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A rare pair of 17th century Japanese Kakiemon ewers

decorated in underglaze blue and overglaze enamels with a continuous lakeside landscape and pavillions


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

Early Edo period (17th century)

circa 1660-80


Each of ovoid form on footring with tall tapering cylindrical neck, cup-shaped mouth with pinched spout and curved handle pierced for metalwork mounts. Some kiln-grit adhering to footrims.


Decorated in iron-red, brilliant green, black enamels and underglaze blue depicting a continuous scene featuring a lakeside landscape with pavilions by the shore amongst foliage, rockwork, and stylised clouds, the neck with ascending sprays of bellflower beneath a border of ruyi heads, the pierced loop handle with karakusa scrolls in underglaze blue and red enamel.

The shoulder and foot encircled with a double blue line; a single red line beneath the landscape scene.



Ewer A - very minor chip to rim of mouth; professionally restored; otherwise excellent condition.

Ewer B - restored section to rim of mouth; overpainted (see images).


Each ewer approx. 9 ¼ in. (23.5 cm.) high


According to Christian J.A. Jorg 'Fine & Curious: Japanese Export Porcelain in Dutch Collections' (2003) page 161, no. 181, "the combination of a Transitional-style landscape in blue with this type of enamelled decoration is very unusual. The enamelling, which occurs in a second firing, is contemporary and fills the space left blank by the painter who worked in underglaze blue. The dark red is comparable to that of the early enamelled group and the piece can be considered a transition between the early enamels and the developing Kakiemon and Imari style."

A rare pair of 17thC Early Enamelled Kakiemon ewers, Arita, Japan c1660-80



    416 666 6295


  • Additional Information


    See,  Christian J.A. Jorg 'Fine & Curious: Japanese Export Porcelain in Dutch Collections' page 161, no. 181, for a comparable but slightly larger illustrated example in the Groninger Museum, Groningen. Jorg notes that "no comparable pieces seem to be recorded".

    An almost identical pair of ewers, formerly in the Collection of the Dowager Countess Bathurst, sold at Christie's (London) 21 July 2020, lot 8.

    Another, similar, sold Christie's (London) Japanese sale 16 Nov 1998, lot 17.

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