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19th C. Japanese Transferware Plate – “Fans With Birds and Trees”

19th C. Japanese Transferware Plate – “Fans With Birds and Trees”


Meiji period (1868-1912) transferware plate.


Dimensions: Approximately 12” diameter.



The border is decorated with a geometric pattern.


The center is decorated three fans. Each fan is decorated with a pair of birds in trees. There is a pair of cranes in pine trees, a pair of small birds in bamboo, and a pair of small birds in a plum tree.


The reverse of the rim is decorated with 3 sets of a pattern of blossoms and leaves on a branch.


The foot is encircled by 3 blue bands.


The base has a spur (kiln support) mark from firing, which is typical of this ware,


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


Unlike fine hand painted porcelain, like Imari and Kutani, these 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, these 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 such 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.


These pieces typically have a brown edge around a rim that has “pie crust” ridges molded into it. These elements give the transferware its name “Igezara”, 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, such as this one, 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.


This piece has neither the brown edge nor the “pie crust” rim, but otherwise exhibits all the features of Igezara.



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


Condition: Minor loss to transfer in manufacture, glaze flaws; otherwise in excellent condition consistent with age and usage. Please examine the photos; they are part of the description.

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