Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Japanese Porcelain

 

Japanese Imari 1690-1800

 

'Gold' Imari

 

Page 1

A group that seems to have been especially favoured in The Netherlands, traditionally called 'Gold Imari', dates to the early 18th century. These wares are painted in gold only, in gold and iron-red, or in gold and red with a few touches of green, aubergine and black. 'Gold Imari' is relatively well represented in collections in the northern parts of The Netherlands but which occurs less often in old English and German collections

 

From about 1700 the gold often has a pink-violet hue ('pink lustre'), which is clearly visible on the white porcelain background when the gold is very thin or has been rubbed off. It seems that the Japanese enamellers used a different process to the Chinese, because Chinese pieces do not have this pink violet hue. (Jörg 2003/1, pp.92-93)

2012034
2012034

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - 'Gold' Imari - Page 1

 

Object 2012034

 

Teapot or hot water pot

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height with cover 175 mm (6.89 inch), diameter handle to spout 258 mm (10.16 inch), diameter of mouthrim 79 mm (3.11 inch), diameter of footring 88 mm (3.46 inch), weight with cover 1,075 grams (37.92 ounce (oz.)), weight cover 105 grams (3.70 ounce (oz.)

 

Teapot or hot water pot on footring, curved handle and a straight spout. Domed lid with round knob. 'Gold' Imari, decorated in gold, iron-red and a pink-gold wash with three groups of flowering plants, each with a pair of birds, namely millet and quail, carnation and crested grouse and double camellia with partridge. Between each group a bird in flight. On the handle a floret between scrolls, on the cover three groups of flowering plants with three birds in flight. 

 

In the collection of Oriental Ceramics of the Groninger Museum is a identically decorated teaset that consists of an identical teapot / hot water pot, six cups and saucers for tea or coffee, six chocolate cups with covers and saucers, a bowl with an overturned rim that might have been a sugar bowl and a ewer which may have been used as a milk jug but could also have been a condiment jug in a dinner set with the same design of which parts are also in the Groninger Museum. The set entered the Groninger Museum in 1899 as a bequest of the local collector, Mr. Mello Backer. Some sherds of similar wares have been excavated at Deshima. (Jörg 2003/1, p.201)

 

For an identically shaped, sized and decorated sold teapot / hot water pot, please see:

For the identically decorated teaset (including the large teapot / hot water pot) in the collection of Oriental ceramics of the Groninger Museum, please see:

Condition: Wear to the golden decoration and a professionally restored cover.

 

References:

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 237

Arita 2000, cat. 84

Düsseldorf 2000, cat. 10

Impey 2002, cat. 443 & 444

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 124 & 256

 

Price: € 2.499 - $ 2,787 - £ 2,257

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

 

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2012110

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - 'Gold' Imari - Page 1

 

Object 2012110

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

  

Height 34 mm (1.33 inch), diameter of rim 216 mm (8.50 inch), diameter of footring 109 mm (4.29 inch), weight 401 grams (14.14 once (oz.)),

 

Dish on footring, everted lobed rim. On the base four spur-marks in a Y-pattern. 'Gold' Imari, decorated in gold, iron-red and a light-pinkish gold wash. In the centre a pair of quails near a shore under a millet plant. On the sides peony flower heads with foliage alternating with a butterfly in flight. On the rim flower heads alternating with leaves. The reverse is undecorated.

 

A group that seems to have been especially favoured in The Netherlands, traditionally called 'Gold Imari', dates to the early 18th century. These wares are painted in gold only, in gold and iron-red, or in gold and red with a few touches of green, aubergine and black. 'Gold Imari' is relatively well represented in collections in the northern parts of The Netherlands but which occurs less often in old English and German collections

 

From about 1700 the gold often has a pink-violet hue ('pink lustre'), which is clearly visible on the white porcelain background when the gold is very thin or has been rubbed off. It seems that the Japanese enamellers used a different process to the Chinese, because Chinese pieces do not have this pink violet hue. (Jörg 2003/1, pp.92-93)

 

