Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art
A Japanese Imari Jardiniere in Ormolu Mounting -19th C.

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Ichiban Japanese & Oriental Antiques
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Marion, CT 06444-0395

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A Japanese Imari Jardiniere in Ormolu Mounting -19th C.
This is a fine large Japanese Imari jardiniere mounted in intricate ormolu mounts. The entire rim is encircled with a reticulated ormolu rim with three different bands of intricate geometric designs. The two handles are well-defined dragons also in ormolu. The body of the jardinière has the classic early Japanese decoration of overglaze enameled flowers and leaves in red and blue. The piece measures 10 ¾” diameter including the handles – the body alone measures 8” diameter at its widest and is 6 ¾” high. It is in excellent condition. A couple of the spikes on the rim are slightly bent but none appear to be missing. There are traces of verdi gris in the grooves of the dragon handles. There are no chips or cracks to the Imari bowl. We date the piece to the early 19th century, Edo period.

Ormolu is bronze or brass decorative mounts covered in gilt used to decorate furniture and porcelains. Ormolu (from French or moulu, signifying gold ground or pounded) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-karat gold to an object in bronze. The French refer to this technique as bronze doré, which is used to this day though the item may be merely painted with gold-tone paint. The modern term in English is gilt bronze, which bears no relation to ormolu in process or materials. A later substitute of a mixture of metals resembling ormolu was developed in France and called pomponne, though, confusingly, the mix of copper and zinc, sometimes with an addition of tin, is technically a type of brass.

The bronze mounts were cast by lost wax casting, and then chiseled and chased to add detail. Rococo gilt-bronze tends to be finely cast, lightly chiseled, and part burnished. Chinese and European porcelains mounted in gilt-bronze were luxury wares that heightened the impact of often-costly and ornamental ceramic pieces sometimes used for display. Chinese ceramics with gilt-bronze mounts were produced under the guidance of the Parisian marchands-merciers, for only they had access to the ceramics (often purchased in the Netherlands) and the ability to overleap the guild restrictions.

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