top of page

Japanese Porcelain

Baraset House Fine Arts specializes in early Japanese porcelain from the seventeenth-century kilns of Arita.

black-background-with-white-spotlight_53876-104891.jpg

Pair of Cockerel Groups, Arita kiln, circa 1700

A rare pair of late 17th/early 18th century Arita porcelain models of Cockerel, Hen & Chick on a tree stump

Arita, figural Kakiemon type, Hizen province, Japan

Edo period (late 17th century/early 18th century)

circa 1700

The porcelain models measuring 14.5cm high (5-3/4 inches).

In superb original condition.

 

Each modelled with a large bushy tailed Bantam rooster with finely moulded feathers, picked out in black, green, red, aubergine and gilt enamels, a small hen roosting at his left side, a chick crouching beneath his right wing, all raised upon a moulded tree stump loosely and freely enamelled with splashes of black, green and aubergine washes. The porcelain Arita, Japan circa 1700.

 

An identical pair of Arita Cockerel, Hen & Chick models, mounted on French ormolu bases and with scrolling foliate-cast candle branches, sold Christie's (New York) auction 19031 'The Collector' October 8, 2020, lot 8.

 

An identical model of Arita Cockerel, Hen & Chick model in the Collection of Dr. Toshio Noda (Tokyo, Japan) illustrated p.109, figure 123. An identical model in The Stichting Paleis Het Loo National Museum (Netherlands).

black-background-with-white-spotlight_53876-104891.jpg

Early Enamelled Figures, Kakiemon related, Arita, circa 1665

A very early and rare pair of 17th century Kakiemon figures of bijin (Japanese courtesans) wearing uchikake (outer garment) enamelled in the Kakiemon style with kichō panels (Curtains of State) and sylized falling leaves

 

Arita, Kakiemon style, Hizen province, Japan

Early Edo period, Kanbun Era (1661-1673)

c1660-70

14.5 cm high x 6 cm wide across the base

Provenance: 

Christie’s (London) ‘Japanese Works of Art’, 6 & 7 March 1989, lot 321 "A pair of Kakiemon models of bijin" (see final two images for Christie's auction catalogue and lot 321 coloured illustration of the present pair of Kakiemon bijin figures).

Possibly two of the “310 small statuettes” shipped to Holland in 1665 aboard the Nieuwenhoven out of the cargo of the Amerongen from Japan to Batavia.

Literature:

See Christie's (London) "Japanese Works of Art" 7 & 8 March 1989, lot 321, for the present pair with colour illustration.

 

For an almost identical pair, see Oliver Impey & Christian Jorg "Dragons, Tigers and Bamboo: Japanese Porcelain and Its Impact in Europe; The MacDonald Collection" (The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, 2009), for an almost identical pair of bijin, museum number G05.12.25.1 and G05.12.25.2.

The standing courtesans are modelled wearing the uchikake robe (formal outer garment with no sash) over several luxuriant layers of najajuban (underkimonos) which are decorated in the very early Kakiemon palette of iron-red, green, blue and black enamels.

The large and flowing uchikake robe with draped sleeves is sparingly decorated with stylized maple leaves and rectangular panels known as kichō panels (Curtains of State), which depict room dividers that were used to shield court ladies from the eyes of men. In notable contrast to these privacy panels depicted on the back of their robes, the bijin are modelled coquettishly lifting the front of their outer garments to reveal the kosode (inner kimono) underneath, and to give the viewer a tantalizing glimpse of their delicate feet.