The quail, closely allied to the partridge, is an emblem of courage both in China and Japan, as it is highly esteemed as a fighting bird. In North China people made these birds fight under a basket, where millet first had been strewn to make them jealous. Moreover, quails are believed to change into pheasants eventually. On Japanese porcelain they are frequently depicted amidst autumn grasses under millet. This quail and millet design, symbolizing the autumn is especially common on Kakiemon, but is also found on ko Kutani, Imari and blue-and-white wares. It has been suggested that that particular form is copied from the work of the painter Tosa Mitsuoki (1607-1691), but it probably originated from Chinese paintings of the Sung period. This motif has been copied on European porcelain, especially at Bow and Chelsea, where it is used as a decoration on the so-called 'partridge plates', and also on Meissen porcelain. (Arts 1983, pp.134-135

 

For an identical shaped, sized and decorated, sold dish, please see:

Condition: A short hairline and some spots of popped bubbles of glaze, caused by the firing process, to the rim.

 

References:

Arts 1983, pp.134-135

Jörg 2003/1, pp.92-93

 

Price: € 249 - $ 292 - £ 221

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

 

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2012036
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Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - 'Gold' Imari - Page 1

 

Object 2012036

 

Shaving bowl

 

Japan

 

1700-1730

 

Height 77 mm (3.03 inch), diameter of rim 280 mm (11.02 inch), diameter of footring 110 mm (4.33 inch), weight 1,054 grams (37.18 ounce (oz.))

 

Shaving bowl on footring with a spreading flat rim, in it a saved semi-circular section below and two small glazed holes opposite the cut-out section of the rim. On the base one single spur-mark. 'Gold' Imari, decorated in gold, iron-red and a light pinkish gold wash with a flowering peony spray in a central roundel surrounded by grasses and three groups of flowering plants each with a pair of birds, namely millet and quail, carnation and crested grouse and double camellia with partridge. On the rim sprays of peony, double magnolia and double camellia. 

 

The quail was a popular motif and occurs on all kinds of Arita porcelain. As a fighting bird, it symbolises courage. Quail and millet indicate autumn. The quail was extensively copied on 18th-century porcelain. Some of the flowers and birds in this complex decoration are rather stylised, making identification somewhat difficult. Some sherds of similar wares have been excavated at Deshima. (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.213), (Jörg 2003/1, pp.115-116 & p.201)

 

This shaving bowl is a magnificent example of the 'gold' Imari group. No underglaze blue or other enamels are used, the light pinkish wash lending sufficient contrast to the brighter red and gold. In the collection of Oriental Ceramics of the Groninger Museum is an identically decorated teaset that consists of an identical teapot / hot water-pot, six cups and saucers for tea or coffee, six chocolate cups with covers and saucers, a bowl with an overturned rim that might have been a sugar bowl and an ewer which may have been used as a milk jug but could also have been a condiment jug in a dinner set with the same design of which parts are also in the Groninger Museum. The set entered the Groninger Museum in 1899 as a bequest of the local collector, Mr. Mello Backer. It is likely that this teaset was ordered together with the dinner set.

 

Besides dinner services, covered jars, tea, coffee and chocolate sets decorated in 'Gold' Imari with this design, also other utilitarian or luxury items were ordered after a Western model. These included cylindrical beer mugs, chamber-pots, cuspidors and shaving bowls therefore this shaving bowl can be considered a Japon de commande object. (Jörg 2003/1, p.164, cat. 188)

  

For other objects decorated with this design in 'gold' Imari, please see:

The first documentary evidence for scheerbeckens or shaving bowls is a 1662 invoice from the Director of the Deshima factory in Nagasaki regarding an order for 258 of these dishes for shipment to the Netherlands. After this point shaving dishes become a regular export item. 

