Vase thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Vase

ca. 1870-1875 (made)
Place Of Origin

These extraordinary vases combine trumpet-shaped necks of finely patinated bronze mounted with handles in the form of mythological creatures and with horizontal bands on the lower body which show some of the different patinations possible on Japanese bronzes. The bands are applied to the body with conspicuous rivets, giving an overall effect of rustic simplicity but also elegance. It is this attribute of Japanese art that so attracted the designer Christopher Dresser who travelled to Japan on behalf of the Museum in 1876.

Dresser wrote ‘No people but the Japanese have understood the value of colour in metal compositions...’


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Vase
  • Vase
Materials and Techniques
Brief Description
Pair of vases, trumpet-shaped neck with handles in the form of mythological creatures and with horizontal bands on the lower body, bronze and patinated copper alloys, signed ‘Made in the Meiji period of Great Japan by the ninth generation Kanaya Gorosaburō, Japan, 1870-75.
Physical Description
Pair of vases of patinated bronze.
Dimensions
  • Height: 30.5cm
  • Diameter: 19.7cm
  • Weight: 3.03kg (weight of each vase 3.03: combined 6.06kg)
Marks and Inscriptions
Gallery Label
Pair of vases 1870–75 The V&A bought these vases from Londos, a company for which the British designer and Japan enthusiast Christopher Dresser worked. They are striking for their use of bands of metal patinated to a range of contrasting colours. Returning in 1877 from an extended visit to Japan, Dresser wrote that, ‘No people but the Japanese have understood the value of colour in metal compositions’. Signed ‘Made in the Meiji period of Great Japan by the ninth generation Kanaya Gorosaburō’ for the Kanaya Gorosaburō workshop Bronze and patinated copper alloys Museum nos. 120&A-1878 (04/11/2015)
Object history
Purchased from Londos & Co., Chistopher Dresser's company.
Summary
These extraordinary vases combine trumpet-shaped necks of finely patinated bronze mounted with handles in the form of mythological creatures and with horizontal bands on the lower body which show some of the different patinations possible on Japanese bronzes. The bands are applied to the body with conspicuous rivets, giving an overall effect of rustic simplicity but also elegance. It is this attribute of Japanese art that so attracted the designer Christopher Dresser who travelled to Japan on behalf of the Museum in 1876.



Dresser wrote ‘No people but the Japanese have understood the value of colour in metal compositions...’
Bibliographic References
  • Christopher Dresser. Japan: its Architecture, Art and Art Manufactures. London 1882. p.428
  • Michael Whiteway (Ed.). Christopher Dresser, a Design Revolution. V&A Publications 2004. pp. 88-89
  • J J Rein: Art and Industries of Japan, Hodder & Stoughton 1889, p.437.
Collection
Accession Number
120A-1878

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record createdOctober 30, 2001
Record URL