Fine Japanese art and tea implements

A Hirado Porcelain Table Screen (Scholarâs Studio Item)

A Hirado Porcelain Table Screen (Scholar’s Studio Item)

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Porcelain: Pre 1900: Item # 1332653

Please refer to our stock # TRC1615 when inquiring.
Kyoto Ceramics and Fine Art
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Kamigamo District
Kyoto, Japan

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This extraordinary piece depicting what appears to be a learned scholar (possibly of foreign origin?) being escorted by a young vassal, is done in fine white porcelain from the Hirado region of Japan. Hirado wares—alternately known as Mikawachi wares in some contexts—are known throughout Japan and also abroad for their high quality and fine craftsmanship and date back at least as far as the mid-18th century when they were produced exclusively for powerful lords and their families. In the 19th century, Hirado wares became popular abroad—especially in the Victorian West—and by the 1840s Hirado porcelains had become an export eagerly sought after by sophisticated buyers around the world. Hirado porcelain became so popular in fact that it was featured in the great international expositions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In very good condition, this piece is 5.1 inches long (13 cm), 1.6 inches wide (4cm), and stands 5.1 inches tall (13 cm). It comes with a fitted wooden box with the characters 平戸 (Hirado) - Hirado, 人物文 (jinbutsu bun) - depiction of figures, 硯屏 (kenbyou) - scholar’s table screen. Such desk screens were used to prevent dust and fine particles from settling in the scholar’s carefully prepared ink and also to keep ink from splashing on the desk. Judging from the condition, composition, and foot of the piece, it appears to be mid 19th century. A similar work can be seen in Hirado Porcelain of Japan: From the Kurtzman Family Collection (p 34) published by the LA County Museum of Art in conjunction with a 1997 exhibition.

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