Jar with Decoration of Peonies and Blue Magpies

Arita ware
Japan, 17th century
H.25.7 cm

The enamelled decoration on this jar is referred to as "early Kakiemon" type decoration, but there is also much of the bold and rustic feel of the Kokutani style enamels used on wares made for the Japanese domestic market. The vivid enamels are applied in a thick, yet strong manner. The red enamel lines dividing the surface into bands are typical of Kakiemon jars of the second half of the 17th century, but the lack of a thicker porcelain band at the bottom of the jar, as well as the crackle in the milky white glaze indicate that this a rare, early example from the Kanbun era (1661-72). Only twenty-five centimeters in height, its visual impact makes it seem larger. The piece recently returned to Japan after several centuries in Europe.

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