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Plate with three vase design (one of five with 1964/1.100-103)

Accession Number
1964/1.104

Title
Plate with three vase design (one of five with 1964/1.100-103)

Artist(s)
Artist Unknown, Nabeshima ware, Japan

Object Creation Date
early 18th century

Medium & Support
porcelain with blue underglaze and enamel overglaze painting

Dimensions
1 9/16 in. x 6 in. x 6 in. ( 4 cm x 15.2 cm x 15.2 cm )

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund

Label copy
The Nabeshima kiln in northern Kyûshû, Japan, produced high quality porcelains, which the local governing family used as part of their annual tribute to the Tokugawa overlords. Reflecting the sophisticated taste of the military class, Nabeshima designs are elegant, intricate and witty. In this series of five plates, the artist uses several traditional seasonal motifs, but always with an unexpected twist.
Maribeth Graybill
“Four Seasons In Japanese Art”: Special Installation of Japanese Gallery at UMMA: Object Labels
July 5, 2003-January 4, 2004
The Nabeshima kiln in northern Kyûshû produced high-quality porcelains, which the local governing family used as part of its annual tribute to the Tokugawa shogun and other dignitaries. Reflecting the sophisticated taste of the samurai class, Nabeshima designs are elegant, witty, and replete with meaning.
The two plates are from a set of five in the museum collection. The right plate has the design of hanging gourds, a traditional motif in Japanese decorative arts. Here the circular shape is humorously incorporated into the overall design: the rim of the plate stands in for the vines from which the gourds are hanging. On the left plate, three jars are painted in an intentionally awkward manner with flat, patchwork-like patterns in order to evoke archaic designs.
(Label for UMMA Japanese Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject matter
The Nabeshima wares were used by the local governing family as part of their annual tribute to the Tokugawa overlords.The three vases depicted here may be derived from some of Chinese T’ang ceramics, for the lower section of the fret and flower vases is suggesting an area left unglazed with the glaze running down towards the foot of the vases, a design which is seen in those Chinese ceramics. But the exact patterns drawn here indicate that the artist was not a ceramist or he would know that such precise patterns could not be preserved in a fluid glaze. (Referencce: Becker, Sister Johanna. “A Group of Nabeshima Porcelain.”)

Physical Description
A circular, smaller white porcelain plate. On the upper surface, three vases, similar in shape, are shown overlapping diagonally in blue background. The two outer vases run off the plate’s rim. They are outlined in underglaze blue and are against a painted light-blue background. The left vase is covered with a white glaze (which left unpainted) under a red key-fret design. The center vase is totally covered with a white crackle pattern done in blue underglaze line. The right vase has a design of evenly-spaced red flowers. Precise flat bases are combined with a rather awkward suggestion of a three-dimensional view of the lips. The back has a triple representation of peony buds surrounded by fine branching stems and leaves. On the shallow foot, bold lines are drawn in a row like a comb. The design on the back is all drawn with blue underglaze. (Referencce: Becker, Sister Johanna. “A Group of Nabeshima Porcelain.”)

Primary Object Classification
Ceramic

Primary Object Type
dish

Additional Object Classification(s)
Decorative Arts

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
flowers (plant components)
plates (timepiece components)
vases

& Author Notes

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