Pair of rare and early enamelled Kakiemon figures of bijin circa 1665
Pair of rare and early enamelled Kakiemon figures of bijin circa 1665
Pair of rare and early enamelled Kakiemon figures of bijin circa 1665
Pair of rare and early enamelled Kakiemon figures of bijin circa 1665
Pair of rare and early enamelled Kakiemon figures of bijin circa 1665
Pair of rare and early enamelled Kakiemon figures of bijin circa 1665
Pair of rare and early enamelled Kakiemon figures of bijin circa 1665
Pair of rare and early enamelled Kakiemon figures of bijin circa 1665
Pair of rare and early enamelled Kakiemon figures of bijin circa 1665
Pair of rare and early enamelled Kakiemon figures of bijin circa 1665
Pair of rare and early enamelled Kakiemon figures of bijin circa 1665
Pair of rare and early enamelled Kakiemon figures of bijin circa 1665
Christie's 1989 lot 321 Kakiemon figures of bijin
black-background-with-white-spotlight_53876-104891.jpg

Pair of Cockerel Groups, Arita kiln, circa 1700

A rare pair of late 17th/early 18th century Arita porcelain models of Cockerel, Hen & Chick on a tree stump

mounted upon antique French Rococo pierced ormolu bases

Arita, figural Kakiemon type, Hizen province, Japan

Edo period (late 17th century/early 18th century)

circa 1700

The porcelain models measuring 14.5cm high (5-3/4 inches);

including the ormolu mounts measuring 17.8cm high (7 inches).

Each modelled with a large bushy tailed Bantam rooster with finely moulded feathers, picked out in black, green, red, aubergine and gilt enamels, a small hen roosting at his left side, a chick crouching beneath his right wing, all raised upon a moulded tree stump loosely and freely enamelled with splashes of black, green and aubergine washes. The porcelain Arita, Japan circa 1700.

Mounted in France on gilt-bronze (ormolu) bases in the Louis XV taste.

An identical pair of Arita Cockerel, Hen & Chick models, mounted on French ormolu bases and with scrolling foliate-cast candle branches, sold Christie's (New York) auction 19031 'The Collector' October 8, 2020, lot 8.

 

An identical model of Arita Cockerel, Hen & Chick model in the Collection of Dr. Toshio Noda (Tokyo, Japan) illustrated p.109, figure 123. An identical model in The Stichting Paleis Het Loo National Museum (Netherlands).

Arita models of Cockerel, hen & chick, c1700
black-background-with-white-spotlight_53876-104891.jpg

Early Enamelled Ware, Kakiemon related, Arita, circa 1650-75

An important set of five 17th century Early Enamelled Ware (Kakiemon related) abalone shell shaped mukōzuke dishes, brilliantly enamelled in overglaze blue, green and black with a flowering Himalayan blue poppy and two seed-heads issuing from the scalloped dish edge

 

Arita, Early Enamelled Ware, Kakiemon related, Hizen province, Japan

early Edo period (mid-late 17th century)

12.9 cm long x 9 cm wide x 2.9 cm high

Literature:

See Impey, Oliver, Japanese Export Porcelain: Catalogue of the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Amsterdam: Hotei Publishing, 2002), pg.93, no.97 (Story Fund, 1989.168) for the only other known recorded identical example, categorized as Early Enamelled Ware; Kakiemon-related.

The present set of five abalone shaped dishes enamelled in blue, green and black with flowering poppies sprouting from the scalloped dish edge represent a brilliantly executed production of bright, almost translucent colouring in the very early enamelled ware of Japan.

 

An identical example to the present set was acquired by the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, UK) in 1989 (Story Fund 1989.168) classified by Dr. Oliver Impey as "Early Enamelled Ware - Kakiemon related style, Arita". This extraordinarly rare early enamelled blue poppy dish has been catagorized both as Ko-Kutani and early Kakiemon lineage.

