This Japanese antique Banko Ware hexagonal kogo small box dates to the late Meiji period of 1868-1912. While stated as Banko. I also have my suspicions that it may fit into the work of the studios of on of the famous Kyoto artist and potters, It does look like Banko, and what is left of the Banko inscription is on the bottom of the box, and a reliable top right kanji is seen. A kogo is used for holding incense and historically most often for the tea ceremony, at the temple, and for the small worship area in the home. The kogo are also wonderful items of character to decorate with, in addition to placing small items in around the house and many people have large collections of them, they make a great collector's item. This one is made with nice ivory pottery and painted with small blue, brown, and yellow flowers, on the top. A rectangle;e handle is the finial. The outside is in excellent condition with no cracks or chips. The inside has one very small chip on the rim expanded by macro photography. It is not that noticeable and not noticeable at all when closed.
Size: Width 3.5 inches or 8.89 cm, Height 2.75 inches or 6.98 cm
There is not much historical information to be found on Banko ware or the internet but I did find one book by Barry Till. 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 said 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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