This is a charming small bowl with an overglaze blue transfer design of six small boys playing and dancing. The image is good for a transfer design and the scene is one of merriment. The bowl measures 6””diameter at the top and is 1 3/4” deep. The rim of the bowl has a lightly scalloped edge. In the bottom of the bowl is a reserve set aside with a band of Greek key geometrics – these surround a reserve that has a picture of two peaches.
The outer sides of the bowl have small sprays of stylized flowers. The base is not glazed. From the look of the unglazed clay – and the iron spots that appear in some areas of the glaze – we date this piece to the Meiji period, circa 1880s – 1910. It is in excellent condition with no chips or cracks.
Transfer printing is a way of reproducing two-dimensional designs on ceramics. At its best it results in high-quality decoration at a low cost per unit. The design is printed onto a sheet of tissue paper or a thin pliable layer of gelatin (animal glue), by means of which it is then transferred onto the surface of the ware.