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  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1850 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain, decorated in overglaze enamels

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 125, Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery, case 3

Object Type
The distinctive colour scheme of this dish is characteristic of one of several important varieties of ceramics made at the Kutani kilns from the early 19th century onwards. The Kutani kilns are located to the southwest of Kanazawa on the Japan Sea side of Japan's central island of Honshu. The styles of this piece, as well as of other kinds of Kutani ware are based on 17th-century originals produced in the western Japanese porcelain kilns of Arita.

The opening up of Japan in the mid-1850s after more than two centuries of seclusion from the rest of the world triggered a huge expansion in the manufacture of export goods, together with a lively trade in older works of art. These were avidly sought out by western collectors, artists and designers, and played a central role in the development of 'Japonisme' and then art nouveau. At the Paris International Exhibition of 1878, the French designer Joseph-Théodore Deck (1823-1891) showed ceramics based directly on Kutani wares.

Historical Associations
This dish was one of over 200 Japanese ceramics bought by the V&A after they had been shown at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in the United States in 1876. Some were old, but the majority, like this piece, were new or nearly new. The collection was assembled by the Japanese with funds sent from Britain.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


1800-1850 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Porcelain, decorated in overglaze enamels

Marks and inscriptions

Mark 'fuku' ('happiness') in black under green on the base


Height: 24.3 cm, Width: 24.5 cm, Depth: 4.2 cm

Object history note

Made in Kutani, Japan

Descriptive line

Cer, Japan, Kutani

Labels and date

British Galleries:
In 1876 this museum acquired a large collection of Japanese ceramics from the International Exhibition in Philadelphia, U.S.A. Many of the ceramics were modern, highly decorated pieces made for the European market. The collection also contained some older objects made for use in the Japanese tea ceremony. Such objects had never been seen in Britain before. [27/03/2003]




East Asia Collection

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