Pater Gratia Oriental Art

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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.

2011690
2011690

Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Other wares - Page 1

 

Object 2011690

 

Bowl

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 117 mm (4.60 inch), diameter of rim 262 mm (10.32 inch), diameter of footring 114 mm (4.49 inch), weight 1.515 grams (53.44 ounce (oz.))

 

A large lobbed bowl of deep chrysanthemum form on footring with fluted sides and a scalloped rim. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron red, various overglaze enamels and gold with a central design of the chrysanthemum crest (kiku no mon) on the sides two large branches of pine with exotic flowers, the outside with branches of pine, bamboo and exotic flowers issuing from rockwork. Round the footring a spiral (clouds) pattern border. Marked on the base with a flowering prunus spray.

 

The Three Friend (shõ-chiku-bai) design originated in China. It is the combination of pine, bamboo and prunus, symbolically representing Confucius, Buddha and Lao Tse. Once the 'three friends' were standing around a jar containing vinegar. Each of them tasted the liquid. Lao Tse, the gentle, called it sweet, Buddha, the meditator, called it bitter and Confucius called it sour. But they eventually agreed that it was all the same liquid. This legend represents the idea that the three 'religions' originated from the same source. The 'friendship' of the three trees is further suggested by the property they have in common of strength during hard times. The bamboo bends with the wind but never breaks, the prunus flowers even when there is still snow and the pine is an evergreen. Together they symbolically represent long life and happiness. (Arts 1983, p.140)

 

During the Tokugawa (or Edo) Period 1603-1868 the use of the sixteen petalled chrysanthemum was, in Japan, kept exclusively for the Emperor and not to be used by the public in general. (Gorham 1971. p. 187)

 

Imari porcelain, like classic polychrome Kakiemon, emerged from early enamelled ware and is a typical export product with many different Western shapes and a huge variety of motifs and patterns, sometimes copied from Western models. The general appearance of Imari is less light and refined than Kakiemon, but their compact compositions and dense patterns appealed to the Dutch and other Europeans in the Baroque period. (Impey, Jörg & Mason 2009, pp.52-53)

 

For similarly decorated objects, please see;

Condition: Perfect.

 

References:

Gorham 1971. p. 187

Arts 1983, p.140

London 1997, cat. 113

Suchomel 1997, cat. 104

Impey, Jörg & Mason 2009, pp.52-53

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011605
2011605

Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Other wares - Page 1

 

Object 2011605

 

Bowl

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 95 mm (3.74 inch), diameter of rim 190 mm (7.48 inch), diameter of footring 79 mm (3.11 inch), weight 592 grams (20.88 ounce (oz.))

 

Lobbed bowl on footring, scalloped rim. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron red, green, turquoise, aubergine, yellow and gold. The central lobbed panel with a prunus spray. The sides with flowering chrysanthemums, single kiku-flowers and branches of lespedeza flowers. One chrysanthemum and the kiku-fllowers are moulded in low relief. The outside is divided into four panels with double cherry blossoms and four two-sided panels, one side with foliate scrolls in gold on a dark blue ground, the other  with a blossoming prunus tree. The two sides connected by a roundel showing a violet with long leaves. (Jörg 2003/1, p.100)

 

This bowl can be considered a good example of elaborate Imari with raised motifs. The scalloped rim of this bowl is meant to resemble a kiku-flower, a shape mirrored in the decoration. A similar bowl is in the Shibata Collection. (Jörg 2003/1, p.112)

 

This pattern was copied in China and in many European porcelain factories, including Chelsea and Worcester. For a Chelsea copy, see Porcelain for Palaces, no. 345. There are Chelsea and Worcester copies in the Marshall Collection, nos 190,191. (Impey 2002, p.189)

 

For an identically shaped and decorated bowl, please see:

For an similarly decorated bowl, please see:

For an identically decorated dish, please see:

Condition: Perfect.

