Japanese vintage Kutani porcelain censer or large incense burner which is beautifully made with the most popular Foo Dog on top. It is about 50 years old according to the dealer in Japan. It was originally a style made in China, and Japanese artists loved it so much with the help and teaching of Chinese potters they learned how to make it and these Japanese potters, in turn, brought it back to Japan to teach their potters- as they often did with other high-class Chinese ceramics.
Most likely made by a Kutani-yaki Master Potter, clearly done by a skilled artisan or artisans- one can see the expertise in the body, detail of the work, and the quality of the piece. Kutani wares or Kutani-yaki has used the most high-quality porcelain or in Japanese 'jiki' since it was first made, and continue to do so until the current day. It could have been made by either one or two craftsmen. the potter and the painter- it usually depends on how complex a single piece is. The Sometsuke or overglaze cobalt blue hand painting on white porcelain or blue painting is truly one of the most requested pieces in Japanese and Chinese ceramics.
While this is hand made it may have been made using the slip- cast process as a guide for the ball then hand form the pieces together, I am not sure of this exact process but slip is used in making more the complex ceramic pieces. Because this is hand made and handpainted, it is a one of a kind piece and cannot and must not be considered a 'reproduction' which in my opinion people who do not understand the true intent of that word in ceramics tend to overuse and throw that word around very loosely, This is a one of a kind handmade and hand-painted piece,
The 'Chinese 'Shinzui Style'
We owned a similar Kutani censer which was made during the Meiji period. The kiln name escapes me but the piece dated to the Meiji period of 186-1912. The kiln was a is a very well-known kiln in Japan. I will have to find it but this kiln may have actually been the one that made this, but I need help with the signed mark, unless it is all about the Chinese mark. This kiln I recall is well known in Japan and in business for several hundred years for their Kutani works being the highest producer for similar okimono and censer during the Meiji period but it was signed differently and with their own artist and kiln mark. Because of the type of signage, I do not know if there is any way to tell if the one artist or two artists made this one, will continue to try to get help with this mark. This particular piece is signed using the Apocryphal- mark, which is a mark representing the original Chinese one and representing that this is made 'in the style of', and this is done out of respect for the original artist and-or makers, so do not let anyone tell you that this is a reproduction. It is not.
This censer is in excellent condition no cracks or chips, there is some expected age ware on the bottom or foot.
Size: Height 7.4 inches or 18.8 cm, Diameter 5.1 inches or 13 cm. Weight 970 grams or 2.14 lbs
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.