableware and other Porcelain with Western Shapes

 

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)

2011329
2011329

Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Blue and White wares 17th Century - Tableware and other Porcelain with Western Shapes - Page 1

 

Object 2011329

 

Tankard / Beer mug

 

Japan

 

1660-1680

 

Height 130 mm (5.12 inch), diameter 85 mm (3.35 inch), diameter of mouthrim 85 mm (3.35 inch), diameter of footring 65 mm (2.56 inch)

 

Exhibited: The World at Home: Asian porcelain and Delft pottery held from 17 June 2017 to 24 March 2019 at the Groninger Museum, The Netherlands.

 

Tankard / beer mug on footring, splayed foot. Oviform body with broad neck. Curved pierced handle. Decorated in underglaze blue with a continuous landscape of flowering plants, rocks, plantains and swirling clouds.

 

The shape of this tankard / beer mug is derived from a European pewter or stoneware model and is common among Japanese export ware of this period. (Jörg 2003/1)

 

For a similarly shaped or decorated tankards / beer mugs, please see:

Condition: Two firing flaws to the body and two firing flaws, both with connected hairlines, to the base. A chip to the rim.

 

References:

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1971, cat. 138

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1980, cat. 413

Daendels 1981, cat. 110 & 112

London 1997, cat. 18

Impey 2002, cat. 21

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 197

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2012071A
2012071A

Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Blue and White wares 17th Century - Tableware and other Porcelain with Western Shapes - Page 1

 

Object 2012071A

 

Ewer

 

Japan

 

1660-1680

 

Height 267 mm (7.83 inch), diameter 155 mm (4.33 inch), diameter of mouthrim 43 mm (1.10 inch), diameter of footring 91 mm (2.68 inch), weight 1,308 grams (46.14 ounce (oz.))

 

Large ewer of ovoid body on spreading takefushi or 'bamboo-noded' foot. Narrow waisted neck and large cup-shaped mouth with pinched spout. Curved pierced handle. Decorated in a, sketchily drawn, Chinese Transitional style in underglaze blue with peony and banana plants, a phoenix in flight and two birds perched on a rock. Formal broad blue bands round the foot and neck. Round the shoulder a floral scroll border and on the cup-shaped mouth two flowers who bear the well-known 'tulip' design. On the handle a floret between scrolls.

 

The Chinese Transitional style was virtually unknown in Japan until it was introduced by the Dutch. Japanese potters were not asked to imitate original Chinese porcelains by the Dutch; instead they were given wooden models which had probably been painted by Delft pottery decorators (though this is undocumented) or earthenware (presumably Delft). It is hardly surprising therefore, that the resultant Japanese essays in Transitional style are far from the original both in design and execution. Many shapes are Chinese, and some are Near Eastern, but others reflect Delft wares or at least Delft variations on a Chinese theme. Most Japanese Transitional style wares are in closed shapes, mugs, jugs, jars and ewers; most Kraak style pieces are in open shapes, plates and bowls. The piercing on the handles of this and similar shapes is original, and was intended for the silver or other metal mount that would customarily have been added in Europe. (Impey 2002, pp.42-49 & p.49)

 

The shape of the bulging foot, which spreads and then turns sharply inward, is seen on many ewers of this period as well as on later jars, vases and other pieces. It is a distinctively Japanese feature, called takefushi, 'bamboo-noded' foot. (Jörg 2003/1, p.74) 

 

The flower motif on the cup-shaped mouth replaces similarly located 'tulip' designs on Chinese Transitional export porcelain. (Jörg 2003/1, p.160

 

2012071A & 2011142

 

Object 2012071A is of an unusual large size, on the photograph above it stands together with object 2011142, another Japanese ewer of normal size.

 

For a similarly shaped and decorated ewer, please see:

For similarly shaped ewers, please see:

Condition: Firing tension hairlines to the handle, caused by the firing process.

 

References: 

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1971, cat. 172

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1980, cat. 399

London 1997, cat. 16

Impey 2002, pp.42-49 & p.49

Jörg 2003/1, p.74 & cat. 177

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011694
2011694

Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Blue and White wares 17th Century - Tableware and other Porcelain with Western Shapes - Page 1

 

Object 2011694

 

Ewer

 

Japan

 

1660-1680

 

Height 197 mm (7.83 inch), diameter 119 mm (4.33 inch), diameter of mouthrim 46 mm (1.10 inch), diameter of footring 66 mm (2.68 inch), weight 640 grams (22.58 ounce (oz.))

 

Ewer of ovoid body on spreading foot, cylindrical neck and a large mouth with a pinched spout. Curved pierced handle. The shallow conical base is glazed. Decorated in underglaze blue In Chinese Transitional style with figures in a mountainous landscape with pine trees. On the neck the well-known 'tulip' design, a stylised, symmetrical flower. On the handle dots and scrolls.

