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Lidded box

Lidded box

  • Place of origin:

    Aichi (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1870-1880 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hara Fujio (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain decorated with cloisonné enamels

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Sir Harry Garner

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This lidded porcelain container (Japanese: ‘natsume’) was possibly used to hold tea. The lid is decorated in silver wires with two quail amongst flowers, a band of stylised bats and clouds and a band of scrolling ‘karakusa’ (Chinese grass). The main body continues with a band of scrolling ‘karakusa’ with the main decoration of plovers and waves followed by a small band of brass wire ‘karakusa’, all in matt cloisonné enamels. The interior has been given a thin wash of either brown lacquer or enamel and then decorated with gold and silver lacquer birds, flowers and abstract geometrical motifs. The interior foot has the artist’s signature written in gold lacquer.

The Nagoya-based cloisonné artist Tsukamoto Kaisuke (1828-1887) is generally credited with discovering how to apply cloisonné enamels to a ceramic vessel around 1868. However, this was a relatively short-lived innovation and was never very popular. This was probably because enamels on porcelain tended to look dull and dirty and were liable to crack. Nevertheless, some fine and durable examples were produced, like this piece.

Physical description

Lidded porcelain container (Japanese: natsume), possibly for tea

Place of Origin

Aichi (made)


ca. 1870-1880 (made)


Hara Fujio (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Porcelain decorated with cloisonné enamels

Marks and inscriptions

Dai Nihon Aichi ken Hara Fujio Zo
Made by Hara Fujio of Aichi prefecture in Great Japan


Height: 10.2 cm including lid

Object history note

Gift of Sir Harry Garner

Descriptive line

Met, Japan, VESS/CONT/HOLDERS/cloisonne on ceramic

Met, Japan, VESS/CONT/HOLDERS/cloisonne on ceramic








East Asia Collection

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