The porcelain of Nabeshima (named after the ruling clan) was made at Okawachi, north of Arita, probably from the latter half of the 17th century until c.1870, exclusively for the ruling shogun and feudal lords. As this ware was the preserve of the aristocracy, little of it except “kiln wasters”, or seconds, would have reached the West before the late 19th century. A few examples have been sold at auction since World War II (including some of questionable date). Apart from a few pieces of hollow-ware – bottles, vases, boxes, and censers –most surviving items are dishes. In that category the majority are saucer dishes with exceptionally tall foot-rims (over 1.2cm high); the remainder are small pieces of various shapes.
Nabeshima ware is arguably the most refined of all pre-19th-century Japanese porcelain. The decoration is imaginative, timeless, and meticulously executed. The most popular themes are seasonal flowers or wintry trees, sometimes combined with underlying or juxtaposed patterns, which may be derived from waves, Chinese trelliswork, or basketry. This type of decoration could only have been achieved by using a stencil or some kind of transfer-printing technique. For example, the repetitive geometric pattern called “calm-water” (seigaha) shows no evidence whatsoever of individual strokes, with their inevitable variations in intensity. Designs are often entirely outlined in underglaze blue with enamel infilling of iron red, turquoise, yellow, pale manganese, and black detailing, in a technique that recalls the doucai porcelains dating from the early Ming period in China. The glaze is of a soft, pale, greyish-blue tone.
A feature of the characteristic Nabeshima saucer dishes is the underglaze-blue decoration on the
tall foot, which is found on most pieces. The decoration consists of a continuous band of elongated “teeth” resembling a comb, known as kusitakade. The underside of the rim is usually painted with beribbonec coins (known as “cash”), clump of formal flowers, or undulating foliage. Like much Nabeshima ware, saucer dishes tend to be decorated in colors, as this was
more desirable than the standard blue.
Some of the earliest Japanese blue-and-white porcelain was produced at Hirado, near Arita, toward the beginning of the 17th century. Production at the sites of Kihara and Nanko was made possible through the employment of immigrant Korean potters. The later wares, from another site at Mikawachi where production is thought to have begun c.1760, are the most familiar. These wares, either white or blue and white, were made from the very pure clay from the island of Amakusa, allowing the most intricate modelling and refined potting.
Production consisted of censers, brushpots, jars, vases, bottles, teawares, bowls, and dishes. From c.184( some of the larger pieces were applied with dragons or shi-shi (a depiction of the Buddhist lion) as either handles or knops. Other pieces were molded in shallow relief with isolated flower-heads, symbols, or trellis. Blue-and-white wares were sensitively painted in a slightly blurred underglaze blue of varying tone. The most popular themes are children at play or vertiginous landscapes, but birds and large botanical subjects were also used. Border embellishment is invariably small and includes pointed leaves and pendant tassels.
• BODY virtually flawless
• POTTING thin and always very neatly executed
• GLAZE subtly grained; a soft, bluish appearance
• PALETTE usually polychrome – underglaze blue, iron red, yellow, turquoise green, pale manganese/tan, and, very rarely, black
• FORMS mainly flatwares; saucer dishes
• DECORATION natural subjects
• BODY pure white with an “icing-sugar” texture
• GLAZE a soft, bluish hue
• PALPATE either white or blue and white
Nabeshima wares are never marked; Hirado wares are sometimes marked with the place of manufacture, occasionally with the potter’s or decorator’s name, or, most rarely, with a date.
|No items matching the keyword phrase "" were found. This could be due to the keyword phrase used, or could mean your server is unable to communicate with Ebays RSS2 Server.
No items matching the keyword phrase "" were found. This could be due to the keyword phrase used, or could mean your server is unable to communicate with Ebays RSS2 Server.