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19th C. Japanese Igezara Transferware Plate – Rider on Horseback

19th C. Japanese Igezara Transferware Plate – Rider on Horseback


Meiji period (1868-1912) transferware plate.


Dimensions: Approximately 12½” diameter.



The molded rim is edged with the typical brown band.


The border is decorated with a diaper pattern interspersed with flowers.


The center is decorated with a scene of a rider on horseback, beside whom is a groom. To the right of the rider is a large tree. To the rider’s left are stylized waves, rocks, and shrubs.


This is pattern is described and illustrated by Alistair Seton in his book “Igezara Printed China” at p. 39 as “Cowboy on horseback” and by Keigo Watanabe in his book, “Igezara Museum” at p. 12.


The reverse of the rim is decorated with three sets of a pattern described by Alistair Seton as “three shippo box”.


The foot is encircled by three blue bands.


The base bears an old label.


The piece is heavily potted, as is the case with Igezara wares.


“Igezara" is a term applied to heavy, durable, everyday porcelain ware produced in Japan from near the end of the Edo Period (mid to late 1800's) until the early Taisho Period (early 1900's).


Unlike fine hand painted porcelain, like Imari and Kutani, Igezara pieces are transferware. They were produced by transferring designs initially created on copper plates, similar to transferware that was produced in Staffordshire England at the beginning of the 19th century.


Like English transferware, Izegara wares came into being at a time of industrialization, when a broad portion of the population desired attractive ceramics the design of which was influenced by more expensive porcelain.


Most Igezara wares are blue and white, although some have polychrome elements. Often the reverse of the rim bears decorative patterns.


The designs vary widely. Most include traditional Japanese elements like flowers, trees, or birds. Many incorporate geometric patterns.


The pieces typically have a brown edge around a rim that has “pie crust” ridges molded into it.


These elements give the transferware its name, which comes from two Japanese words: "Ige" meaning "notch or thorn", referring to the pie-like indentations found around the rim, and "Zara" or "sara" meaning "plate".


On some pieces the border is plain and undecorated. While not technically Igezara because of the absence of the brown pie crust rim, they are decorated using the same transfer techniques and often the same patterns.


The pieces usually show kiln spurs where they rested on supports while being fired. Some have the mark of a specific kiln.


Seton, “Igezara, Printed China”.
Watanabe, “Igezara Museum”.


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

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