Imari porcelain originated in the early-17th century in the southern Japanese town of Arita. It is primarily known for its stylized depictions of bamboo, flowers, and geometric designs in blue and white at first, and then later in orange, blue, red and sometimes green. The ware was manufactured specifically for the European export trade near the Japanese port of Imari in the town of Arita, on an island in the south of the country. Today the town hosts an annual week-long ceramics fair that draws a million visitors.
As can be said of most finely painted porcelain pieces, the beauty depends upon the talent of the artist as a designer, the skill of the artist as the executioner of his design, and lastly but most important, the artist’s ability to harmoniously blend all of the elements required in a fine painting. This charger was obviously done by an experienced and creative Imari artist who knew his art well and also had exceptional talent.
Imari was wildly popular from the 17th century until the mid-18th in Europe until Chinese--followed by European--potters began creating their own versions of this pottery. By the last half of the 19th century, however, there occurred a great resurgence in interest in all things Japanese, including Imari, especially after the world Expositions in Paris, Philadelphia and Chicago that took place between 1867 and 1893. This heightened interest by the West was given the name, “Japonism,” by a contemporary artist, and took place in the midst of great societal changes in Japan. The Meiji period dates from 1868 until 1912, when the emperor of that name died.
A fine example of its type, this platter combines both underglaze blue with overglaze red and orange. The field is dominated by large flowers and butterflies with smaller foliage interest between the larger blooms.
The rim is nicely scalloped with a blue line running about ¼ of an inch from the edge, making it appear that there is a white border. In the center is one flower outlined in a circle filled with cobalt blue. The reverse is decorated with traditional geometric shapes and scrolling lines.
It is in excellent condition overall, with only very minor wear and one small chip on the edge of one scallop. It is a fairly shallow platter, and as such would make a wonderful wall decoration.
It measures 15 inches by 12-1/4 inches. It is about 2-1/4 inches high.
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