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Japanese Vases

While strongly influenced by the ceramic artists of China, the Japanese found innovative ways to make and decorate their porcelain vases. These include imari porcelains, unglazed vases, and Arita vases.

Imari porcelains, characterized by their bright orange reds and gilded with gold, began production circa 17th century. They were widely exported to the Western world in the 19th century. Other vases were left monochromatic, featuring relief images and subtly painted glazes.

While intricately glazed works are most well-known and preferred, the Japanese preferred unglazed vases and wares until the 17th century. Their preference for unglazed vases was due to the agrarian society that required the vases to be subject to significant weight and use.


Quick Facts

  • In 1223, the Seto province had the only one of six famous kilns in its time to have a glazing technique. This technique, however, was mostly intended to imitate Chinese style porcelain painting
  • Due to many damaged kilns in China between 1656 and 1684, exports for beautiful porcelain wares were in demand. The Japanese Arita kilns met demand, mass producing works that were sold by the Dutch East India Company
  • Old Japanese vases were primarily unglazed and used for cooking, funerals, and storage. Now, colorfully painted Japanese vases are used mostly for decorative purposes rather than utility

Recommended Items at Auction

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Japanese Meiji Cloisonne Gray Enamel Birds Vase
Dec 02, 10:00 AM EST
Japanese Meiji Cloisonne Gray Enamel Birds Vase
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$27011 Bids
Meiji Period Japanese Black Cloisonne Vase
Dec 02, 10:00 AM EST
Meiji Period Japanese Black Cloisonne Vase
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$2206 Bids
Meiji Japanese Artist Signed Bronze Mix Metals Vase
Dec 02, 10:00 AM EST
Meiji Japanese Artist Signed Bronze Mix Metals Vase
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$1,1005 Bids
Antique Japanese Champleve Cloisonne Bronze Urn
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Antique Japanese Champleve Cloisonne Bronze Urn
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
Antique Japanese Porcelain Vase w Hen
Dec 03, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Japanese Porcelain Vase w Hen
by Blackwell Auctions LLC
Est: $200- $400
$2752 Bids
Cloisonné-Vase in Balusterform, Japan, wohl 20. Jh.
Dec 09, 12:00 PM CET
Cloisonné-Vase in Balusterform, Japan, wohl 20. Jh.
by Auktionshaus Königstein GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€452 Bids
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Miyagawa Kozan (1842-1916)
Dec 06, 10:00 AM PST
Miyagawa Kozan (1842-1916)
by John Moran Auctioneers
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$9002 Bids
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Miyagawa Kozan (1842-1916)
Dec 06, 10:00 AM PST
Miyagawa Kozan (1842-1916)
by John Moran Auctioneers
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$9502 Bids
Pair of Sumida Gawa Pottery Vases
Dec 06, 12:00 PM EST
Pair of Sumida Gawa Pottery Vases
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $50- $500
$251 Bid
Japanese Meiji Champleve Bronze Enamel Large Vase
Dec 02, 10:00 AM EST
Japanese Meiji Champleve Bronze Enamel Large Vase
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$501 Bid
JAPANESE & CHINESE BRONZE VASE GROUP
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
JAPANESE & CHINESE BRONZE VASE GROUP
by Jackson's International
Est: $150- $250
$1301 Bid
Antique Japanese Blue and White Porcelain Vase
Dec 03, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Japanese Blue and White Porcelain Vase
by Blackwell Auctions LLC
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
Japanese Art Nouveau Sterling Mixed Metal Vase
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
Japanese Art Nouveau Sterling Mixed Metal Vase
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $400
$1501 Bid
Exceptional Japanese Solid Bronze Art Nouveau Vase
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
Exceptional Japanese Solid Bronze Art Nouveau Vase
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $600- $800
$3001 Bid
Antique Modeled Pink Porcelain Vase
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
Antique Modeled Pink Porcelain Vase
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
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Large Group Japanese Bronze/Metal Vases
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Large Group Japanese Bronze/Metal Vases
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$201 Bid
A SMALL IORN VASE IN KOMAI STYLE
Dec 08, 9:30 AM CET
A SMALL IORN VASE IN KOMAI STYLE
by Nagel Auction
Est: €800- €1,000
€8001 Bid
Japanese Meiji Bronze Bulbous Vase
Dec 06, 12:00 PM EST
Japanese Meiji Bronze Bulbous Vase
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $100- $1,000
$501 Bid
Japanese Porcelain Dragon & Scholar Vase
Dec 15, 11:00 AM EST
Japanese Porcelain Dragon & Scholar Vase
by Willow Auction House
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
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TWO JAPANESE SUMIDA GAWA POTTERY VESSELS Meiji Period Heights 2.5” and 5”.
Dec 07, 9:30 AM EST
TWO JAPANESE SUMIDA GAWA POTTERY VESSELS Meiji Period Heights 2.5” and 5”.
by Eldred's
Est: $200- $250
$1001 Bid
2 Japanese Porcelain Vases Including Blue & White
Nov 30, 11:00 AM EST
2 Japanese Porcelain Vases Including Blue & White
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $20- $30
$101 Bid
Japanese Signed Bronze Vase With Coiling Dragon In Relief C. 19th.c., H 10''
Dec 14, 11:00 AM EST
Japanese Signed Bronze Vase With Coiling Dragon In Relief C. 19th.c., H 10''
by DuMouchelles
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
A porcelain collar vase with floral decor, Japan 19th century.
Dec 13, 6:30 PM CET
A porcelain collar vase with floral decor, Japan 19th century.
by Medusa Auctioneers
Est: €60- €80
€601 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Vases


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Nagel Auction

Nagel Auction

Eldred's

Eldred's

Wealthier Art & Auction

Wealthier Art & Auction