From our Japanese Collection, a truly spectacular, massive, and published pair of imari double gourd vases, late Edo to early Meiji Period circa 1855 -1875, executed in the typical imari palette of iron-red, blue, orange, and gilt, with birds and dragons set against the "Three Friends of Winter" design of pine, prunus, and bamboo.
The double gourd shape is a very desirable form for imari collectors, but rarely is it encountered in such monumental proportions like this massive pair. Typically, one might expect to find vases like this in the 10 to 12 inch size range, but pieces on this scale are not common. Published in Japanese Export Ceramics, 1860-1920, by Nancy Schiffer, page 49. For those who have the book, please bear in mind that the prices stated therein are from the year 2000, and are 10 years old already.
Size and condition: 18.5 inches tall, 9 inches wide at the widest part of the bottom bell. There is some minor and expected rubbing to the gilt and enamels commensurate with age, but overall excellent condition with no repairs or restoration of any kind. One vase has a small flaw on the top bell that looks like a small porcelain flake, but this is an original firing flaw and not damage.