About this object

History of use

The lords of Nabeshima established kilns for porcelain production in the 17th century. The clan kiln at Okawachiyama produced ware intended solely for gifts for the shogun, feudal lords of other clans, and for use in the household of the clan. Secrets of production were jealously guarded, and the ware remained exclusive and subsequently rare. Plates were made in standard sizes.

Physical description

Round porcelain dish on high round foot, decorated with an underglaze blue comb pattern; glazed base; slightly thickened sides support a flat red-brown rim. Inside: painted in blue underglaze with two broad horizontal bands of wave motifs, separated by a narrow band of white; broad white band below second wave band. Superimposed in overglazed enamels on the bottom band of wave motif is an open camellia, white tinged with red, and a red bud, all supported by green and yellow edged leaves and blue buds on a blue stem. Centred above on the wave bands is an upright blue stem with three green leaves and a blue bud. Outside patterned with four ribboned wealth motifs in underglaze blue.