Ca. early 1800s
This unusual vessel consists of a tall footed bowl of conical form and a ring-shaped stand encircled by carved ocean waves. The bowl is carved with characteristic Hirado key and triangular fretwork and is heavily potted for the necessary stability of its function to hold the tall branches of a flower arrangement. The interior of the bowl is set with a cylindrical collar 2 ¾ in. in diameter in which a pronged flower holder can be placed to support stems and branches of the arrangement. Except for the collar which is glazed white,, the bowl is covered in a pale lavender-blue glaze that is made by adding a small amount of cobalt to the clear glaze—an unusual color for Hiradoware. The stand is similarly glazed—the waves having a whitish tone where the blue glaze was thinly applied. Very good condition, no cracks or chips. Old soil from use remains inside collar.
Hirado porcelains were produced in southern Japan on the island of Kyushu under the patronage of the Hirado Daimyo. The wares were of the highest quality and ranked with Nabeshima as porcelains suitable for use by the emperor or Shogun.
Diameter: 8 in.; Height: 4 5/8 in.