Dish thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Japan, Room 45, The Toshiba Gallery

Dish

1690-1720 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This large dish showing a woman and her two attendants is a fine example of the type of porcelain made in early 18th-century Japan for export to Europe. On its base there appears a Dresden inventory mark, indicating that the piece came from the collection of the Elector Frederick Augustus I of Saxony, ‘Augustus the Strong’, who died in 1733. 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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Porcelain decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze enamels and gilt
Brief Description
Dish, porcelain painted in underglaze blue, overglaze enamels and gilt, with a woman and her attendants in a garden; Japan, Arita kilns (Imari type), Edo period, 1690-1720
Physical Description
Dish of porcelain, painted in red, underglaze blue and black. In the middle, a woman and two attendants with a dog in a garden. Border of pomegranates and flowers. Under the rim the same design of pomegranates. Under the base twelve spur marks.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 46.7cm
Styles
Marks and Inscriptions
  • A circle (Mark in underglaze blue)
  • 'N:9 / +' incised under the base (Inventory mark of the Japanese Palace at Dresden)
Gallery Label
  • Dish with a woman and two attendants in a garden 1690–1720 A mark inscribed on the base of this imposing dish indicates that it once belonged to Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. A major collector of Asian ceramics, he founded the Meissen factory in 1713. This was the first factory in Europe to produce ‘hard-paste’ porcelain similar to that made in China and Japan. Arita kilns Porcelain painted in underglaze blue, overglaze enamels and gold (Imari type) Inventory mark of the Japanese Palace at Dresden Salting Bequest Museum no. C.1513-1910 (04/11/2015)
  • Dish Porcelain with decoration in underglaze blue, overglaze enamels and gilt A woman and her attendants in a garden Inscribed inventory mark of the Royal Saxon Collection on base Arita kilns (Imari type) About 1700-1725 C.1513-1910 Salting Bequest(1986)
  • Dish inscribed on base with inventory mark of Royal Saxon Collection Arita kilns (Imari type) Porcelain painted in underglaze cobalt blue, overglaze enamels and gilt 1690-1720 V&A C.1513-1910 Salting Bequest (January 2015)
Credit line
Salting Bequest
Object history
Formerly in the Royal Saxon Collection.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This large dish showing a woman and her two attendants is a fine example of the type of porcelain made in early 18th-century Japan for export to Europe. On its base there appears a Dresden inventory mark, indicating that the piece came from the collection of the Elector Frederick Augustus I of Saxony, ‘Augustus the Strong’, who died in 1733. 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.
Bibliographic Reference
Earle, Joe, ed. Japanese art and design London: V&A Publishing, 2009, p. 84
Other Number
Loan no. 6
Collection
Accession Number
C.1513-1910

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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