These bottles are decorated in underglaze cobalt blue and colored enamels with a design of various painted fans floating on an iron red enamel ground that is covered with gilt spirals. The interiors and mouthrims are clear glazed. The bases are glazed clear and the footrings are unglazed, exposing the fine white porcelain paste. They are signed Kozan (Dai Nippon Kozan Sei) in underglaze blue. Both are in very good condition. Acquired from a collector in Fredericksburg, Virginia circa 1990.
Height: 8 in., Diameter: 4 ¼ in.
The central design of a stylized garden scene is surrounded by four peach-shaped cartouches in red, green, and gold enamels on a ground of underglaze cobalt blue plum blossoms highlighted in gold enamel. The reverse is encircled by underglaze blue chrysanthemums and a ring of enameled decoration around the foot. A spurious Chinese six-character Jiajing is written in underglaze blue on the base encircled by a single line of blue. An iron impurity in the clay has left a brown spot on the base. There is fine sand adhering to the foot from firing. The gilded mouth rim exhibits typical wear. Overall very good condition – no chips cracks or restorations. Acquired in Japan in 1975.
Diameter: 8 3/8 in., Height: 1 ½ in.
In the Karatsu style, but probably Kyoto ware. The buff-colored stoneware body is decorated with a stylized plum tree design in underglaze iron oxide with white slip clay for the blossoms. It is covered overall in a clear glaze that thickens a bit along one side of the inner wall, making a curtain effect. Opposite sides of the dish have been knife-cut for aesthetic appeal. The underside is clear glazed over hastily painted designs in iron oxide and white slip. The base and footring are unglazed with handwritten characters in sumi ink – Takayasu?, maybe an owner's mark. The rim is edged in iron oxide and there are several small old rim chips. A small kiln crack from the firing can be seen near the footring. This bowl was likely made for the tea ceremony, intended for serving sweet cakes to the guests.
Diameter: 8 in., Height: 2 1/2 in.
This high-fired bottle was produced at the Mino Kilns in Gifu Prefecture in pale-gray stoneware. The bottle is covered overall in a transparent glaze with a greenish tint. The lower portion of the body is left unglazed as is also the flat foot. It is well-potted, having three indentations on the sides, creating a comfortable fit for the hand while pouring. The neck rises from the somewhat flattened shoulder, ending in a rounded lip which now has several small chips along with a small chip to the base. Otherwise, good condition. Collected in Japan in the early 1970s.
Height: 6 in., Diameter: 3 ¼ in.
Made in Mino in Gifu prefecture, these e-shino type small bowls were produced in sets of five or ten and used to serve guests the special foods of the Kaiseki meal that often accompanied formal tea ceremonies. These two bowls were wheel-formed, then shaped while the clay was still wet. They were then painted with simple, almost abstract designs using iron oxide for the pigment. Then they were dipped in a thick white glaze which was allowed to fall unevenly over the body, inside and out. The bottoms are carved with a shallow footring and partially covered in white glaze. The oval-shaped potter's seal is impressed on one side of the footring. Much of the bottom is unglazed, including three fingertip marks where the potter held it when he dipped it into the glaze. Shino ware was a very highly regarded ceramic by practitioners of the tea ceremony. Good condition, no cracks or restorations.
Height: 2 in., Diameter: 3 ¾ in. (both)
An example of “Kenjo” Imari presentation ware, having high quality enamel decoration in reds, green, aubergine and gilding surrounding underglaze cobalt blue. There is a fine, lightly stained crackle to the interior and exterior base. This piece was made for domestic use in Japan and was not intended for export. Overall good condition. Purchased in Kyoto ca. 1974.
Diameter: 7 ¼ in., Height: 3 in.
Decorated with a scene of birds and trees in the Kakiemon palette and style in overglaze enamels on a clear glazed white porcelain background. The base is slightly recessed and the footring is unglazed, exposing the hard, white porcelain paste. The shoulder is carved with a groove design that radiates from the base of the neck and is decorated with a scattered flower design in overglaze red enamel. The base is painted with an underglaze blue fuku mark in cursive script. It was intended for use as a sake bottle. It is in good condition with no chips, cracks or restorations. There are a few scattered iron specks in the white porcelain.
Height: 7 ¾ in., Diameter: 4 in.
This shallow bowl-shaped dish is set on a high foot with the characteristic Nabeshima comb pattern encircling it. The interior is painted with a design of chrysanthemums in cobalt blue of clear, rich tone. The underside is painted in the same cobalt blue with four groupings of four coin designs often seen on dishes of this size and shape. It is covered overall in a fine clear glaze with only the footring exposing the refined porcelain paste. Good condition with no restorations or repairs. There is minor wear and a few very tiny iron spots under the glaze. It was purchased in Japan in the early 1970s.
