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Edo Period Arita Blue & White Covered Jug

Edo Period Arita Blue & White Covered Jug


Underglaze blue Japanese export porcelain jug with later silver lid, c. 1670.


Dimensions: Approximately 10” tall.



The body neck and handle are decorated with “karakusa” vines.


 The body has three scalloped cartouches.


The central cartouche is decorated with a figure in a landscape holding a parasol.


To other cartouches are decorated with birds in a landscape.


 The third cartouche with various birds in a landscape with a pavilion, mountains and a pond.


The silver lid bears an unidentified hallmark.


The base is undecorated.


With the disruption of the Jingdezhen kilns in the middle of the 17the century, the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC) turned to Japan to provide porcelain for the Dutch market. This was primarily blue and white wares produced at the Arita kilns.


Blue-and white plates and dishes were usually decorated in the Wanli Kraak style, i.e. a border divided into twelve or more sections of at least two patterns with a pictorial center design.


Blue and white holloware like this jug was often based on European stoneware and earthenware forms and usually decorated in the Chinese Transitional style. These were likely based on wooden or earthenware models that were sent from Holland and that may have been decorated in Delft based on existing Chinese examples. This could account for the divergences from the original Chinese decorative style, such as the exaggerated elongated figures that are sometimes found.


By the 1680s, the Jingdezhen kilns were back in operation, producing porcelain for export in larger quantities and at lower cost than the Japanese kilns. Consequently, imports from Japan rapidly declined.



Barry Davis Oriental Art, “Ko-Imari Porcelain from the Collection of Oliver Impey”.

Impey, “Japanese Export Porcelain”.

Jorg, “Fine & Curious, Japanese Export Porcelain in Dutch Collections”.

MacGuire, “Four Centuries of Blue & White”.


Condition: Crack in base; otherwise in excellent condition consistent with age and usage. Please examine the photos; they are part of the description.

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