 

Shaving bowls were used by barbers and were indispensable in the Dutch household too. They were made of earthenware, pewter, copper and even silver. Beside their function as a shaving utensil, they had an alternative use, namely to let blood from a vein in the arm during blood-letting. This was a medical procedure thought to drain bad blood from the system, which was also performed by the barber/surgeon. In the seventeenth century, regulations were put in place in England to govern what barbers were permitted to do. Thus they became confined to bloodletting and treating external diseases. In Prussia the barbers' and the surgeons' guild joined in 1779, and it was said of great Prussian surgeons that they had risen "up from the barber's bowl”. Both purposes explain the semi-circular saving. The two holes in the rim are for a cord or string. A shaving basin with the actual silk string still attached was excavated in Amsterdam. The string was used to suspend it from the client's neck to catch lather and water during shaving, or to hang the bowl on the wall thus implying that owners also appreciated the bowl for its decorative value as well as its function. Shaving bowls can be seen hanging on the wall as such in some dollhouses. 

 

 

  

Cornelis Troost, Arlequin toovenaar en barbier, 1738, Mauritshuis, The Hague, Netherlands, inv. nr. 184. In spite of the satirical intent, the painting reflects actual usage. 

 

 

   

The doll’s house of Petronella Dunois (1650-1695), c. 1676, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, inv.nr. BK-14656. Two shaving dishes are suspended on the left wall.

 

Chinese shaving bowls usually have the holes in the footring instead of the rim. Most Japanese barber’s bowls are more or less rounded, whereas Chinese barber’s bowls usually are oval (for a Chinese example, please see the 'Sold Archives' object 2011301)

 

Larger pieces of Japanese porcelain such as plates, bowls and dishes, had a tendency to ‘sag’ during firing. That’s why they were often supported in the kiln by small stoneware pillars. After firing, these small cones or spurs which adhered to the base were knocked off, leaving behind small unglazed rough patches or spur marks on the base. The supports were arranged in X, Y or other patterns. Whether they have any relevance to dating or an attribution to a specific kiln is still unresolved. These spur marks are typically Japanese and are rarely seen on Chinese porcelain. 

 

Condition: Some wear to the decoration due to use. 

 

References:

Arts 1983, Plate 80

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.213

Düsseldorf 2000, cat. 10

Arita 2000, p. 91, cat. 282, p. 152, p. 163 & p.233

Impey 2002, p. 210, cat. 353 

Jörg 2003/1, p.14, pp.115-116, p.164, pp.184-185 & pp.200-201, cat 123, & cat. 256

Sargent 2012, p.189 cat. 88

 

Price: € 2.499 - $ 2,659 - £ 2,106

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

 

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Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - 'Gold' Imari - Page 1

 

Object 2011895

 

Bowl with cover and dish

 

Japan

1700-1730

 

Dish: height 35 mm (1.38 inch), diameter of rim 215 mm (8.46 inch), diameter of footring 112 mm (4.41 inch), weight 434 grams (15.31 ounce (oz.))

Bowl (without cover): height 70 mm (2.76 inch), diameter of rim 160 mm (6.30 inch), diameter of footring 66 mm (2.59 inch), weight 316 grams (11.15 ounce (oz.))

Cover: height 38 mm (1.50 inch), diameter of rim 134 mm (5.27 inch), diameter of ring 50 mm (1.97 inch), weight 161 grams (11.15 ounce (oz.))

 

Bowl on footring, steep sides, slightly everted lobed rim. Dish on footring, everted lobed rim, three spur-marks in a V-pattern on the base, the cover with ring and lobed rim. 'Gold' Imari, decorated in gold, iron-red and a light pinkish goldwash. The dish with a flowering peony in the centre. On the sides three flower sprays, on the rim hosoge-type flowers alternating with flower motifs. On the footing of the bowl and the ring of the cover a marubatsu pattern (modern Japanese for "naughts and crosses" or "Os and Xs")¹ The reverse is undecorated. The bowl and cover are decorated en suite

 

This bowl, cover and dish are magnificent examples of the 'gold' Imari group. No underglaze blue or other enamels are used, the light pinkish wash lending sufficient contrast to the brighter red and gold. 

 

The hosoge floral motif ('flower of precious appearance') has Silk Road precursors and a long tradition in Japanese decorative art. It is an imaginary flower with elements of peony, pomegranate and lotus. (Jörg 2003/1, p.117, cat.125)

 

For a similarly shaped and decorated bowl with cover and dish, please see:

For a more elaborate shaped but similarly in 'Gold' imari decorated bowl with cover and dish, please see:

Condition: Some wear to the central gilding of the bowl and dish and three (glazed) firing flaws to the footring of the bowl.

