Ko-Kutani, Arita kiln, c.1650
A very Fine and Early Enamelled Arita Iroe Ko-Kutani non-biscuit (namagake) porcelain footed bowl
depicting Ho-o birds encircling a spurious Chenghua reign mark
early Edo period, Joo era (1650-55)
Measuring 13 cm (5.11 inches) in diameter, 4.2cm (1.65inches) in height
This slightly thickly potted non-biscuit Arita-kiln porcelain of circular form with curved sides set on a typically small foot, covered with a blue-grey tinged glaze partly thickly pooled, the interior painted in underglaze cobalt blue, fine original iron red and overglaze enamels with a pair of ho-o birds in flight to the side walls, an underglaze-blue spurious Chenghua six-character mark within cobalt-blue and iron red circles, the underside encircled by folded pine needles (ori-matsuba), kiln-grit adhering to the unglazed footrim.
This early enamelled dish was manufactured in Arita just before trade with Europe through the V.O.C. (Dutch East India Company) began. It is excessively rare to find authentic early Ko-Kutani of this period and quality in the West.
Ko-Kutani, Arita kiln, Ho-o birds deep bowl, early Edo period, Joo era (1650-55)
A fine Japanese Private Collection, Kyushu, Japan
Ogi, I. Shoki Imari kara ko-Kutani yoshiki, page 187, colour plates 212 and 213.