Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art

A Shiwan Pottery Figure of Daruma - Late Qing

A Shiwan Pottery Figure of Daruma - Late Qing

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Pre 1920: Item # 1146509

Please refer to our stock # 28AAA when inquiring.
This is a very dynamic and arresting pottery of Daruma from the Shiwan kilns. It would have been made during the late Qing dynasty, circa 1880s-1910. The legendary Zen Monk, Daruma, is shown in a standing posture and wearing his classical hooded gown which is glazed with brilliant Sancai or Sang de Boeuf(oxblood) glaze while his face, arm and foot show the typical brown unglazed clay color.

A very unusual feature is that the left forearm and hand of the figure were modeled separately and made to fit into a hole in the chest of the Daruma. We speculate that this was done to make it simpler to mold as the arm could be made in one piece without protruding from the figure which would have made it more susceptible to damage in the kiln. Whatever the reason, the arm is still with the piece and we have shown it both in place and as a separate piece. The figure measures 10 1/2" high by 5½" wide by 3 1/2"deep and is in excellent condition. We particularly like the slightly cockeyed expression on his face with his left eye looking upwards as if looking up at a bird or the sky.

Shiwan Ware was from kilns located in the Guangdong provincial city of Foshan. Area ceramic production experienced a long history by the late Ming period 16th century when ceramic artisans from perhaps Dehua and Jingdezhen relocated to the Shiwan area and expanded local production into a vigorous export related industry. Shiwan wares provide a contrast with more conservatively rendered Dehua efforts. Clay for the ware was provided not only from area preserves, but also from distant locations that could be variously mixed to provide a variety of textures and desired ceramic outcomes. The range could extend from a porcelain, that could rival Dehua in purity, to a rough stoneware. Shiwan ware was widely exported. Its glazing techniques directly influenced Japanese Shiga wares and others.