Japanese Antique Banko Ware 萬古 Pottery Married Teapot with Dharma motif dates to the Meiji period, late 19th or early 20th century of 1868 to 1912, when Banko ware was at its height in export. Although its history dates back to mostly the 1700's, see discussion below. This is an unusual piece that came in an auction lot, with a mismatched or 'married' lid. The lid is sharkskin, the body of the pot is not. Regardless, I cannot help but think because it is unfinished and unusual, and it has a wonderful enameled Dharma on it and a very good painting at that, somehow it does not seem to matter and makes it even more unique. The teapot itself is a medium to thin hard paste porcelain piece, rare to be in an unfinished state, and in most excellent condition with no cracks or chips. Thanks to Sandra Simon- Andacht for confirming what this is for us, as it is not marked and I was not sure if it was in fact, Banko anyway. The lid is finished sharkskin but the pot is not. We have added a link to the Banko Ware Pottery Center in Mie Prefecture Gabi shared to our Favorites Links on our homepage.
SIZE: Height Pending approximately about 3 x 2 in. a little larger in. or cm, Diameter of base of teapot in. or cm from end to end in. or 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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