One of the most popular and collected of the Japanese porcelains is Imari. Imari is in fact a European name for export porcelain produced in the town of Arita in the Hizen province of Japan. It was shipped through the nearby port of Imari from the second half of the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century. Pre-export period Imari is called Shoki-Imari.
There are two distinct styles of Arita or Imari porcelain.
Firstly there is the rare and highly sought after Kakiemon porcelain. It is sparsely decorated predominantly in coral red on a very fine white glaze. Highlight colours include yellow, green and aubergine Kakiemon wares are of a consistently high standard and command very high prices
In contrast, the more commonly found Imari in the west is called brocaded Imari or Kinrande Imari, and is usually richly decorated with flowers, foliage and figures. These pieces have an overall floral decoration reminiscent of a rich silk textile, and typical colours are underglaze cobalt blue and iron red, which is highlighted with colours such as gold, green, aubergine and yellow. more...There is a great variation in quality, ranging from quite crude though decorative wares to very finely painted wares.
Items exported to the West included garnitures of vases, plates, chargers, figures as well as utilitarian wares. Due to its popularity and success, Imari was widely imitated both in China and the West. English factories who produced Imari or "Japan" patterns as they were sometimes known included, Bow, Derby, Minton, Spode, Worcester and Mason's. European factories included Meissen, Chantilly and Delft.
A Japanese Arita dish, late 17th century, underglaze blue floral scene to interior, continuous sweet pea design to exterior, six character underglaze blue mark and ring to base, finely potted with gadrooned rim, 21 cm diameter
A large Japanese Arita blue and white dish, Edo period, decorated in Kraak style, the centre with pomegranate and peony sprays issuing from a vase, the rim with alternating panels of peony, pomegranate, kiku and other flowers, diameter 42 cm
A large Japanese Arita blue and white dish, Edo period, decorated in Kraak style with pomegranate and finger citron branches to the centre surrounded by panels of peonies and auspicious symbols, diameter 42 cm
A large Japanese Imari porcelain vase, tapering cylindrical shape with short trumpet mouth, decorated in iron red, underglaze blue and gilt with cranes in flight amongst a profusion of scattered diaper patterns and various stylised flower-head motifs. Heig
A large impressive 19th century Japanese Imari lidded urn, the ovoid body with three panels of various relief decoration of flowers, butterfly, dragon, tiger and figures, the complex ground pattern of various blue, red and green tones with gilt highlights,
Three Japanese porcelain plates, , a pair of Arita-Ware plates finely painted with flying cranes & geometric designs in red, white, black & blue, Meiji period, a blue & white Imari plate. Provenance: Todd Barlin collection. 19.5 cm, 19.5 cm,
A Japanese antique Imari plate, Meiji period, late 19th to early 20th century, the plate in underglaze steel blue with freely executed enamel decoration of fruits and flora in iron red, orange, green and pale aubergine colours to compartments, with pattern
A rare Japanese Imari deep plate, early Edo, 18th century, with two ladies under a flowering tree, the cavetto and exterior with floral motifs, all in gilt, enamels and underglaze blue, 30.8 cm diameter. Provenance: R & V Tregaskis, 1980’s
A rare Japanese Arita tea caddy (Chaire) and cover, Edo period (1603-1868), the quatrefoil jar freely painted in cobalt blue, green enamel and iron-red, the opposing sides with geometric striped bands, the other two each with a landscape, one with a cricke
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