Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art

An Imari Dish â Three Friends of Winter Design

An Imari Dish – Three Friends of Winter Design

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Porcelain: Pre 1950: Item # 950810

Please refer to our stock # 49 when inquiring.
This in an unusual Imari dish in that it combines both a transfer design and overglaze enamel painting. In the center of the dish is a blue transfer design of the Three Friends of Winter. Around the edges is an overglaze enamel design rather sloppily painted. The dish measures 6” diameter and is 2” high. It is in excellent condition. We date it to the late Meiji to early Showa period, circa 1910-1940s.

The pine tree, the bamboo, and the plum blossom (song zhú méi) are admired for their perseverance under harsh conditions, and are together known as the "Three Friends in Winter". The "Three Friends" is traditionally used as a system of ranking in Japan, for example in sushi sets or accommodations at a traditional Ryokan (inn). Pine (matsu) is of the first rank, bamboo (také ) is of second rank, and plum (ume) is of the third.