 

References:

Reichel 1981, cat. 79

Jörg 2003/1, cat.125

 

Price: € 1.499 - $ 1,669 - £ 1,354

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

 

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2011795
2011795

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - 'Gold' Imari - Page 1

 

Object 2011795

 

Dish

 

Japan

 

1710-1730

 

Height 33 mm (1.30 inch), diameter of rim 215 mm (8.46 inch), diameter of footring 125 mm (4.92 inch), weight 455 grams (16.05 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, straight rim. On the base five spur-marks in a X-pattern. 'Gold' Imari, decorated in gold, iron-red and a light pinkish gold wash with various flowering plants in a central roundel. On the sides three groups of flower sprays. The reverse with three flower sprays.

 

Condition: Some wear to the decoration.

 

Price: € 399 - $ 444 - £ 360

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

 

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2011740
2011740

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - 'Gold' Imari - Page 1

 

Object 2011740

 

Teacup and saucer

 

Japan

 

1700-1730

 

Height of tea/coffee cup 26 mm (1.02 inch), diameter of rim 46 mm (1.81 inch), diameter of footring 21 mm (0.83 inch), weight 15 grams (0.53 ounce (oz.))

Height of saucer 16 mm (0.63 inch), diameter of rim 75 mm (2.95 inch), diameter of footring 44 mm or (1.73 inch), weight 20 grams (0.71 ounce (oz.))

 

Teacup and saucer on footrings, slightly everted rims. 'Gold' Imari, decorated in gold, iron-red and a light-pinkish gold wash with a central flower spray round the rim a silk-worm and stripes pattern border. The reverse is undecorated. The teacup is decorated en suite.  

 

Miniature porcelain was used to decorate a room or mantelshelf as part of a porcelain ensemble, or was intended to be put into a porcelain cabinet. Japanese miniature red and gold Imari pieces can also be found as part of doll’s houses, which showed representations of actual rooms. Pardue states that seventeenth-century Dutch and eighteenth-century British parents wanted their children to prosper and be refined members of polite society. The tea wares and other miniature ceramics, may have been used by or casual play by the young or curiosities for adult amusement, but when viewed through the lens of material culture, they also served as a means through which parents taught their children to succeed in an adult world and carry themselves with proper refinement in polite society. Finally, it has also been suggested that these small sized teacups and saucers were used for the tasting and testing of various sorts of precious tea at a shop. (Jörg 2003/1, p.205 cat. 264), (Pardue 2008, XX)

 

Condition:

Teacup: Three tiny and shallow chips and a frit to the rim.

Saucer: Perfect.

 

References

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 264

Pardue 2008, XX

 

Price: € 199 - $ 221 - £ 179

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

 

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2011449

Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - 'Gold' Imari - Page 1

 

Object 2011449

 

Saucer

 

Japan

 

1700-1730

 

Height 20 mm (0.79 inch), diameter of rim 110 mm (4.33 inch), diameter of footring 56 mm or (2.20 inch), weight 70 grams (2.47 ounce (oz.))

 

Saucer on footring, slightly flaring rim. 'Gold' Imari, decorated in gold, iron-red and a light-pinkish gold wash with four groups of flowering plants growing from stylised rockwork and two exotic birds with long tail feathers pheasants in flight. The reverse is undecorated.

 

The exotic birds depicted are most likely two hôô birds or two Japanese pheasants (Phasianus versicolor). The hôô is a mythical bird originating from China, a composite creature, whose composing elements vary, although in Japan it remains essentially a mixture between a cockerel, a pheasant and a bird of paradise. Japanese pheasants (Phasianus versicolor) are, given their different heads, presumably supposed to be a pair, but in fact only the male has an elaborate tail that can be spread out like a fan. (Fitski 2011, pp.158-159)

 

Condition: Perfect.

 

Reference:

Fitski 2011, pp.158-159

 

Price: € 99 - $ 128 - £ 78

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

 

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