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A Fine Pair Of Ando JuBei Moriage (Relief) Enamel Vases
Ando Mark, Late Meiji Period (Circa 1900 - 1910)
12 in. (30.5 cm) high

Enamel Vases

A pair of vases with tall shoulders and a short out-turned mouths, worked in moriage enamels and silver wire, each with a branch of camelia and a Java sparrow against a grey-green background, applied with silver rims and root-rings, the enamelled bases with the silver wire seal of Ando Jubei

This important pair of vases is an excellent example of the new style of decoration which developed several different media toward the end of the Meiji period (1868 - 1912). The trend towards greater simplification and a more harmonious relationship between form and motif started to emerge around 1895, when judges at the Fourth National Industrial Exposition commented that a vase by Namikawa Yasuyuki demonstrated a shift from traditional motifs towards 'a picture far beyond a mere pattern'. However, it was not until the very early years of the twentieth century, after the Japanese displays at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle had been criticised for their failure to move with international taste, that both designers and art-bureaucrats moved decisively towards the more open and elegant style of decoration seen here. In the particular case of enamels, technical advances in the adhesion of the enamels to the body meant that from around 1900 or so it was possible to leave large areas of uninterrupted background colour.

all text, images © Shimazu


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