Arita Early Kakiemon abalone shell-shaped Blue Poppy dishes c1655-65
black-background-with-white-spotlight_53876-104891.jpg

Early Enamelled Ware, Kakiemon-related, Arita kiln, circa 1650-75

An Early Enamelled Ware Kakiemon-related shell-shaped dish on high foot, enamelled in two-tone overglaze blue with a flowering Himalayan blue poppy and two poppy seed-heads (pods) growing from the scalloped edge
 

Early Enamelled Ware; Kakiemon-related, Arita, Japan

early Edo period (third quarter 17th century)

c1650-1675

Measuring 12.9 cm (5.1") in length; 9 cm (3.5") in width; 2.9 cm (1.14") in height

A similar example of this exceptionally rare dish is on display in the Japanese Gallery of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. It is thought that the present dish may predate the Ashmoleon example, which differs only in that the Ashmolean example has two-tone enamelling in overglaze blue and green, whereas the present example has two-tone enamelling in dark overglaze blue and light overglaze blue.

No other example of this early blue poppy design on a shell-shaped Arita dish is known.

An incredibly rare piece of early Japanese porcelain history, likely representing a pivotal period in which the early Ko-Kutani enamels transitioned into the developing style of the Kakiemon.

 

Literature:

see Impey, Oliver 'Japanese Export Porcelain: The Collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford' (2002), pg.93, no.97 (Story Fund, 1989.168) categorized as Early Enamelled Ware; Kakiemon-related, for one of six recorded polychrome examples with both blue and green enamels (five of which are currently in our collection).

black-background-with-white-spotlight_53876-104891.jpg

Early Enamelled dish, Ko-Kutani type, Arita kiln, circa 1650-55

A very rare mid 17th century early enamelled (iroe) Arita Ko-Kutani type porcelain dish enamelled with octopus arabesques & cherry blossoms, Arita, c1650-55

 

Arita kiln, Early Enamelled ware, ko-Kutani type, Hizen province, Japan
early Edo period (mid 17th century)

circa 1650-55

Measuring 15.0 cm (6.0") in diameter; 3.5 cm (1.5") in height

The rather thickly potted white porcelain dish of circular form with a flared rim, the interior asymmetrically painted in underglaze blue with flowering chrysanthemums and leaves which unusually wrap completely around the rim of the dish and continue uninterrupted onto the reverse. Enamelled in overglaze rich yellow tako-karakusa (octopus arabesque scrolls) and with five brick-red overglaze cherry blossoms which appear to float on circular reserves.

The coloured palette is traditionally associated with the early enamelled wares of the town of Kutani. Though it was previously thought that this type of Japanese porcelain was made at the Old Kutani kilns in Enuma County, it is now accepted that dish was made in the middle of the 17th century in the Arita kilns. We can now call this type of early Japanese porcelain "Arita porcelain of Ko-Kutani type".

 

The reverse with a particularly high foot rim and fuku mark in underglaze blue, now associated with the Kusunokidani kiln, Arita, Japan.

black-background-with-white-spotlight_53876-104891.jpg

Ai-Kakiemon, Arita kiln circa 1670

A very fine Ai-Kakiemon dish on high foot in the Nabeshima taste

superbly painted with gnarled prunus tree, banded hedge & snowflakes

Old Kakiemon B kiln, Ai-Kakiemon type, Arita, Hizen province, Japan

early Edo period (17th century)

Kanbun era (1660-1673)/Enpo Era (1673-1680)

circa 1670

Measuring 15.3cm diameter ; 3.5cm high

Of moulded form with scalloped rim dressed in iron-red fuchi-beni (lip rouge), sublimely decorated in underglaze cobalt blue with an assymmetrical scene of snowflakes drifting onto banded hedge fences enclosing ancient gnarled prunus (blossoming cherry) trees.

 

Delicately moulded and painted in the Nabeshima taste, the dish is raised on a notably high foot painted with comb design and two concentric rings, the reverse of the dish assymmetrically decorated with flower sprays. 

The reverse bears a single spur mark and character mark within a double square. This character mark, originally the inscription of the Kusunokitani kiln around the 1650s is seen in the works of the Chokichidani kiln, and the Old Kakiemon kilns, especially Old Kakiemon B kiln. This character mark was in use in the Old Kakiemon B kiln beginning around 1660 and out of use by 1680. 

