Teacup and saucer. Provenance: Japan. Dating: Late 17th early 18th century. Teacup and saucer on a footring with a straight rim and both with a glazed base. Imari decorated in underglaze blue with iron-red, and gold. The exterior wall of the teacup is decorated with flowering plants and a white hare running away from foaming waves, on the bottom a flower spray. In the centre of the saucer also a flower spray. The central representation is surrounded by with flowering plants and a white hare running away from foaming waves. The hare is associated with the moon and old age. Legends says that the doe conceives by running on the waves on the 18th day of the 8th month when the moon is reflected in the water (Arts 1983), this may explain the wavy lines on this teacup and saucer. There is another version of the legend that tells: A white hare on the island of Oki wanted to go to the mainland but as he could not swim, he cunningly asked a number of crocodiles to line up in the water, under the pretence of counting them to see if there were more crocodiles in the sea than hares on Oki. He had almost reached the shore by jumping across their backs, when the last crocodile saw through his deception and snapped off all his fur before the hare leapt ashore. Dimensions: Teacup; Height: 39 mm (1.54 inch), Diameter: 66 mm (2.60 inch), Diameter of footring: 26 mm (1.02 inch). Saucer;
Height: 20 mm (0.79 inch), Diameter: 110 mm (4.33 inch), Diameter of footring: 55 mm or (2.17 inch). Condition teacup: A tiny fleabite to the inner rim. Condition saucer: A shallow glaze chip to the outer rim of the saucer. References; P.L.W. Arts, Japanese porcelain, Lochem 1983, pp. 113-114. C.J.A. Jörg, Fine & Curious: Japanese Export Porcelain in Dutch Collections, Amsterdam 2003, p.117, obj 126, and p.197, objects 247 and 247a.