This wonderful Japanese antique Kutani 九谷 porcelain box is made in the motif of a drum and decorated in the art of Mokubei fashion. Mokubei style of 1805-1816 was founded by Mokubei Aoki who reinstated the local tradition of pottery making during the Edo Tokugawa era. Red base with Chinese-style figures called karako are painted in green, yellow, and blue signify this style. Mokubei was one of the three famed potters of the time. This piece is hand made in heavier older Kutani porcelain and painted with good Mokubei work in overglaze enamels. We know it dates to at least the Meiji period and most likely made for export between 1868 and 1912, and probably not an original Mokubei as they are very rare to find. Most likely it was made by one the original old kilns mentioned below. It is a great piece which could have been made as a tea caddy or simply a decorative piece or jar. it is signed on the bottom in green with the 'Fuku' mark of 'happiness longevity and wealth' often seen on works of Kutani.
SIZE: Height 4 inches or 10.16 cm, Diameter 5 inches or 12.7 cm
It has no cracks or chips but does have some surface wear and loss of enamel, and a spot on the bottom where it looks like a sticker was stuck for a while, Please see the pictures and ask any questions. We are non-house smokers and do not smoke around our wares and our very careful with them to have clean hands and in the packing. We have noticed smells from items received recently, again please let us know if you have any questions. This one has no smells, this is from a well- known and honest, quality antiques dealer's piece.
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Aoki Mokubei 青木 Designer of the Mokubei style
From Georges Bouvier owner and writer of The Kutani Ceramic Website: Aoki Mokubei of 1766-1833 was a famous Kyoto potter. He was engaged in 1807 as a leader in the Kasugayama kiln by Maeda the 9th Lord of Kaga Han. But stayed only One year. In 1811, he came back to open the Wakasugi kiln. He has developed there a very typical style using colorful Chinese personages in deep red and green colors. This style became very famous and was copied since until today. He stayed few years in Kutani, Until today pieces in Mokubei style bearing Mokubei signature are style produced. Then, the Mokubei style most known from 1805-1816 was founded by Mokubei Aoki who reinstated the local tradition of pottery making during the Edo Tokugawa era. Red base with Chinese-style figures painted in green, yellow, and blue signify this style. Mokubei was one of the three famed potters of the time.
Kutani, which means Nine Valleys, is an area near Kanazawa City where the Kutani ceramics were first produced in the mid 17th Century. Kutani is the pottery of Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan. Please see more information along with the following at website Kutani-Imus or the Kutani Art Museum. There is a page specifically in English written by the founders of the museum. Kutani Porcelain has been brought up in the long history in Kaga district now Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan. Many current kilns of Kutani Porcelain such as Ko Kutani, the Yoshidaya kiln, the Miyamotoya kiln established the traditional styles originally. The basic traditional styles of Kutani Porcelain were created throughout the kilns and, the techniques have been inherited by many artists of this area at the present. In addition, a lot of Ko-Kutani and others live on here. For a more in-depth history and study of Kutani, see the link in our Favorites links on our Homepage to the Kutani Ceramic Website by Georges Bouvier; as well as the Kutani museums in Japan.
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