Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art
A Large Tokoname Vase with Dragon – Taisho/Showa

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Ichiban Japanese & Oriental Antiques
Post Office Box 395
Marion, CT 06444-0395

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A Large Tokoname Vase with Dragon – Taisho/Showa
This is a large Japanese pottery vase made in the Tokoname potteries in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The vase has a low relief of a dragon in and out of the body of the vase. There are two finely detailed karashishi heads on the sides as handles for the vase. The piece measures 9” high and is 5” wide at its widest. The vase dates from the mid 1920s -to late 1930s. . The piece is decorated on a brownish red brick re unglazed body with the impressed design of a dragon encircling the entire piece – at the top the rim there are four geometric figures. It is in excellent condition. There is a stamped signature on the base one is the character that translates as “Zen” - the others are too blurred to read.

Pieces representing the beginnings of Tokoname ware were made at the end of the Heian period (794-1185) and it is now counted among Japan's six old kilns. The others are: Bizen, Shigaraki, Tamba, Seto and Echizen. They are known as The Six Ancient Kilns of Japan". Jars appeared in the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868) and normal household tableware started to be produced at the end of the Edo period alongside the prized tea ceremony pieces. The red coloring which develops as a result of the iron in the clay is a special feature of this ware, and while some of the pieces develop the qualities of the clay to the full, others are glazed. The product line is mainly composed of traditional items including items for tea ceremony use, vases, ornaments, decorative plant pots, bonsai trays, and an assortment of jars and larger pots.

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