 

Impey classifies this ewer as a 'Category 5 Intermediate Transitional / Kraak' object. As Arita potters grew more confident with the new shapes and new styles of decoration demanded by the Dutch, so their own inventiveness must have taken over. Clearly, variations on the originally set patterns were not only allowed by the Dutch, but positively encouraged, as they perceived that the work of the Arita potters was of a high standard and that the decorative effects they produced were exotic and saleable. Thus pieces that mix any of the styles available to the potters appeared for instance in early enamelled ware and in blue-and-white. There is frequently a delightful mix of Transitional, Kraak and even Japanese styles harmoniously combined in one piece. (Impey 2002, p.52)

 

For a similarly shaped and decorated Chinese Transitional ewer, please see:

For a similarly shaped and decorated Dutch (Delft) ewer, please see:

For similarly shaped and identically decorated ewers, please see:

For similarly decorated ewers, please see

Condition: A firing flaw with a glaze imperfection surrounded by scratches to the glaze. A fleabite to the rim and to the pierced handle. 

 

References:

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1971, cat. 77b

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1980, cat. 406

Arts 1983, Plate 11b

Jörg 1999, cat. 20 & 21

Impey 2002, p.52

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 176

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2010808
2010808

Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Blue and White wares 17th Century - Tableware and other Porcelain with Western Shapes - Page 1

 

Object 2010808

 

Mustard pot

 

Japan

 

1660-1680

 

Height 98 mm (3.86 inch), diameter 95 mm (3.74 inch), diameter of mouthrim 64 mm (2.52 inch)

diameter of footring 68 mm (2.68 inch), weight 281 grams (9.91 ounce (oz.))

 

Mustard pot of baluster shape on a footring, curved handle, wide mouth. Rim unglazed inside for cover, now missing. Decorated in underglaze blue with a peacock perched on a branch of a blossoming cherry tree. On the handle a floret between scrolls.

 

Mustard was extremely popular in The Netherlands where it was used to improve the taste of food and was made locally. It was not well homogenised yet, and had to be stirred before use. Small (wooden) spoons came with the pots, which consequently have either a round opening in the cover or an opening in the mouthrim. The original cover must have had a central hole for a spoon as there is no opening in the rim. (Jörg 2003/1, pp.162-163)

 

For similarly shaped mustard pots, please see;

Condition: A firing fault to the handle and a chip with a tiny short hairline to the rim.

 

References:

Volker 1959, Pl. VIII, cat. 11.

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1971, cat. 184

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 184 & 185

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011884
2011884

Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Blue and White wares 17th Century - Tableware and other Porcelain with Western Shapes - Page 1

 

Object 2011884

 

Milk bowl

 

Japan

c.1680

 

Height 65 mm (2.55 inch), diameter of rim 185 mm (7.28 inch), diameter of footring 88 mm (3.46 inch), weight 486 grams (17.14 ounce (oz.))

 

Milk bowl, the base with a firing-ring and some adhering kiln-grit, standing on three small conical feet. On the rim two arched handles, upturned edge. The side with a pinched spout at the top. Decorated in underglaze blue on the bottom with a bird perched on a branch of a fruiting tree. The reverse is undecorated.

 

The decoration in underglaze blue with the perched bird perched on a branch of a fruiting tree is interesting, it is very Japanese / Chinese and not at all export. 

 

Such bowls, imitating a Dutch earthenware model, were used to pour the cream off the milk. They seem to be quite rare. (Jörg 2003/1, p.176

 

For identically shaped and in underglaze blue decorated milk bowls, please see:

For a similarly shaped Imari decorated milk bowl, please see:

Condition: A restored arched handle.

 

References:

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1971, cat. 187

Daendels 1981, cat. 117

Rotterdam 1986, cat. 72

Arita 2000, cat. 124  

Jörg 2003/1, cat..212, 213 & 213a

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011886
2011886

Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Blue and White wares 17th Century - Tableware and other Porcelain with Western Shapes - Page 1

 

Object 2011886

 

Chamber-pot

 

Japan

1660-1680

 

Height 88 mm (2.55 inch), diameter of rim 133 mm (7.28 inch), diameter of footring 62 mm (3.46 inch)

  

Small globular chamber-pot on footring with spreading upturned rim. C-shaped handle with thumb-rest. Decorated in underglaze blue with two groups of flowering plants growing from rockwork. On the inside rim and handle a karakusa scroll with single flower heads.

