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Japanese Antique Banko Ware 萬古 Pottery Sharkskin Glazed Sencha Teapot
This Japanese antique Banko Ware Pottery is made with the lovely cover of a sharkskin glaze in low relief. I am not actually sure of the motif on the pot done in relief but is a very traditional one, or which flower or plant it represents. Regardless, the glaze is a very finely done sharkskin glaze in a beautiful goldish background color, the relief in white buds and a green vine. It is the smaller size teapot as a sencha teapot. It was a purchase from the U.K. and dates to the Meiji period per the seller and based on Banko history and the style when Banko export was at its height, between 1868 and 1912. It is in excellent condition with no cracks or chips. The size is approximate for now but a good approximate and based on another as I misplaced the rest of my measurements but will update tomorrow as well as confirm whether it is marked.
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.
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