According to Kazuo Seki in Beauty of Prime Period Imari: selected works of under-glazed blue porcelain (Tokyo 1990) "the most superior works of small plates and small bowls of this period...[these] works hae the intricacy, beauty in form and usefullness that show technique in its perfection...in these perfect works you will recognize the refined world of the under-glazed blue with extremely delicate line drawing; these quality are comparable with The Nabeshima Ware.

Ai-Kakiemon foliate rimmed dish on high foot, with prunus and snowflakes pattern, c1670
black-background-with-white-spotlight_53876-104891.jpg

Early enamelled ware, Ko-Kutani type, Arita kiln circa 1650

An Important and Exceptionally Fine Early Enamelled Arita Iroe Ko-Kutani non-biscuit (namagake) porcelain dish

depicting Wild Geese and Reed (Ashi Gan No Zu)

 

Early Enamelled Ware, previously called Ko-Kutani type, Arita kiln, Hizen province, Japan

early Edo period (mid 17th century), Joo era (1650-55)

circa 1650

Measuring 14cm (5.51 inches) in diameter

Literature: see the exhibition catalogue of Ko-Kutani: Aote-to-kozara, Hankyu Hyakkaten, 1974 (Takigawa Hoseido, Catalogue of an exhibition organized by and held at Hanyu Hyakkaten, Nov.8-13, 1974, Hankyu Dentetsu Kabushiki Kaisha), monochrome plate no. 85 for an identical Ko-Kutani circular dish with wild geese and reeds.

 

With outstretched wings, a wild goose decends to the waters below, honking greeting at his mate who stands by another goose on a reedy sandbank. This theme of 'Goose Descending to Sandbar' is derived from the great Song cycle of painting - 'Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers', the earliest known painted version by Song Di (c.1015 - c.1080). This theme was beloved in Japan. The composition on this piece is very similar to a silk painting by Lu Ji (c.1420 - c.1505) entitled 'Lu ding lai yan' ('Wild Geese Returning to Reedy Sandbank') illustrated in Gugong shuhua tulu (Palace Museum Catalogue of Calligraphy and Paintings), col.7, p.179. The theme of geese in late autumn on a lonely river bank heralds the coming of winter.

This very early Arita-kiln non-biscuit (namagake) porcelain of circular form with gently flared rim is covered with a very pale bluish-grey glaze, the interior superbly painted with the five overglaze enamels of pale yellow, brilliant blue, turquoise green, iron red and bold aubergine, with black outlining, depicting a wild goose in flight above two geese standing amongst reeds on a sandbank. The underside is decorated with black outlined turquoise-green symbolic objects and iron red tassels. This early enamelled dish was manufactured in Arita just before trade with Europe through the V.O.C. (Dutch East India Company) began.

black-background-with-white-spotlight_53876-104891.jpg

Kakiemon-related, Arita kiln, circa 1655-65

An extremely fine and rare pair of 17th century Japanese moulded dishes (mukōzuke) in the form of peacocks, superbly and fluidly painted in rich tones of underglaze cobalt blue

 

Arita kiln, Ai-Kakiemon type, Hizen province, Japan

Early Edo Period

circa 1660-80

An extraordinarily rare pair of moulded dishes (mukōzuke) in the form of peacocks, very finely and crisply moulded and raised on a tall foot, naturalistically decorated in very rich and varied tones of cobalt blue that appear to float in the velvety glaze.

The reverse is distinctively decorated with wheat grasses and flowering plants above a footrim border decorated with geometric overlapping waves.

 

These fine peacock dishes have individual lined bags and a blue presentation cushion, all fitted within an antique wooden storage box.

 

The mukōzuke are small dishes for serving an 'amuse-bouche' as part of the traditional Kaiseki meal which precedes the drinking of the ceremonial tea in the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Provenance:

with Robert McPherson Oriental Art (Friesland, Netherlands)

 

Condition

Superb original condition; no damage or restoration.