This Japanese Vintage Kutani Porcelain Plate was made in ko-Kutani Style about 80 years ago, in the early Showa period of 1926-1989. ko-Kutani refers to very old Kutani first introduced in the 1600s. This plate is 80 years old of the early Showa period according to the seller in Japan. However, It has several stilt or spur marks on the bottom which may change the dating on this piece to at least the Meiji if not the Edo period. This are marks created from being set on the racks in the kiln which changed over the years and centuries.
Colors used in the ko-Kutani style are exclusively red, yellow, green, blue, and purple on a white background, and usually with flowers and a birds motif. This plate is left with a white background and hand painted in overglaze enamels of all of these colors except the purple. The plate is quite beautiful and clearly decorated by a painter with great skill. The flowers are free flowing but with much detail and well-coordinated colors bringing out the richness of the Kutani palette and this painting. Flowers painted in a flow together are in the arabesque style with a bird sitting on the branch as part of one of them. The yellow tips on the green and blue flowers make this piece especially one of great art. The flower and branch on the bottom represent the design of karakusa- botan or flower in an arabesque pattern. Early arabesques were drawn delicately as this one is. However overtime, the style became rougher. The outer rim is drawn and painted in a wide pattern of connected boxes with one simple flower which I believe is the 'five petal flower'. The back outer rims also have two different arabesque patterns painted. As seen by the pictures the overglaze enamels on this plate are still very thick and rich. It is in excellent condition with no cracks chips or repairs. It has several stilt or spur marks on the bottom which may change the dating on this piece to at least the Meiji if not the Edo period.
At almost ten inches, this is a nice size for decorating as a wall or cabinet piece.
Size: Diameter 9.8 inches or 25 cm, Height 1.1 inches or 2.8 cm. Weight 470 grams or 16.58 oz.
Ko Kutani style is the old style that Ko Kutani founder Saijiro Goto worked in. The design is strong and simple; the colors are vivid and bold. The production of Ko Kutani ended in the Genroku era but the cause is somewhat unknown. Some sources say that Saijiro Goto had not passed the craft onto a next generation when he died but other sources say that it was either the unavailability of materials, financial difficulties, or suspicion by the government that illegal international trade was happening within the kiln. The colors used in this style are exclusively red, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
Kutani, which means Nine Valleys, is an area near Kanazawa City where ceramics were first produced in the mid 17th Century. Kutani Porcelain comes from a long history in Kaga district or Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan. Many kilns of Kutani Porcelain such as Ko-Kutani, the Yoshidaya kiln, the Miyamotoya kiln established the traditional styles originally.
Kutani is the pottery of Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan. As my friend says, it is the traditional popular pottery same with IMARI. Please see more information along with the following at website Kutani-Imus or the Kutani Art Museum, and there is a page specifically in English written by the founders of the museum.
A great site for more information for collectors is the Kutani Ceramic Website. Please wait as they rebuild their recent crash.
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