This lovely old Imari piece has the look of a piece that pre- dates the heavy "for export" period as we came into the Meiji period. Per the owner from Japan from whom I purchased, it dates back to the late Edo period of the 1800's, (1603-1868). He believed it was made as a candy dish for a special gift and thought it to be Nabeshima, but I do not think it is. It is very pretty and very unusual. It does have the style and design of hand painting seen in the flowers from that time period. It is painted on all sides except the bottom. Amongst the flowers on the inside lid is a gourd. The surface design very unusual with many small indentations that appear as crisscross then circles- a tool may have been used to do this. It is a nice oval shape and good size. I find the art that repeats as a straight line between the lid and bottom interesting- as if to direct the owner where to place the lid.
It has one Kintsugi 金継ぎ repair between the bottom and the lid which is the most common area for small chips. (See more below about Kintsugi). This one is made with silver. It has some light stain between the two pieces not seen when closed, evident of its use. Otherwise it is in excellent condition for its age. A wonderful part of Japanese porcelain history. It is unsigned. See more at the Metropolitan Museum of Art about similar Japanese Edo period porcelains.
SIZE: Length 5” or 12.7cms, Width 4.21” or 10.7cms Height 2.76” or 7cms
Kintsugi 金継ぎ is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy it speaks to breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise; and sometimes called wabi sabi. Wabi-sabi 侘寂 represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete".
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