This tall, unusual stand is decorated with cobalt blue under the glaze and with overglaze enamels in iron-red, green, and gold. It has four large cutouts on the sides, revealing the interior that is glazed white. The cut edges of the open cartouches are dressed with gilt enamel as is also the top rim. The footrim is unglazed, exposing the white porcelain body. It is in very good condition with no repairs or damages, with only minor wear to the enamels.
Height: 6 5/8 in., Width: 7 ¼ in.
Made in Mino in Gifu prefecture, these e-shino type small bowls were produced in sets of five or ten and used to serve guests the special foods of the Kaiseki meal that often accompanied formal tea ceremonies. These two bowls were wheel-formed, then shaped while the clay was still wet. They were then painted with simple, almost abstract designs using iron oxide for the pigment. Then they were dipped in a thick white glaze which was allowed to fall unevenly over the body, inside and out. The bottoms are carved with a shallow footring and partially covered in white glaze. The oval-shaped potter's seal is impressed on one side of the footring. Much of the bottom is unglazed, including three fingertip marks where the potter held it when he dipped it into the glaze. Shino ware was a very highly regarded ceramic by practitioners of the tea ceremony. Good condition, no cracks or restorations.
Height: 2 in., Diameter: 3 ¾ in. (both)
Earthenware pair with mirror-image decorated overall with figures of Buddhist Arhats (enlightened followers of the Buddha). The Arhats are depicted in various enamel colors wearing brocade robes picked out in gold enamel. A dragon writhes among them, painted in slightly raised enamel and stylized rocks surround the vases beneath the Arhats’ feet. The Satsuma crest is seen in gold enamel on the shoulder of each vase. The bases are inscribed with the artist’s name: Hakuzan, and a small Satsuma crest all in gold on a red enamel rectangle. Vases come in original black paper-covered wood presentation box, lidded and hinged in the western style, and the fitted interior is covered in padded silk. Both vases are in very good condition, no chips or cracks.
Height: 12 1/8 in.
This bowl is decorated with a pine branch in underglaze blue and brown. A characteristic V groove cut is present in the footring, and an impressed seal of the artist / potter is on the base inside the foot. It is in good condition.
Diameter: 5 in., Height: 3in.
These bottles are decorated in underglaze cobalt blue and colored enamels with a design of various painted fans floating on an iron red enamel ground that is covered with gilt spirals. The interiors and mouthrims are clear glazed. The bases are glazed clear and the footrings are unglazed, exposing the fine white porcelain paste. They are signed Kozan (Dai Nippon Kozan Sei) in underglaze blue. Both are in very good condition. Acquired from a collector in Fredericksburg, Virginia circa 1990.
Height: 8 in., Diameter: 4 ¼ in.
The interior is decorated in an underglaze blue sea creature design, and red, green and yellow enamel beneath the rim. The lip has been somewhat squared and turned-in, and the rim is gilded. The base has a six-character Great Japan Eiraku mark. Good condition, no cracks chips or repairs.
Height: 3 ¼, Width: 5 1/2 in.
This unusual vessel consists of a tall footed bowl of conical form and a ring-shaped stand encircled by carved ocean waves. The bowl is carved with characteristic Hirado key and triangular fretwork and is heavily potted for the necessary stability of its function to hold the tall branches of a flower arrangement. The interior of the bowl is set with a cylindrical collar 2 ¾ in. in diameter in which a pronged flower holder can be placed to support stems and branches of the arrangement. Except for the collar which is glazed white,, the bowl is covered in a pale lavender-blue glaze that is made by adding a small amount of cobalt to the clear glaze—an unusual color for Hiradoware. The stand is similarly glazed—the waves having a whitish tone where the blue glaze was thinly applied. Very good condition, no cracks or chips. Old soil from use remains inside collar.
Hirado porcelains were produced in southern Japan on the island of Kyushu under the patronage of the Hirado Daimyo. The wares were of the highest quality and ranked with Nabeshima as porcelains suitable for use by the emperor or Shogun.
Diameter: 8 in.; Height: 4 5/8 in.
Each dish is painted with a similar design in colored overglaze enamels with a phoenix bird in flight over a paulownia spray and leafy garlands in the background. Each dish is molded in the shape of a chrysanthemum flower, and set on a low foot. The footring is unglazed, exposing the fine white porcelain body. A “fuku” mark in underglaze blue is painted on the base of each, and an iron-red cash symbol is drawn on the exterior wall. The dishes are four graduated sizes and were intended for serving individual condiments for a formal meal. All are in good condition.
Width: 4 5/8 in., Height: 1 in. Width: 4 ¼ in., Height: 1 ½ in. Width: 3 ½ in., Height: ¾ in. Width: 2 7/8 in., Height: 1 in.
These dishes have an underglaze blue design of treasure ships (wishes for good fortune). The reverse of each is painted with a stylized wave design encircling the foot and a double gourd mark with two characters is painted on the bases. Acquired in the 1960s from an American collection. There are minor nicks to the glaze on the rims, otherwise good condition – no cracks or repairs.
