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Japanese Export Porcelain Blue & White Bottle

Japanese Export Porcelain Blue & White Bottle


Underglaze blue Japanese export porcelain bottle, c. 1690.


Dimensions: Approximately 8” x 3½” x 3½”.



Each side is decorated with a figure standing below trees and clouds.


The shoulder is decorated with birds and leaves.


The base is unmarked.


The shape is derived from German stoneware or Dutch glass bottle forms.


The neck is trumped shaped and does not appear to be intended to have a stopper. For Japanese examples this style is called “Toguri” or sake bottles.


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.


Like this bottle, blue and white hollowware 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 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, exports from Japan rapidly declined.



Impey, “Japanese Export Porcelain”.

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

MacGuire, “Four Centuries of Blue & White”.


Condition: Minor glaze imperfections, repaired chip at one corner of base; otherwise in excellent condition consistent with age and usage. Please examine the photos; they are part of the description.

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