Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Ceramics, Room 145

Jar

1870s (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Japan’s Meiji period (1868–1912) was characterized by a dynamic programme of modernization combined with active cultural and economic engagement with the West. Ceramic production, which was already widespread by the middle of the nineteenth century, flourished under the new governmental drive to compete with western industrialized nations. This included the employment of western advisers, notably the German chemist Gottfried Wagener (1831–92), and the introduction of modern technology.

Miyagawa Kozan (1842–1916) was one of the leading potters of his time. He demonstrated great versatility and technical innovation, and achieved considerable commercial success. Born into a potting family in Kyoto, he continued in the family business until 1871, when he established his own workshop at Ota, near the newly opened port of Yokohama. The Makuzu kiln was highly productive, catering to both domestic demands and the expanding western export market.

With its extraordinary high-relief decoration, this vase is a classic example of Japanese export ware aimed at the more extreme end of high Victorian taste. Although it would have been new when it was bought by the Museum in 1879, curatorial understanding of Japanese ceramics was extremely limited at that time and it was initially catalogued as dating to the eighteenth century.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Stoneware, with crackled cream glaze, overglaze enamel and gilt decoration and high relief modelling
Brief Description
Stoneware vase with crackled cream glaze and high-relief modelling of a goshawk on a flowering branch, Miyagawa Kozan workshop, 1870s
Physical Description
Stoneware jar decorated with a high relief model of a hawk on a flowering bough
Dimensions
  • Height: 58.4cm
Style
Gallery Label
Vase with goshawk Japan, Ota, Yokohama About 1875 Japan’s Meiji period (1868–1912) was characterised by a programme of modernisation that included active economic and cultural engagement with Europe and the USA. Ceramic production thrived under a new drive to compete with industrial nations in the West. This vase, with its unusual high-relief decoration, was made for export. It was intended to satisfy an extreme strand in Victorian taste. Made by Miyagawa Kozan, Makuzu kiln Stoneware, with crackled cream glaze and high-relief moulding Museum no. 308-1879(September 2009)
Subjects depicted
Summary
Japan’s Meiji period (1868–1912) was characterized by a dynamic programme of modernization combined with active cultural and economic engagement with the West. Ceramic production, which was already widespread by the middle of the nineteenth century, flourished under the new governmental drive to compete with western industrialized nations. This included the employment of western advisers, notably the German chemist Gottfried Wagener (1831–92), and the introduction of modern technology.



Miyagawa Kozan (1842–1916) was one of the leading potters of his time. He demonstrated great versatility and technical innovation, and achieved considerable commercial success. Born into a potting family in Kyoto, he continued in the family business until 1871, when he established his own workshop at Ota, near the newly opened port of Yokohama. The Makuzu kiln was highly productive, catering to both domestic demands and the expanding western export market.



With its extraordinary high-relief decoration, this vase is a classic example of Japanese export ware aimed at the more extreme end of high Victorian taste. Although it would have been new when it was bought by the Museum in 1879, curatorial understanding of Japanese ceramics was extremely limited at that time and it was initially catalogued as dating to the eighteenth century.
Bibliographic Reference
Liefkes, Reino and Hilary Young (eds.) Masterpieces of World Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Publishing, 2008, pp. 120-121.
Collection
Accession Number
308-1879

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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