This Japanese Antique Banko Ware Pottery Small Sencha Teapot of Hotei dates to the late 19th or early 20th Meiji period when Banko ware was in high production for export. Katako refers to the children as a Chinese word, although it is a Japanese piece. It is a great Banko Ware piece I know there is a story to go with now that we have the motif correct. Hotei most often surrounded himself with children and I believe there is a related festival held every year. The teapot itself is a medium to thin hard shell porcelain piece, rare to be in an unfinished state, and in most excellent condition with no cracks or chips. It is possible however, that the finial was 'filed' down as someone pointed out- I do not know. It looks normal to me but evidently, most Banko teapots have a floral or other type finial on the lid and this one is missing it. This came with a lot that was a purchase of something else from an auction house so did not catch it. But, thatnks to Sandra Andacht for confirming this about the finial as well as what this is for us as Banko Ware, as well as the education on the unfinished sharkskin body. According to Yoshio Kusaba san, the bottom is called '"tobikan'na' or the 'flying scraper' stippled decoration. And, he said the mark is that of '日本萬古' or the Nippon Banko impressed seal. I will also add the link to the Banko Ware Pottery Center in Mie Prefecture Gabi shared to our Favorites Links on our homepage.
SIZE: Height 3 in. or 7.62 cm, Diameter of base of teapot 2 7/8 in. or 7.3 cm from end to end 3 1/2 in. or 8.89 cm
Banko 萬古 ware
There is not much historical information to be found on Banko ware, it has not consistently remained a favorite by the majority and with a fickle audience, yet there are many who seem to enjoy the fanciful and sometimes seemingly obnoxious pieces. I put what history I could together from the internet as the latest book on Banko ware by Til is one book I do not have in my collection.
In 1890, James Bowes of Liverpool, England; in his book titled “Japanese Pottery” wrote:
In 1890, was referred to as Yedo Banko, and ssaid to be associated with the Capitol of Shogun in the city of Tokio, and made by Gazayemon. Under Ise pottery, continued to be made by his son and his grandson after his death, then after; the kiln appears to have been closed. Banko ware was at its highest production as made for export during the Meiji period, turn of the century- late 19th through the early 20th century. As one might expect. Previously it was revived in 1831 by a potter named Yusetsu of Ise’, after the production had ceased in 1785.
In Fanciful Images: Japanese Banko Ceramics Hardcover, in the introduction to his book, Barry Till says:
The 17th century Tokyo potter named Banko made pottery in a unique fashion with shapes and decorations include flowers, birds, monkeys, sea creatures and human figures. The late 19th century saw a revival of the Banko style and pieces were made in great numbers. Historical information on early 20th century Japanese Banko ware is quite scarce. This publication discusses the period and features approximately seventy whimsical pieces, both glazed and unglazed, as well as marble ware, from one of the largest private collections in the world.
And that is where I stop for now. We gathered this information when I first started studying the Japanese arts and would be happy to have another reference for use.
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