This Japanese Edo Period ko-Imari Inban blue transferware on white porcelain multi-tiered box is also called a jubako in Japanese. It has many pieces of ceramic history tied into one. Inban or Inbante as it is also called in Japan, in itself has a long history beginning in the early 1800's in England then being adopted by the Japanese. This is a nicely shaped good size jubako of heavy Imari porcelain of the middle 1800's just towards the end of the Edo period- it is 160 years old and techniques for transferware were still being improved at the time.
The number of different traditional Imari designs used on this piece are extensive. Beleive it or not, every single one of them has a purpose and a name. In our humble opinion this jubako was created to represent just that- an artist's collection of many old historical old Imari patterns. The key and main theme is cranes and clouds. Around the bottom is a key border called 'kiboda'. Jumping up to the center of the rounded and tall lid is the 'icho' or propellor pattern, albeit faded as one would expect with non-glazed transferware of this age. The interlocking squares with flowers and other patterns inside are called 'Yamoda' or the square sash pattern also a 石畳 shidatami or stone paving pattern is used. If you look very closely, on the top right in one of the pictures, you will even see just one picture of two boys playing together, it looks like one is pushing the other in a wagon. And of course, the waves and flower patterns. And there is more, but those are key.
This jubako is done by the old paper transferware method and not the copperplate method. Therefore, the work is extensive and took a lot of time for someone to create on this piece. The older method caused the prints to fade sooner than copper transferware method, and because they are not underglaze painted, but they are still mostly there none the less as much as most transferware usually is. Please use the pictures for your condition report. There is one verticle crack on the side of the lowest layer. There is a glaze crack on the bottom of one created in the firing so this is not an issue, There are two dark age spots on the side. There is age discoloring as usual between the pieces on the rims, but, the insides are almost like new! If you are interested in this piece and would like to see the additional close up pictures, please ask us to email them. This is a fine old collector's piece with lots of stories to tell- an antique jubako dating to the mid-1800's Edo period in Inbante method with many many patterns of Imari design in blue on white antique Imari porcelain.
SIZE: Height : 11.2 inches or 28.45 cm, Diameter 6.9 inches or 17.526 cm. Weight- this piece is very heavy.4460 grams or 9.83 lbs. This will be reasonable for U.S. with the new Retail Ground option, please check it and let us know if you have any questions or if shipping costs are unusually high there may be other options.
Inban 腱, Inbante, Transferware
Inban, designs stenciled onto ceramics that were smaller and more detailed than the free, loose designs of handbrushed pieces, became popular in the second half of 19th c. Inban Transfer Ware .
Inban ware was produced mainly in the Imari and Seto regions from the late Edo era for regular people of limited means. The porcelain was heavier and more durable, the sometimes complex designs transferred in full or in part rather than painted entirely by hand. Early inban ware plates in the Edo era were made with paper stencils -shiban, later with technology introduced in the Meiji era, doban- copper stencil began to be used. After being taught and studying many of both you can judge this difference by eye. The kodai also reveals many clues and differences regarding the period of creation. The copper stencils were of course handmade and hand applied, a rather difficult process, but the stencil could be reused. As the application was done by hand mistakes were not uncommon.
The inban ware was prone to smudging and misplacement. This is perfectly common and quite normal for plates of the period. You will often see where the design does not match up completely, smudges, and even, sometimes large, gaps in the design. Whereas this would be unacceptable in the porcelain destined for the noble households and their ceremonial purposes, inban ware was for the common people in their daily use and so minor imperfections flaws were still most acceptable in their households.
I believe the above excerpts were translated from an Imari or museum site in Japan, I liked it better than my other info. Cite needed.
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