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Subject:Japanese Pottery Kutani ? Arita? Help !!
Posted By: Arion Sat, Sep 17, 2005

Can anyone tell me whether this bowl is a Kutani bowl or some other manufacturer and what age please? Thank you







Subject:Re: Japanese Pottery Kutani ? Arita? Help !!
Posted By: Gary Sun, Sep 18, 2005

Interesting dish...the design almost shouts Japanese but the unglazed ring in the centre (used to stack them on top of each other for firing) is an Anamise or SE China pointer? (see photo)

So?...It could be Japanese made by a Chinese potter?..looks 17th-18th Century but would need a close up of the enamels and underglaze blue to be sure?

Gary.



Subject:Re: Japanese Pottery Kutani ? Arita? Help !!
Posted By: Oliver Sun, Dec 29, 2019

This blue and white piece illustrated was a very common 19thc South China export ware sent mostly to Indonesia and the Phillipines .It was available in vast quantiies in New Zealand in the 1970's and I have owned many pieces.It often came with burial pieces which were much earlier and were a mixture of Chinese and Thai wares of the 15th/16th century

Subject:Re: Japanese Pottery Kutani ? Arita? Help !!
Posted By: Arion Sun, Sep 18, 2005

Gary, the inside ring you refer to is not unglazed. It is actually painted overglaze purplish enamel. However, the footrim does have some kiln grit which may quite possible point to Chinese origin. Any other comments or possibilities would be welcome. Quite a puzzler!!!

Subject:Re: Re: Japanese Pottery Kutani ? Arita? Help !!
Posted By: Robert Sun, Sep 18, 2005

Arion,

Interesting dish! However, certain aspects such as the kiln grit and what seem to be chatter marks on the foot, not to mention the shape of the piece makes me wonder about a Kutani (and even a Japanese) attribution. In any event I am not an expert, and Kutani is still an attribution that is tossed around a lot but upon which we do not seem to have firm footing yet. Nowadays the name Kutani is associated by most people with the late 19th century red and gold enameled wares. Originally, as you know, it referred to enameled ceramics made in Kaga rather than Arita (Hizen), places fairly far apart geographically. Characteristically, these earlier wares (some made perhaps as early as the 1630s) had an asymmetric central decoration (as in your piece) with outlining in black or matte brown enamel (also often used to dress the mouth rim) and painted in deep, brilliant enamel colors, particularly green, turquoise blue-green, mustard yellow, and purple, sometimes with smaller areas in blue enamel (by the way, current scholarship suggests that this early Japanese blue enamel is similar if not identical to the Chinese blue enamel used from the late Ming/Transitional period), and sometimes a dry cherry to brownish-red enamel (which is missing from the Aote or “green-style” Kutani pieces). It should also be noted that some “Kutani” thought to be early has underglaze blue (sometsuki) like your piece, in addition to the overglaze enamel colors. The literature on early Kutani (ko-Kutani) is very confusing and inconsistent, added to by the supposed revival or actually several revivals of the style beginning in the early 19th century. One of the problems is that everything called ko-Kutani could not possibly have been made in Kutani, a remote, mountainous village on Honshu, in the 17th century (the old Kutani kilns are thought to have been in operation only for a relatively short period of time from about 1630-40 to about 1700). Another argument for this position is the wide variety of clay bodies associated with pieces attributed to Kutani village. These vary from relatively thin, high fired porcelain (as yours seems to be), through heavy porcelainous stoneware to bodies that are not far removed from earthenware. The base glazes and shapes of the pieces also vary greatly. Some have a base glaze that shows as a faint bluish or greenish-toned white (e.g., like the typical Imari body) others are milk or egg shell white (Kakiemon body); some have no crackle, while others have profuse crackle; some have base glazes that are glossy, while others are matte. Searches of old Kaga kiln sites have turned up numerous shards that suggest the early production of stoneware and porcelain in the area, but not much evidence for the classical ko-Kutani types, such as the famous large dishes. Many theories have been proposed to account for this, some more farfetched than others: e.g., Chinese enamellers (along with their technology and materials) were brought to Kaga (or to a larger nearby town) to decorate bodies imported “in the white” from Arita! Current scholarship (led primarily by the Japanese and a few Western researchers, e.g., Oliver Impey) is tending to the conclusion that much of what has been called old Kutani is actually old Arita ware in a “Kutani” style. This style can also be seen as having a mixture of outside influences, also quite diverse, such as from Chinese late Ming and Transitional enameled wares, Korean punchong wares (i.e., in certain stylistic aspects such as the use of small diaper or filler ornaments for patterning large open surfaces as seen especially in the Aote (Ao)-Kutani wares), and in addition the influences of the early Kyoto artist-potters. Interestingly, compared with Arita, Imari, and even Kakiemon porcelain, not much really early ko-Kutani wares appear to have been exported from Japan, except perhaps some to South Asia (by the Chinese?). Would not the Dutch traders who exported huge quantites of porcelain from Arita in the second half of the 17th century have purchased these brilliantly colored wares had they been readily available there? If made in Arita at all, could the bulk of ko-Kutani wares have been made after the Dutch were expelled? As I see it, more research needs to be done, especially in the area of comparative physical-chemical analysis of the so-called ko-Kutani wares and shard samples (especially those with enamels) from the different kiln sites. In the meantime, it might be best to keep an open mind, viewing old Kutani as a wonderful amalgam of diverse styles rather than a production attributed to any one geographical location.