 

The size indicates that this is not a normal chamber-pot. It may have been used by children or as a ‘vomit-pot’ (Dutch: spuijgpotje). The glazed rim with the karakusa scroll decoration does not indicate that this chamber-pot once had a matching cover.

 

For similarly shaped and in underglaze blue decorated chamber-pots, please see:

 

jmvd p.191 cat 132 chamber pot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

A similarly shaped Imari decorated chamber-pot / vomit-pot. (Not included in this offer / sale, reproduced from: Aziatische ceramiek uit vijf eeuwen, (D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, exhibition catalogue of the J.M. van Diepen Collection, Fraeylemaborg Slochteren, 1977), p.191, cat. 132.)

 

Condition: A re-stuck (clamped) piece to the rim.

 

References:

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1971, cat. 183

Daendels 1981, cat. 124

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011860
2011860

Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Blue and White wares 17th Century - Tableware and other Porcelain with Western Shapes - Page 1

 

Object 2011860

 

Mustard pot

 

Japan

 

1670-1690

 

Height 92 mm (3.62 inch), diameter 89 mm (3.50 inch), diameter of mouthrim 49 mm (1.93 inch), diameter of footring 60 mm (2.36 inch), weight 262 grams (9.24 ounce (oz.))

 

Mustard pot of baluster shape on spreading foot with a broad flat firing-ring. Wide mouth and unglazed base. Rim unglazed inside for cover, now missing. Curved pierced handle. Decorated in underglaze blue with two dragons chasing a flaming pearl in between scrolling clouds. Around the foot a border of pointed leaves. On the handle a floret between scrolls.

 

Mustard pots were among the first objects made for export and already figure in the shipping list of 1659.

 

Mustard was extremely popular in The Netherlands where it was used to improve the taste of food and was made locally. It was not well homogenised yet, and had to be stirred before use. Small (wooden) spoons came with the pots, which consequently have either a round opening in the cover or an opening in the mouthrim. The original cover must have had a central hole for a spoon as there is no opening in the rim. The shaped derived from a Dutch model. (Jörg 2003/1, p.162)

 

A similar example is in the Royal Danish Collection, Copenhagen, and was already documented in the inventory of 1690. It is decorated in underglaze blue with two dragons chasing a pearl between clouds. Although labelled as Chinese, it is more likely to be Japanese, as Chinese copies of this shape are not known.(Jörg 2003/1, p.162)

 

For similarly shaped mustard pots, please see;

Condition: A Y-shaped hairline to the body originating from the base.

 

References:

Volker 1959, Pl. VIII, cat. 11.

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1971, cat. 184

Jenyns 1979, cat. 58b-i

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 184

Kyushu 2003, cat. 1435

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011373
2011373

Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Blue and White wares 17th Century - Tableware and other Porcelain with Western Shapes - Page 1

 

Object 2011373

 

Ewer

 

Japan

 

1670-1690

 

Height with cover 241 mm (9.48 inch), height without cover 205 mm (8.07 inch), diameter 112 mm (4.41 inch), diameter of mouthrim 33 mm (1.30 inch) x 37 mm (1.46 inch), diameter of footring 65 mm (2.56 inch)

 

Oviform ewer on footring, cylindrical neck, cup-shaped mouth with pinched spout. Curved handle, pierced at the top for a mount. Fitted with Dutch silver mounts (marked). Decorated in underglaze blue with three shaped panels reserved on a ground of karakusa scrolls. In each panel a river scape with trees, mountains a pagoda and clouds. On the neck flower scrolls and a peony, round the mouth a ruyi-border. The handle with a karakusa scroll. The silver marks explained: the letters 'CH' or 'GH', are the (unidentified) makers mark, the sword mark was used (1814-1905) as the standard mark on articles too small for the full hallmarking.

 

The decoration is a simplified version, probably contemporary, of the decoration found on other ewers / jugs of the same period. The shape of this ewer / jug derived from a European stoneware model. The piercing on the handles of this and similar shapes is original, and was intended for the silver or other metal mount that would customarily have been added in Europe. (Impey 2002, p.54)

 

These tall long-necked jugs with landscapes in three panels separated by Mohammedan scrolls on their bodies, floral ornament on their neck and ju-i motifs, round their lips, are reminiscent of 16th- and 17th-century Ming Porcelain in decoration and probably date from 1674-1684. Some smaller jugs are similarly decorated with flowers, landscapes or figures in panels. (Lunsingh Scheurleer 1971, p.51

 

For identically shaped and decorated ewers, please see:

For similarly shaped and decorated ewers / jugs, please see:

Condition: Perfect.

 

References:

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1971, cat. 75

Daendels 1981, cat. 98

Impey 2002, cat. 32 & 33

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 183

 

Price: Sold.

 

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