 

References:

Visser 1930, cat. 51

Jenyns 1979, cat. 47a (i)

Ayers, Impey & Mallet 1990, no. 345

Kyushu 1991, cat. 665

Fitski 2002, cat. 29

Impey 2002, cat. 300

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 100

Kyushu 2003, cat. 2810

Victoria & Albert Museum, Museum number 834-1892

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Museum number C.1507-1910

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011701
2011701

Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Other wares - Page 1

 

Object 2011701

 

Covered box

 

Japan                                     

 

1700-1720

 

Provenance: Mr D.H.J. Ninck Blok, Groningen, the Netherlands.

 

Height with cover 80 mm (3.15 inch), height without cover 55 mm (2.17 inch), diameter 120 mm (4.72 inch), diameter of footring 57 mm (2.24 inch), weight with cover 363 grams (12.80 ounce (oz.)), weight cover 133 grams (4.69 ounce (oz.))

 

Exhibited: The Asian Galleries Reinmagined - Color Across Asia held from 21 December 2016 to 13 May 2018 at the Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chaphil Hill, The United States of America, Object Guide no. 74.

 

Covered box on three triangular low, ruyi-shaped feet extending below a broad firing-ring on the base. Straight sides, domed cover with strap handle. Imari, decorated with in underglaze blue, iron-red, yellow, green, grey and gold. The sides and cover decorated with foliate scrolls and cherry flowers. On the inside of the cover a sprig of plum. The three low feet each with a half chrysanthemum flower head and scrolls. The strap handle with a floret between scrolls.

 

The shape, most likely, derived from an European (silver) model and 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)

 

According to the previous owner the covered box was once part of the estate of one of the Groninger borgen, these estate houses were the magnificent country seats of local nobility. They usually originated as stone houses; a simple defence work from the 14th or 15th century with thick walls where farmers could flee in times of danger. (Adelijke Trots in de Ommelanden, (E. Broekhuis ed., Groninger Borgen Stichting, Groningen, 2002)), (www.borgen.nl)

 

For similarly shaped covered boxes on three triangular low, ruyi-shaped flat feet please see;

For an Arita covered box with high sides and similar low, ruyi-shaped flat feet please see;

Condition: Three firing flaws, otherwise perfect. 

 

References:

Reichel 1981, cat. 45

Arts 1983, plate 21

Jörg 1995, figure 52

Jörg 1999, cat. 38

Düsseldorf 2000, cat. 19 & 33

Broekhuis 2002, pp.4-10

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 106 & 113

Pietsch, Loesch & Ströber 2006, p.50

www.borgen.nl

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011372
2011372

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Object 2011372

 

Bowl

 

Japan

 

1700-1730

 

Height 77 mm (3.03 inch), diameter of rim 146 mm (5.75 inch), diameter of footring 53 mm (2.09 inch), weight 305 grams (10.76 ounce (oz.))

  

Bowl on footring, spreading straight rim. 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.

 

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: Perfect.

 

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: Sold.

 

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2012066
2012066

Sold Ceramics - Sold Japanese Imari 1690-1800 - Other wares - Page 1

 

Object 2012066

 

Bottle

 

Japan

 

1700-1720

 

Height 235 mm (9.25 inch), diameter 112 mm (4.41 inch), diameter of mouthrim 16 mm (0.63 inch), diameter of footring 60 mm (2.36 inch), weight 451 grams (15.91 ounce (oz.))

 

Pear-shaped bottle on footring, rounded body, tall narrow neck. Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, and overglaze green, aubergine and black enamel, iron-red and gold with around the foot a band of lappets. The body is divided into three panels by underglaze blue bands ornamented with gold scrolling and half chrysanthemums. The panels contain prunus, pine, peony and bamboo, their trunks growing from pierced rockwork. A meander pattern border between underglaze blue lines around the base of the neck. Round the neck an ascending leaf pattern border and round the rim three descending floral scrolls.

 

The layout of floral or other decoration in strongly marked cartouches is remotely reminiscent of the kraak. Sets of identical bottles or vases were probably an alternative to the expensive garnitures that were placed on top of porcelain cabinets in the Dutch interior. (Impey 2002, p.185 cat. 291), (Jörg 2003/1, p.99)

 

For similarly decorated bottles, please see;

Condition: Four firing flaws to the footring.

 

References:

Reichel 1981, cat. 56

Düsseldorf 2000, cat. 26

Impey 2002, cat. 291

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 97

 

Price: Sold.

 

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