This pair of porcelain jars are actually called married cups or a wedding set and they are typical of traditional Kutani ceramics. One is slightly smaller than the other as they should be. They are beautifully painted with seated Oriental people dressed in colorful attire. They are finished with gold trim and detailing. The knobbed lids follow the theme. Inside is miniature writing the encircles the cup. Since I was unfamiliar with these I sought help from a noted Kutani Ceramics website and I share that information in this description. Generally this type of cup has one painter for the outside and another for the calligraphy inside but apparently in this case the same artist has executed both with the signature of Kutani Shozan. on the back and on the inside. The calligraphy inside apparently represents Sanju rokkasen – the 36 immortal poets, sometimes just referred to as The Immortals. It is believed that these are from the 1950’s and that they would have originally had a wood box.
The large one measures about 4 1/8” high to the top of the knob on the lid by 2 5/8” in diameter across the top of the cup. The smaller one measures about 4” high to the top of the knob on the lid by 2 7/16” in diameter across the top of the cup. All of the pieces, cups and lids, are in very good condition with minimal wear and no damage to the porcelain.
The pictures are not shown at actual size. Please refer to the description for actual measurements.
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Vintage Japanese Kutani Wedding Set - Two Lidded Cups - Calligraphy Inside