A beautiful Edo period antique Hirado porcelain plate, a beautiful Edo period antique Hirado porcelain plate made about 150 years old from a very knowledgeable Japanese antique store. dating to the very end of the late Edo period of the 19th century just prior to the Meiji period of 1868, beginning. Contrary to what some believe, Hirado was made prior to the Meiji period for about 200 years. The fine Hirado handmade porcelain plate is formed in a great shape called Hikitegata similar to hishigata-za or falling within the rhombus shaped, or may be a hekei-zara which is an irregular shape plate. It is finely and unevenly made like much of the old Japanese porcelains, perfectly scalloped with a blue line painted as a border around this edge in Hirado underglaze blue. On the well known and fine white porcelain Hirado hand painted in underglaze blue, the motif of a three-claw dragon is surrounded in clouds, with a funny face like he is startled or perhaps lost his pearl which appears to be the object we see to the left. Around the dragon are clouds, waves, and a sun motif. This border motif is named 'karakusa botan-hanakarakusa'. The bottom rim is also painted which is not done on all old porcelains, this one in clouds. The entire piece is in near excellent condition outside of some age spots as seen in the pictures for its age. There are no cracks or chips. The kodai or foot is in good condition. Of course it is old so there may be some age wear, please see the pictures. It is true that nice quality pieces do exist this old in Japanese porcelains ceramics and pottery. A gorgeous Hirado ware plate in fine underglaze blue sometsuke painting.
SIZE: Width 7.3" or 18.54 cm, Length 4.17" or 10.59 cm, Height 1.2 or 3.04" cm
Hirado 平戸 Ware
The origins of Hirado ware (it's also called "Mikawachi ware") date back to the building of a kiln by Korean potters that were brought back to this area of Kyushu by landowners who had taken part in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's campaign to the Korean Peninsular at the end of the 16th century. The kiln here was used to fire porcelain for the Hirado clan up to the Meiji Restoration in 1868. As well as running the kiln, the Hirado clan was responsible for finding porcelain clay at nearby Amakusa and for the rapid development of skills and techniques, which are till alive today.
This ware is characterized by its over painting of cobalt on a white porcelain. Ever since the kiln was first fired, pieces were sent as tributes to both the court and warrior families and as a consequence, this china is of the highest quality, whether it be for everyday use or a special decorative item. The degree of care to produce items of such beauty and the delicacy of the work are part of its well-established reputation. A great deal of tableware is being produced for use at some of Japan's finest restaurants. Items for use at the tea ceremony are also being made along with incense burner, sake flasks and vases. All are of the highest quality.
The craft is now headed by 14 government recognized Master Craftsmen among the 240 employed by the 35 firms maintaining a craft of class. So much more information is available on the internet and in a few good books.
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