A Large Mid-18thC Japanese Porcelain Kutani Vase c.1740

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Origin: Japanese
Period: Edo
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1740-60
Height: 21.75”
Base Diameter: 6.5”
Top Diameter: 7”

The large Japanese Kutani vase having an ovoid body enamelled and gilt with a woman and child in a garden on a tomato-red ground, the reverse with Hō-ō, diaper, karakusa and other flowers between, the base unmarked, surviving from mid-eighteenth century Japan.

The vase has considerable age and the rim and lip has at some stage been damaged and cracked into a few small sections and then restored, so there are a few visible joins showing the segment to the lip. Please see photographs for visual reference. The body has some expected decoration wear, it being mis-fired, crazing and general wear. The vase is still beautifully decorative and is priced to reflect the restoration.

This curious vase is largely in Arita style, but is in an anomalous body. This, with the misfired enamelling, has all the indication of an early piece. Kutani ware (九谷焼 Kutani-yaki?) is a style of Japanese porcelain first established by Gotō Saijirō, a member of the Maeda clan, who set up a kiln in the village of Kutani (now part of the city of Kaga) on the order of Maeda Toshiharu, ruler of the Kaga domain. The porcelain style is known for multiple colours, as we see in this early piece, such as greens, blues, yellows, purples, and reds, and bold designs covering most of the surface of each piece.

In Japan, as earlier in China, the mythical Phoenix which we see to two sides of this vase was adopted as a symbol of the imperial household, particularily the empress. This mythical bird represents fire, the sun, justice, obedience, fidelity, and the southern star constellations.

A good decorators piece of imposing size with an early period feel.

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