Japanese and Chinese antiques and art from B & C
Large Square Porcelain Tokkuri, Kakiemon Sakaida XII

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All Items: Archives:Regional Art:Asian:Japanese: Pre 1960: item # 1093545

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B & C   Antiques
P. O. Box 291
Derby, CT 06418

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Large Square Porcelain Tokkuri, Kakiemon Sakaida XII

This exceptional Japanese porcelain sake bottle (“tokkuri”), hand painted in delicate and subtle overglaze polychrome enamels, is the work of Kakiemon Sakaida XII (1878-1963). The highly refined, white glazed and heavily potted body is sparsely decorated with a classic bird, flower and figural landscape design in the traditional Kakiemon palette of iron red, blue, green, turquoise, yellow and soft aubergine. The square foot is unglazed. There is a kiriwood tomobako (storage box); the inside of the cover inscribed with the signature and seal of Kakiemon Sakaida XII.

The Japanese potter Kakiemon Sakaida (1596-1666) is popularly credited with being one of the first potters in Japan to discover the secret of enamel decoration on porcelain in the 17th century. He developed the distinctive palette of soft red, yellow, blue and turquoise green overglaze enamels on a fine milky white body. The word “kakiemon” is sometimes used as a generic term describing wares made in the Arita factories using the characteristic Kakiemon enamels and decorative styles. However, authentic Kakiemon porcelains have been produced only by direct descendants of the family, now in its fourteenth generation.

Kakiemon decoration is always of the highest quality, delicate and with asymmetric well-balanced designs. These were sparsely applied to emphasize the fine white porcelain background body known in Japan as “nigoshide” (milky white) which was used for the finest pieces. Because manufacture of nigoshide is difficult due to hard contraction of the porcelain body during firing, its production was discontinued from the 18th century until the mid-20th century, when Kakiemon XII and his son Kakiemon XIII joined forces and finally succeeded in recreating it in 1953. The Kakiemon kiln was designated an Intangible Cultural Asset in 1971, and the fourteenth generation of the family, Kakiemon XIV, was designated a Living National Treasure in 2001. Their porcelains are highly valued by collectors, and this classic tokkuri is a most uncommon shape.

CONDITION is perfect.

DIMENSIONS: 9” (23 cm) high, 3 ¾” (9.5 cm) square at base. Wood box is 10 ½” (28.9 cm) high x 5 ¾” (14.8 cm) square.

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