This Japanese antique Hirado 平戸 porcelain koro or incense burner dates to the Meiji period of 1868-1912. Of course, it is all handmade. It is one of the most popular export wares of its time. It is decorated using sometsuke, or hand decorated and hand painted in under glaze blue. It has a most elegant form of curved shapes all over. The body is rounded and curved. The tripod legs curve out in an elegnant manner. The foo dog handles are curved, as is the reticulated lid. Literally, reticulated refers to works of porcelain and means having a pattern of interlacing lines, especially of pierced work, forming a net or web. It is also referred to as open work, and it is called 'eiji' in the reticulated style or 'sukashi' simply meaning open work in Japanese. Lovely scenery are painted on both sides that look like paintings. It is a piece of art as much as it is a koro. Despite a repair of the lid, it is a fine piece. If you notice the picture with the top of the lid facing out. it is not even noticeable. The other parts fall into the inside of the koro. The repair is done so well on the top it looks like a crack that occurred in the kiln, or a crack of the glaze and not the piece. It is therefore priced accordingly. There is a chip on the back upper shoulder. Otherwise there are no injuries. It is unsigned.
SIZE: Height 4 1/2 inches or 11.43 cm, Width 4 3/8 inches or 11.11 cm, Depth 3 1/2 inches or 8.89 cm
About Hirado 平戸 Ware
Hirado was an important kiln in the history of Japanese ceramics and its widely varied wares rank among the finest made and considered by many as the finest in the world in the 1780-1870s, others cut the end of that period earlier, to around 1840, or the time of the first Opium war in China. The origins of Hirado ware or Mikawachi ware, date back to the building of a kiln by Korean potters that were brought back to this area of Kyushu by landowners who had taken part in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's campaign to the Korean Peninsular at the end of the 16th century. The kiln here was used to fire porcelain for the Hirado clan up to the Meiji Restoration in 1868. As well as running the kiln, the Hirado clan was responsible for finding porcelain clay at nearby Amakusa and for the rapid development of skills and techniques, which are till alive today.
Hirado porcelains are characterized by its pure white body and clear glaze, often adorned with fine painting in underglaze blue. This ware is characterized by its over painting of cobalt on a white porcelain. Ever since the kiln was first fired, pieces were sent as tributes to both the court and warrior families and as a consequence, this china is of the highest quality, whether it be for everyday use or a special decorative item. The degree of care to produce items of such beauty and the delicacy of the work are part of its well established reputation.Some pieces are embellished with brown glaze. Others, more rarely, are covered with a fine celadon glaze. While Japanese scholars often technically refer to this material as Mikawachi ware, the popular term in both Japan and the West is Hirado ware. Japanese porcelain with figure and landscape painting in blue on a white body, often depicting boys at play, made exclusively for the Lords of Hirado, near Arita, in the mid 18th to mid 19th centuries.
Hirado is the pottery of Nagasaki Prefecture in Japan and It is traditional Japanese pottery. Hirado is a city located in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. Hirado was made as pottery for an offering a Daimyo prior to the Meiji period, Therefore, the use of Hirado in Japan has a high social status to this day, for those wares. This is one of the areas I had the opportunity to live as a child, at the time in the 1960's we simply knew it was, Nagasaki the city. It was in this area that the Hirado kilns were first born, and are now closed. While the kilns closed early in the 20th century, Hirado type wares are still made by certain famous Japanese artists only. Now while kilns are still located in that area, they fall for business reasons under Arita. Hirado is still made to this day, again since about the mid- 20th century.
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