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  • Place of origin:

    Arita (teapot, made)
    Europe (mounts, made)

  • Date:

    1680-1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain, with Kakiemon-style decoration, and silver-gilt mounts

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56c, case 4 []

Object Type
This teapot is typical of the kind of Japanese porcelain made in connection with the growing interest in tea-drinking in late 17th-century Europe. The use of bright enamel colours on a fine white body is characteristic of the so-called Kakiemon style. This takes its name from the family of decorators reputed to have introduced the techniques of overglaze enamelling to Arita in western Japan in the 1640s. Kakiemon-style wares were the costliest and most sought after of all Japanese export ceramics. They were widely copied by 18th-century European manufacturers.

Kakiemon-style wares were transported by sea from Imari, the port nearest to Arita. Porcelains for export were sent to Deshima, a small island in Nagasaki harbour, for shipment abroad by Dutch and Chinese merchants.

From 1639 until the mid-1850s, merchants of the Dutch East India Company were the only Europeans permitted to conduct trade in Japan. This was due to the Japanese government's seclusion policy, which was enforced during this period. Hard-paste porcelain comparable in quality to Chinese and Japanese imports was first made at Meissen in Germany in the early years of the 18th century. Porcelain was made in Britain from the late 1740s onwards.

Physical description

JAPANESE TEAPOT with European mounts

Place of Origin

Arita (teapot, made)
Europe (mounts, made)


1680-1700 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Porcelain, with Kakiemon-style decoration, and silver-gilt mounts


Height: 9.5 cm, Width: 14.3 cm including handle and spout, Depth: 8.2 cm

Object history note

Teapot made in Arita, Japan; the mounts made and fitted in Europe

Descriptive line

Teapot and lid, porcelain painted in overglaze enamels, with European mounts; Japan, Arita kilns (Kakiemon type), Edo period, 1680-1700

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This Japanese teapot holds only a small amount of tea. This was not unusual in the 17th century as tea was very expensive. East Asian porcelain for drinking tea was particularly desirable among fashion-conscious people. Tea was usually drunk at home, in an intimate atmosphere. [27/03/2003]




Painted; Glazed


Ceramics; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares


East Asia Collection

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