Learn about Imari and Arita Porcelain

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...

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A fine Japanese porcelain large vase, decorated in panels, one with a hunting eagle, the other with exotic birds, the panels reserved on a background decorated with Madoe panels in Imari pallet. Shouldered ovoid shape, marked under the foot with a censer m

A large Japanese Imari vase, the fluted ovoid body with trumpet mouth, decorated with a profusion of floral and brocade designs. Height 46.5 cm

A Japanese Imari bowl, hand painted in blue, orange and gilt highlights, finely decorated with birds and blossoms to inner centre and floral motifs to outer sides. Diameter 25 cm

A Japanese Imari plate & a Japanese blue & white platter, 19th century. The larger 31.5 diameter. (2)

A Japanese Imari saucer-dish, Genroku period (1688-1704), Decorated in under-glaze blue, gilt and enamels, with vases, birds and flowers. 21.8 cm diameter. For a dish with similar design see Tageshi Nagataki, 'Imari, Famous Ceramics of Japan Vol. 6'

A Japanese Imari chrysanthemum form 16-lobed saucer dish, early 18th century, decorated with birds and floral work in under-glaze blue, gilt and enamels. 19.5 cm diameter. For a similar example see John Ayres, Oliver Impey and J.V.G. Mallet, 'Porcelain

Japanese Imari pair of plates each painted with three panels showing a bull with a central blue & white painted medallion. Condition good, age related wear, one small paint chip diameter 22 cm

A Japanese 19th century Imari porcelain charger painted in typical palette, with blue painted motifs verso, restored, 37 cm diameter

Japanese Imari plate, probably 17th/18th century.diameter 22.5 cm

Two Vintage Japanese Imari pattern plates, diameter 22 cm approx (as inspected)

A Japanese Imari covered bowl with gilt-bronze mounts, French, 19th century. 28 cm high, 26 cm diameter

A Japanese pair of tall Imari vases and covers. With the matching pair of Buddhist lion finials atop the helmet-shaped covers, the bold decoration in underglaze blue and red, with gilding, 68 cm high

A large Japanese Imari vase with a flared rim above a baluster body, with foliate panels on a leafy ground, together with a hardwood stand, 46.5 cm high

A Japanese Imari vase with a flared rim above a fluted baluster body, with floral cartouches on a foliate background, together with a hardwood stand, 42 cm high

A Japanese Imari dish circular, with floral panels on trellis borders, 39.5 cm diameter

Antique Japanese imari pattern jardiniere mounted with later French mounts, approx 14 cm high, 22 cm wide, 11 cm deep

Two early Japanese imari porcelain dishes, with hand painted decoration, 21 cm & 19 cm wide

Japanese Imari shaped bottle vase. Meiji period. Height 19 cm

Large Japanese Imari vase, approx 30 cm high, 15 cm dia

A large Japanese Imari bowl, Taisho period, 20th century, in the customary colours of underglaze blue with iron red and touches of enamel green and yellow, freely decorated to the interior and exterior with bouquets of flowers in shaped and patterned reser

A pair of large 19th century Imari red and blue chargers with central motif of lotus flowers and cherry blossoms. Eight outer panels of floral decoration. Artist's mark to reverse. Diameter 40.5 cm each.

A massive Japanese Imari floor vase, Meiji Period, 1868-1912 decorated with a pair of phoenix each one in a flowering prunus tree within a shaped cartouche surrounded by various brocade designs wooden cover and base. 96 cm high

Japanese blue & white washer along with another Imari example (2)

A Japanese Imari porcelain charger, possibly Showa period, mid 20th century onwards, Typically decorated in underglaze navy with iron red, gilt and aqua highlights, having boldly shaped reserves to the rim in red and navy with floral sprays, centred with a

A group of four Japanese Imari wares, Edo to Meiji periods, 19th to early 20th century, a scalloped bowl with blue patterns interspersed with handpainted birds and foliage on a brown ground, dishes with radiating patterns in colours, and a low dish with pa