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 Ware monogrammed charger, possibly late Edo period (mid 19th century), in typical underglaze blue and white, with a central Dutch East India Company monogram encircled by a floral, fruit and bird motif, the cavetto and rim with panels of d
A Japanese Imari fruit bowl, Taisho period, foliate rim, decorated with six panels of iron red and green flowers, within an underglaze blue background. Chip to rim and scratches from wire. Diameter 21.5 cm
A massive museum quality Japanese porcelain map of Japan charger, probably Edo mark and period Tempo reign (1830-1843), commonly referred to as Imari, decorated with an underglaze blue map of Japan in low relief in the cavetto showing two panels of calligr
Japanese rare Kakiemon style Arita porcelain model of a bulldog, 19th century, modelled as seated on its hind legs, his back decorated with floral design in the Kakiemon palette. Length 19 cm. Provenance: Gary Winther Collection
A large Japanese Imari charger, Meiji period (1868-1912)., with intersecting panels and roundels all embellished with floral motifs including wisteria, peony and blossom and birds and insects in colours, with patterned borders in the typical blue, iron red
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