Description: Perfectly imperfect museum Japanese Satsuma porcelain plate, circa 1800-1867; This museum quality plate was hand painted with blue, gold, red, black and green colors. The shape is imperfect, because of old hand made technique. Diameter: 8.5 inches = 21 cm; Condition: almost perfect for the age, some wear of gild, some wear or rim at the bottom. Satsuma ware (??? satsuma yaki) is a style of Japanese earthenware originally from the Satsuma region of what is today southern Ky?sh?. Today, it can be divided into two distinct categories: the original plain dark clay early Satsuma (ko satsuma ???) made in Satsuma from around 1600, and the elaborately decorated export Satsuma (???ky? satsuma) ivory-bodied pieces which began to be produced in the nineteenth century in various Japanese cities. By adapting their gilded polychromatic enamel overglaze designs to appeal to the tastes of western consumers, manufacturers of the latter made Satsuma ware one of the most recognized and profitable export products of the Meiji period. Early history The precise origins and early innovations of Satsuma ware are somewhat obscure; however most scholars date its appearance to the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century. The Satsuma region was ripe for the development of kilns due to its access to local clay and proximity to the Korean peninsula. In 15971598, at the conclusion of Toyotomi Hideyoshis incursions into Korea, potters were forcefully brought to Japan to kick-start Ky?sh?s non-existent ceramic industry. These potters eventually mainly settled in Naeshirogawa and Tateno, which were to become the hub of the local pottery industry. Early Satsuma ware Satsuma ware dating up to the first years of the Genroku era (??) (16881704) is often referred to as Early Satsuma or ko satsuma. The oldest remaining examples of Satsuma yaki are stoneware made from iron-rich dark clay covered in dark glaze. Prior to 1790, pieces were not ornately decorated, but rather humble articles of folk-ware intended for practical everyday use in largely rustic environments or the tea ceremony (??? chanoyu). Given that they were largely destined for use in gloomy farmhouse kitchens, potters often relied on tactile techniques such as raised relief, stamp impressions and clay carving to give pieces interest. The intense popularity of Satsuma ware outside Japan in the late nineteenth century resulted in an increase in production coupled with a decrease in quality. Collectors sought older, more refined pieces of what they erroneously referred to as early Satsuma. These were in fact simply better quality pre-Meiji nineteenth-century pieces, works from other potteries such as Kyotos Awata ware (??? awata yaki), or counterfeits. 1800-1867 From around 1800, nishikide (??) 'brocade' painted decoration began to flourish, including a palette of "delicate iron-red, a glossy blue, a bluish green, a soft purple black, and a yellow very sparingly used." A slightly later innovation was kin nishikide (???) to which painted gilding was added. The multi-coloured enamel overglaze and gold were painted on delicate, bodied pieces with a finely crackled transparent glaze. The designsoften light, simple floral patternswere highly influenced by both Kyoto pottery and the Kan? school of painting, resulting in an emphasis on negative space. Many believe this came from Satsuma potters visiting Kyoto in the late seventeenth century to learn overglaze painting techniques.
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