Spoils of Time Asian Ceramics and Works of Art

Massive 17th, 18th Century Ko-Imari Bijin Vase, Probably Genroku Era

Massive 17th, 18th Century Ko-Imari Bijin Vase, Probably Genroku Era


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Porcelain: Pre 1800: Item # 1337767
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Frederick, MD 21701


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 $6,800.00 
A massive imari vase with decoration of the Genroku era of bijin (a beauty) and hana (flowers) on two opposing panels alternating with two more opposing panels of a structure (tea house?) in garden landscape - all in red, gold and black enamels with blue underglaze. Similar landscape decorated panels appear on the shoulder over a ground of hanabishi (flowery diamond) in repeating diamond bordered pattern. The hanabishi (sometimes also referred to as karabana, or 'Chinese flower') could be representative of a ka-mon (family crest). The prominent Takeda family and its branches used the hanabishi ka-mon onward after the Heian period. The Genroku era spanned from 1688 to 1704. The arts and luxuries reached their apex during this era of the Edo period - contributing to large, opulent expressions such as the present vase. Genroku style and influence continued for a short time after (as could this vase) while the Tokugawa Shogunate struggled with inflation after devaluing coin quality in an attempt to sustain the appearance of prosperity (sound familiar?) So in some ways the Tokugawa followed in the footsteps of the decadent Ashikaga. Good, stable condition save an old crack through the foot rim which might originate with the firing as a crazing pattern conforms along and around the crack as if from excessive heat (limited to inside the foot and the lower portion of one bijin panel.) Vase height (not including cover) is 15 7/8 inches (40.32 cm)

This vase is accompanied by a Chinese, late Qing dynasty, exquisitely carved hardwood cover. The fit is loose and the cover a bit small proportionately. As they did not start life together, we are amenable to selling the cover separately should someone have a need. The cover would best fit a large vase with interior rim diameter of no smaller than 4 9/16" (11.58 cm). The cover is 7 5/16" (18.57 cm) with the wood grain (there is substantial shrinkage of the wood against the grain with age.) The cover is in presentable condition with some glue evidence on the interior - probably from refitting after shrinkage.