The Bodhisattva Collection

Rare Japanese Edo Bowl (1700-1730) in Chinese Style

Rare Japanese Edo Bowl (1700-1730) in Chinese Style

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Porcelain: Pre 1800: Item # 937448
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From our Japanese Collection, a fine and rare early 18th century blue and white porcelain Arita bowl, Edo Period circa 1700-1730, painted in the Chinese style, depicting Shoulao (the Chinese god of wisdom and longevity) on a flying crane in the center well, with four alternating reserves depicting the Eight Immortals on the outer wall, separated by reserves of shou characters (Chinese good luck signs), and all executed in a slightly greyish underglaze blue typical of early 18th century Arita ware.

Aficionados of both Chinese and Japanese blue and white will appreciate how this fascinating bowl evidences the close inter-relationship between the Japanese and Chinese porcelain traditions. Specifically, this bowl is an 18th century Japanese interpretation of an earlier Chinese Ming Dynasty design, reflecting how the emerging Japanese porcelain industry originally borrowed heavily from the design motifs of the earlier Chinese painters, until they (the Japanese) had developed their own distinct style. Indeed, the copying of Chinese styles by Japanese porcelain painters, and also Japanese styles by Chinese porcelain painters, is something that continues for centuries. What is especially charming about this bowl is how the Japanese painter has actually executed the Chinese shou characters incorrectly. This is not surprising when one realizes that the porcelain painters were often illiterate even within their own language. This is a fascinating piece that will enhance any fine collection of either Japanese or Chinese porcelain.

Size and Condition: The bowl appears to be in perfect condition with old copper banding to the rim, the copper itself having a good patina and is quite old as well. There is really no safe way to remove the banding and definitively determine whether the copper rim was added as just a decorative / protective measure to safeguard the rim, or perhaps instead to conceal a nick or chip. But the bowl rings completely fine, and close examination of the entire area contiguous with the copper rim does not reveal any hint of damage whatsoever. 8 ¼” diameter (21 cm) x 4” high (10.2 cm)