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Jar and lid

Jar and lid

  • Place of origin:

    Arita (made)

  • Date:

    1690-1720 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain painted in underglaze blue, overglaze enamels, and gold

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 145, case EXP []

This large lidded jar is a fine example of the type of porcelain made in early 18th-century Japan for export to Europe. It forms part of a garniture consisting of three lidded jar and two vases. The areas of dark blue were achieved by painting with cobalt oxide under a clear glaze and firing to a high temperature in a reducing atmosphere - one in which the kiln is starved of oxygen so that the burning fuel draws chemically bonded oxygen from the reactive parts of the ceramic material, leaving them in a reduced state and changing their colour. The gold, red and other enamel colours were applied and fused on in subsequent, low-temperature firings. The distinctive so-called Imari-style colour scheme was much copied by 18th-century European manufacturers. The term Imari comes from the name of the port in western Japan through which this and other products of the nearby Arita kilns were shipped. Porcelains for export were sent to Nagasaki and then shipped abroad by Chinese and Dutch merchants, the Dutch, who were based on the island of Dejima, being the only Europeans permitted to conduct trade in Japan at this time.

Physical description

Jar and cover painted in blue, red and gold with floral motifs including peonies, prunus and grape vines.

Place of Origin

Arita (made)


1690-1720 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Porcelain painted in underglaze blue, overglaze enamels, and gold


Height: 76.2 cm, Diameter: 36.8 cm

Descriptive line

Jar and lid, porcelain painted in underglaze blue, overglaze enamels and gilt; Japan, Arita kilns (Imari type), Edo period, 1690-1720




Glazed; Enamelled

Subjects depicted



Ceramics; Porcelain


East Asia Collection

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