This antique Hirado Porcelain Mizu baketsu or water pot or pail was made over 150 years ago, so just at the end of the Edo period in the mid 1800's. It is the first time I have seen a Hirado pail, although the motif itself of a pail or bucket is not rare, just unusual. This is made very well with nice relief and good detailed quality painting on fine white Hirado porcelain. A triple white rope in relief surrounds the bottom and a single rope around the middle portion of the bucket. The handle is made in a realistic manner representing old handmade wood work. Two brown fish are molded in relief on the lid of the bucket or pail with a blue rope tying them together. The leaves and flowers hand painted in blue around the bucket are the 'Three friends of winter" motif of pine, prunus and bamboo. The water bucket is often used in Japanese symbolism through the arts. This one appears to symbolize a pail for carrying Sakana or fish, for which I cannot find just one word resorting to Sakana no baketsu, or fish pail. This Edo period Hirado piece is in excellent condition. It has a water spot on the bottom of the spout. It has some minor and few age spots. It has no cracks, chips or repairs. It has some rubbing along the bottom of the handle from use. The wooden lid plug is not the original but it fits well and is in good condition.
SIZE : Height 6.1" or 15.49 cm, Diameter 5.8 " or 14.73 cm. Weight 600 grams or 1.32 pounds unpacked
The water bucket symbolizes the carrying of water from the well. Japanese mythology embraces agriculturally based folk religion, and many of these stories are based around the water bucket or pail.
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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