Diameter: 6 7/8 in., Height: 1 in.
Finely potted shallow bowl-form dish with an everted octagonal rim, painted on the exterior in underglaze cobalt blue with a scrolling vine and flower motif. The interior is delicately painted in overglaze enamels with a scene of a male and a female pheasant among flowers and the rim is decorated with eight flower scrolls in red, green and blue enamel colors and gilding. The bowl is raised on a low footring encircled by three underglaze blue lines. The base is glazed and has one underglaze blue circle within the footring. The foot is unglazed exposing the fine white paste—now partially obscured by some soiling. Overall condition is very good. The glaze is even and clear. There is a tiny glaze flake to the green enamel next to one of the rim flowers. There are no damages or repairs to the porcelain.
Height: 1 ½ in.; Diameter: 5 ¼ in.
This Satsuma ware tea caddy is made in the shape of a lacquer natsume tea caddy for use in the tea ceremony as a container for powdered green tea. This shape is given this name because it resembles a natsume plum. It is glazed overall with a finely crackled clear glaze showing the buff-colored clay body beneath. Overglaze enamels decorate the top and sides with open and closed fan designs. The interiors of both the lid and container are glazed as is also the base. The base is slightly recessed and a narrow portion of the foot is unglazed exposing the clay body—now darkened from use. The exposed inner rim likewise is naturally stained from years of use. Tea caddies of this form were usually made of wood and lacquer. Ceramic ones are not usually encountered. The design of this piece may have been inspired by the earlier, well-known potter, Nonomura Ninsei (c. 1574-1660), who worked in Kyoto and produced numerous articles in overglaze enameled earthenware for tea ceremony use. Good condition overall—some wear to the gilt enamel. No chips, cracks or repairs.
Height: 2 7/8 in.; Diameter: 3 in.
This dish is decorated in underglaze cobalt blue with a strong palette of red and green overglaze enamel with gold highlights. The base is inscribed with a spurious Chinese Wanli mark in underglaze cobalt blue. Good condition, with light wear, no restorations.
Diameter: 12 in., Height: 2 1/4 in.
This shallow bowl-form dish is decorated with a peony growing from a rocky ground in underglaze cobalt blue. It is set on a high foot--characteristic of classic Nabeshima dishes. The foot is painted with the so-called comb tooth pattern often seen on dishes of this sort. It is glazed overall in an even, clear glaze that takes on a very slight, pale celadon tinge on the exterior. The base is glazed and the fine paste is exposed on the footring. The condition is very good, having no chips, cracks or restorations. It was acquired in Japan in the early 1970s.
Height: 2 3/8 in.; Diameter: 8 in.
In the Karatsu style, but probably Kyoto ware. The buff-colored stoneware body is decorated with a stylized plum tree design in underglaze iron oxide with white slip clay for the blossoms. It is covered overall in a clear glaze that thickens a bit along one side of the inner wall, making a curtain effect. Opposite sides of the dish have been knife-cut for aesthetic appeal. The underside is clear glazed over hastily painted designs in iron oxide and white slip. The base and footring are unglazed with handwritten characters in sumi ink – Takayasu?, maybe an owner's mark. The rim is edged in iron oxide and there are several small old rim chips. A small kiln crack from the firing can be seen near the footring. This bowl was likely made for the tea ceremony, intended for serving sweet cakes to the guests.
Diameter: 8 in., Height: 2 1/2 in.
This high-fired bottle was produced at the Mino Kilns in Gifu Prefecture in pale-gray stoneware. The bottle is covered overall in a transparent glaze with a greenish tint. The lower portion of the body is left unglazed as is also the flat foot. It is well-potted, having three indentations on the sides, creating a comfortable fit for the hand while pouring. The neck rises from the somewhat flattened shoulder, ending in a rounded lip which now has several small chips along with a small chip to the base. Otherwise, good condition. Collected in Japan in the early 1970s.
Height: 6 in., Diameter: 3 ¼ in.
This large scalloped-rim dish is painted in underglaze cobalt blue with a folk art “mingei” view of Mt. Fuji with pine trees and stylized sailboats on a lake. The painting is hastily brushed in the mingei manner, with a few cobalt drips here and there. It is raised on a low footring with the paste exposed, and six spur marks remain on the glazed base. It was used as a serving vessel for family or communed meals and retains some evidence of use. No repairs or cracks.
Diameter: 11 ¼ in., Height: 1 5/8 in.
The central design of a stylized garden scene is surrounded by four peach-shaped cartouches in red, green, and gold enamels on a ground of underglaze cobalt blue plum blossoms highlighted in gold enamel. The reverse is encircled by underglaze blue chrysanthemums and a ring of enameled decoration around the foot. A spurious Chinese six-character Jiajing is written in underglaze blue on the base encircled by a single line of blue. An iron impurity in the clay has left a brown spot on the base. There is fine sand adhering to the foot from firing. The gilded mouth rim exhibits typical wear. Overall very good condition – no chips cracks or restorations. Acquired in Japan in 1975.
Diameter: 8 3/8 in., Height: 1 ½ in.