From our Japanese Collection, a good Fuyode Ko-Imari Arita blue and white porcelain dish, the term "Fuyode" referring to late 17th century Japanese porcelain painted in the style of Chinese Ming Dynasty porcelain. This is one of the earliest examples of Japanese Arita ware. This dish is painted in underglaze blue with a central panel of flowering peony, and with panels of the “Three Friends of Winter" design (pine, bamboo, and prunus) in the border. The reverse is sparsely painted with karakusa, and there are several spur marks to the base.
The history of these pieces is fascinating. Early Arita was purchased by the Dutch in the late 17th century for export to the West as replacement for Chinese porcelain, whose supplies had significantly diminished after the fall of the Ming Dynasty. At that time, China was in chaos and their porcelain kilns were largely dysfunctional. But the Dutch traders already had a thriving porcelain export trade with great demand still coming from the West. So with Chinese supplies dwindling, they turned instead to the Japanese, who by this time had discovered the secrets of porcelain production themselves. This new demand from the Dutch helped jumpstart Japan’s fledgling industry, whereby they often used designs copied from or inspired by Chinese examples. This piece is a beautiful survivor from this period - a very early Japanese-made dish painted in a version of a Chinese kraakware design. Unlike much of the Japanese cobalt blue painting of this period that tended to fire to a dull grey blue, this piece has an unusually vibrant blue.
Size and Condition: Essentially perfect: some general wear commensurate with age, but no damage, repairs, or restoration. 10 ¼” diameter (26 cm) x 2” deep (5 cm).