This Japanese antique Imari-Arita porcelain plate was made by Tsukuru for Hichozan Shinpo-sei or 肥碟山信甫製, and dates to between the late Edo and early Meiji periods between 1860-1880, please see the extensive history and explanation below. On very fine old handmade Arita porcelain, overglaze iro-e enamels are used to create richly painted art on porcelain. Hichozan Shinpo-sei although short lived has long been known as one of the highest-quality works of old Imari wares. A basket of flowers or hanako 花籠 in rich overglaze enamel pastels sits on a traditional Japanese lacquered ikebana table and brightens one side, In contrast, on the other side bordered by a thick black border, we see a couple in the well-known and popular courting room scene of a couple in oranges and blacks.
The historical signature is signed on the back, '肥碟山信甫製' in red overglaze and reads, 'Made by Hichozan Shinpo' signed by artist Higuchi Nansenzan Tsukuru. This 160-year-old fine porcelain plate is in excellent condition with no cracks or chips and as one see the overglaze enamels still thick and the surface like new. The small dark marks on the front are not age spots but splatter from the paint. In this day a rare find which has not been produced for over 100 years, especially with the contrasting artwork in this confition. Just found the original info from our purchase and they thought it was from between 1860 and 1880 as appropriate.
SIZE: Diameter 7 7/8" or 20 cm, Height 1 1/4 in. or 3.17 cm
Arita - Hichozan Shinpo sei 肥碟山信甫製
The Hichozan style of Imari was first made 170 years ago in early Edo and were made between the Edo and Meji periods. This plate bears the mark of Hichozan Shinpo-sei by the artist Hichozan Shinpo Tsukuru and reads. ‘Made by Hichozan Shinpo’.
In the Meiji period this brand name was used by several Arita porcelain makers such as Fukagawa porcelain as well as other products of the Mikawachi kilns that were exported as Hirado wares. Hichozan was a trade name used by the group of Arita kilns & makers mainly for export during the late Edo to the Meiji period in the 19th century. So, the name refers to that used by the Arita kilns.
Hichozan Shinpo sei 肥碟山信甫製 was a trademark used by Tashiro Monzaemon. The merchant, Tashiro Monzaemon ‘1816-1900’commissioned the Hichozan Shinpo works, Monzaemon expanded the market for Japanese Imari products at that time when Tokugawa opened other ports for export in Japan other than Nagasaki Mikawachi kilns. According to the 1885 book ‘Japanese marks and seals’ by James Lord Bowes on page 11, and where the mark is listed as one of the first among the late Edo and early Meiji period. It was the mark used by artist Hichozan Shinpo Tsukuru. and reads 'Made by Hichozan Shinpo'. The artist was Higuchi Nansenzan Tsukuru. The other mark as sown in both resources was Made bythe artist Higuchi Nansenzan.
The distinction between Fukagawa and Hirado tends to blur after the beginning of the Meiji ‘1868-1913’ era when greater attention is started to focus on exports. Hichozan Shinpo-sei brand was made in the short period of time at the end of Edo period ‘1603-1867’.
Excerpts from several resources including those listed above, re- compiled.
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