Subject:Re: Re: Japanese Pottery Kutani ? Arita? Help !!
Posted By: Gary Sun, Sep 18, 2005

Sorry Arion,

Yes, I see it now...mmm then I must keep to my original instinct and say Japanese!

Still probably the same sort of date I would have thought!

Gary.

Subject:Re: Japanese Pottery Kutani ? Arita? Help !!
Posted By: Anthony M. Lee Thu, Sep 29, 2005

Actually Japanese, and not Arita, but rather Ko-Kutani and late 19th to early 20th century for the Japanese market. The green shade is a bit of and the overglaze blue suggests to me after the early period of the mid 17th century and likely 18th century in dating. I would doubt it is part of the Yoshidaya revival of the styles of the 19th century, the octagon is not 19th, but 17-18th century in taste. Seems to be rather large, so in the category for Kashibon - sweets platter, or perhaps for serving communally in the second round of dishes passed in a tea ceremony kaiseki meal.

Anthony M. Lee
Asian Art Research

Subject:Re: Re: Japanese Pottery Kutani ? Arita? Help !!
Posted By: Robert Fri, Sep 30, 2005

Mr. Lee, Now I'm really confused.

You posted "Actually Japanese, and not Arita, but rather Ko-Kutani and late 19th to early 20th century for the Japanese market. The green shade is a bit of and the overglaze blue suggests to me after the early period of the mid 17th century and likely 18th century in dating. I would doubt it is part of the Yoshidaya revival of the styles of the 19th century, the octagon is not 19th, but 17-18th century in taste."

Your first sentance says it is ko-Kutani late 19th to early 20th century, but the second sentance of your post suggests that you think it may be 18th century. If late 19th c or early 20th c would it be incorrect to call it Ko (old) Kutani but rather ko-Kutani style?

I agree with you that the green tone is off; the green enamels of Ko Kutani tend to be deeper, richer, sometimes even brilliant and mirror-like when seen in the right light. However, I'm confused as to why it can't be Arita. I've been led to believe that Ko Kutani was really more of a porcelainous stoneware body, while the piece in question looks more like a true high fired porcelain with the typical Arita blueish-toned white base glaze.


Subject:Re: Re: Re: Japanese Pottery Kutani
Posted By: Anthony M. Lee Fri, Sep 30, 2005

Sorry, my brain was in shutdown mode when I wrote that first sentence - I was thinking of something else at the same time I was writing - NOT 19th to 20th century - rather 17th to 18th century. As works with the rest of the description. I had thought that was what I wrote in the first sentence - I have not been writing much on the forum, so I wrote about 60 responses yesterday and some got mixed in my head - in my opinion - Your bowl is early Ko-Kutani and not 19th century or early 20th century revival.

Apologies for confusion - AML - AAR

Subject:Re: Japanese Pottery Kutani
Posted By: Oliver Sun, Dec 29, 2019

I agree I think your bowl is 17thc Kutani

Subject:Re: Japanese Pottery Kutani ? Arita? Help !!
Posted By: Kang Fri, Sep 23, 2005

A puzzlement. Border and form on the top very Japanese in aethestics. But center plum blossoms are not at all Japanese IMHO, also kind of stiff. Bottom bowl form and footrim also suspect although the red scrolls are nice and free.

Stepping back, think it is not something a Japanese would buy.

Cheers,
kang

Subject:Re: Re: Japanese Pottery Kutani ? Arita? Help !!
Posted By: Arion Thu, Sep 29, 2005

Thanks Kang ! A puzzle indeed. Based on the feedback and generous forum contributions, I would have to say my best guess would have to be Japanese Arita late 17th to early 18th century. Your comment regarding "something Japanese would not buy" seems to rule out Chinese made for Japanese market. Yet I suppose anything is possible. I will continue to try and attribute more definitively and let you know if I find out more. Thanks again everyone for your input.


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