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Ref. 1340

“Imari”

Arita Porcelain

Pair of large porcelain vases

Japan

Late 19th century

Height : 107 cm (42 in.) ; Diameter : 40 cm (15 3/4 in.)

A very fine pair of Imari porcelain vases, of tapering form with flared top. Decorated with polychrome birds and flowers on white background. The body is painted with shaped panels of figural court scenes. A dragon made in relief wraps around the vase.

Commentary

The Imari porcelain is a ceramic style born around 1600 in the area of Arita (有田町), city of potters on the island of Kyushu, in southern Japan. According to tradition, this is a Korean named Ri Sampei installed in the region, who operated a kaolin deposit at the foot of the hill of Izumiyama. He managed the merger of kaolin, up to 1400 ° C, to obtain similar porcelain to the Chinese one’s ending thus a monopoly that was older than seven centuries. This porcelain is characterized by a decoration using three colors: cobalt blue, iron red and white background porcelain, the whole being embellished with gold. It mainly presents floral decoration and was called “Imari”, the name of the port on the island of Kyushu, from where it was exported, a few kilometers from Arita. Because of the supply problems in China due to political unrest in the seventeenth century, the Dutch, with their East Company of the United Provinces, imported the first Imaris from Japan.

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