Export Ewer, Chokichidani kiln, Arita c.1665
A Very Finely Painted and Potted Export Wine Ewer of European form,
made in Arita for export by the Dutch East India Company,
painted in the Chinese Transitional Style
early Edo period, Kanbun era (1660-1673)
Measuring 21.3 cm 8.42 inches in height
This ovoid-shpaed export wine ewer - with its form based on German stoneware, its distinctively Japanese spreading takefushi (bamboo-noded) foot, its bold painting adopted directly from the Chinese Transitional style of the late Ming Dynasty, and pierced loop handle destined for European silver-mounts - stands as a testament to the highly active trade-routes of the 17th century. Created in Japan, of European shape, painted in the Chinese style and ordered by the Dutch East India company for shipment to Amsterdam; this piece is truly representative of historical trade and cross-cultural influence.
The straight neck painted with a band of foliage, the sides painted in fine underglaze cobalt blue tones with a continuous scene of scholars conversing in a terraced garden among willow, pine and a waterfall, flowering sprays of lotus to the neck, moulded circles around the foot, with some kiln-grit adhering to the outside and inside of the foot. The loop handle pierced, but unmounted.
Jorg describes the takefushi shape of the bulging foot as spreading and then turning sharply inwards - a uniquely Japanese feature known as 'bamboo-noded'.
A 17thC Japanese Export wine ewer Chokichidani kiln, Arita, Early Edo, c1665
The Tonbodama Art Museum Exhibition (1996). Illustrated p.63 cat. 60.
Impey, Oliver. Catalogue of the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum (2002). Impey illustrates is a fragmentary ewer dating to 1666 found at Chokichidani kiln site, identical to the present ewer.
A nearly identical ewer in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Story Fund EA2000.4, also attributed to workshops at the Chokichdani kiln.
Jorg, Christian. Fine & Curious: Japanese Export Porcelain in Dutch Collections, p.49, cat. 178.
"The Voyage of Old-Imari Porcelains" , Kyushu Ceramic Museum, Kashima City, Japan, 2000, page 132.