Japanese and Chinese antiques and art from B & C
Arita Sometsuke Ozara Charger with Rabbits in Relief

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1900: item # 949962

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

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Arita Sometsuke Ozara Charger with Rabbits in Relief
SOLD, thank you!

This wonderful large Japanese Imari Imari “sometsuke ozara” (blue and white porcelain charger) is hand painted with a pair of whimsical white rabbits molded in low relief on an underglaze blue background of scrolling clouds and flying cranes. Meiji period (1868-1912). The low relief white bodies of the two hares occupy the forefront against a light blue decorated ground highlighted with small areas of darker cobalt blue, creating a vivid contrast in color and texture. An ozara decorated with this delightful motif is illustrated in Figure 163 in the rare limited edition book “Sometsuke Imari Ozara” (“Imari Ware: Blue and White Large Dishes”) by Masahiko Kawahara, Tokyo,1974.

Oversized dishes (“ozara”) first became popular among the wealthy urban elite in the 16th century, and paintings since the Edo period often depicted ozara as an important part of the décor for formal gatherings. In the19th century, when ordinary townspeople had become affluent and restaurants multiplied, the popularity of large blue and white dishes became even more widespread. In response to this new affluence, large dishes were produced in some quantity and sold throughout Japan. With the penetration of urban culture to rural districts due to improved land and sea transportation, Arita porcelain became widely distributed, and many of these oversized dishes were used at large dinner parties held by leading families in rural districts.

Arita is a town on the island of Kyushu which has been a center of Japanese porcelain production since the seventeenth century. With Arita blue and whites, the blue is produced from a cobalt or indigo pigment and is painted straight onto the biscuit, after which the piece is glazed and fired. Ceramics for everyday use were made at the same kilns that were producing highly ornate, purely decorative wares primarily for export. Blue and white sometsuke porcelain ozara in this style were made for the domestic Japanese market, and they are prized by Japanese collectors today. Antique Arita chargers decorated with this particular molded rabbit motif are much sought after due to their rarity.

CONDITION is excellent with no chips, cracks or repairs. There are just a few tiny kiln burns and some glaze pinholes, all of which are from production and are not unusual on this type of ware. DIMENSIONS: 15” (38 cm) diameter, 2” (5 cm) deep.

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