Height: 1 ¾ in.; Diameter: 6 ¼ in.
This shallow bowl-form dish is decorated with a peony growing from a rocky ground in underglaze cobalt blue. It is set on a high foot--characteristic of classic Nabeshima dishes. The foot is painted with the so-called comb tooth pattern often seen on dishes of this sort. It is glazed overall in an even, clear glaze that takes on a very slight, pale celadon tinge on the exterior. The base is glazed and the fine paste is exposed on the footring. The condition is very good, having no chips, cracks or restorations. It was acquired in Japan in the early 1970s.
Height: 2 3/8 in.; Diameter: 8 in.
Patterned after a Chinese Kangxi “Hawthorn” design. This bottle is delicately and rather thinly potted with a long, narrow neck rising from a bulbous body. It is painted in underglaze cobalt blue with a “cracked ice” pattern scattered overall with plum buds and blossoms—a design known among English connoisseurs in the early 20th century as the Hawthorn pattern. This piece is identifiable as Hirado from the unglazed base which shows the very distinctive vitreous paste characteristic of the highly refined porcelain produced at this kiln. The base is very slightly inset and there is a small unglazed footring. The inside is clear glazed. Very good condition.
Height: 6 ¾ in.; Width: 3 ½ in.
Finely potted shallow bowl-form dish with an everted octagonal rim, painted on the exterior in underglaze cobalt blue with a scrolling vine and flower motif. The interior is delicately painted in overglaze enamels with a scene of a male and a female pheasant among flowers and the rim is decorated with eight flower scrolls in red, green and blue enamel colors and gilding. The bowl is raised on a low footring encircled by three underglaze blue lines. The base is glazed and has one underglaze blue circle within the footring. The foot is unglazed exposing the fine white paste—now partially obscured by some soiling. Overall condition is very good. The glaze is even and clear. There is a tiny glaze flake to the green enamel next to one of the rim flowers. There are no damages or repairs to the porcelain.
Height: 1 ½ in.; Diameter: 5 ¼ in.
This Satsuma ware tea caddy is made in the shape of a lacquer natsume tea caddy for use in the tea ceremony as a container for powdered green tea. This shape is given this name because it resembles a natsume plum. It is glazed overall with a finely crackled clear glaze showing the buff-colored clay body beneath. Overglaze enamels decorate the top and sides with open and closed fan designs. The interiors of both the lid and container are glazed as is also the base. The base is slightly recessed and a narrow portion of the foot is unglazed exposing the clay body—now darkened from use. The exposed inner rim likewise is naturally stained from years of use. Tea caddies of this form were usually made of wood and lacquer. Ceramic ones are not usually encountered. The design of this piece may have been inspired by the earlier, well-known potter, Nonomura Ninsei (c. 1574-1660), who worked in Kyoto and produced numerous articles in overglaze enameled earthenware for tea ceremony use. Good condition overall—some wear to the gilt enamel. No chips, cracks or repairs.
Height: 2 7/8 in.; Diameter: 3 in.
Shallow bowl-shaped dish is raised on a tall foot and is decorated in underglaze blue with a branch of cherry blossoms encircling the interior. The painting is well-executed and the image is possibly based on a textile design. The underside is painted with three chrysanthemum sprays and the foot is decorated with the characteristic comb tooth pattern. Dish is glazed overall in a clear glaze leaving only the footring unglazed exposing the fine porcelain paste. There are a few small glaze dimples and minor scratches from use. Generally very good condition. No cracks, chips, repairs or restorations.
Height: 2 ¼ in.; Diameter: 8 1/8 in.
The shape of this lobed dish with three sides was likely inspired by ceramic forms said to be based on the shape of Mount Fuji. The shallow tri-lobed dish is set on a raised foot with its circumference painted in a continuous fretwork pattern in underglaze cobalt blue. In the center of the glazed base is a square seal-form fuku mark. The edge of the flaring rim is enameled brown. A basket of flowers in the standard Kakiemon palette is painted to one side of the interior making a pleasant asymmetric effect against the clear-glazed white porcelain background.
Height: 1 1/8 in.; Width: 6 ½ in.
Painted in thick overglaze enamels with a scene of fish with human bodies brandishing sticks at a large turtle-like creature. The base in inscribed in gold enamel with a date, a four-character seal and the English name, Thomas Bigelow written in katakana script. The date reads: Meiji 39 (1906), fourth month, tenth day. It is unusual to find specifically dated porcelains and particularly with an individual western name inscribed. This item might have been part of a set ordered by Bigelow or a design furnished by him. Slight wear to the gilding on the rim and minor unevenness to the footring from the firing, but overall good condition.
Diameter: 8 ¼ in.; Height: 1 ½ in.