Here is an unusual old piece, a hand painted Japanese vase featuring palm trees and scrollwork on the neck and handles, evocative of Egypt, or perhaps a secluded island. Among the palm trees there's a thatch roofed cottage and a forked path which wraps around the vase, ending in a desert scene on the reverse side with two isolated tall palms. The colors are cream, browns and greens, and a touch of pink, topped with the geometrical motifs. The vase is 8" tall; 2 1/2" across rim; 4 3/4" across handles and 4 1/2" wide at the base. This is not meant to be high end work as there are a few rough spots, such as a tiny glob of clay left unincorporated, (rear view, shoulder) and a few small spots where the paint was thinly applied (rim and handles).
The mark on the bottom is Made in Japan over what's called the "bi bi" mark, a curious Japanese character of which no one (at least that we have found) knows the precise meaning. One learned guess is that it was used by a Japanese exporter to the Middle East either just before WWII or for two decades after the War. We can say it was made either between 1921 and WWII (with the word Japan in English characters) or after 1952 (post-Occupied Japan' period).
This exotic tall vase has a charm all its own and is truly captivating. (Aside from the small errors made in the manufacturing process, there are no flaws present: no cracks, scratches or chips, and no crazing.) We can say with certainty that this striking and mysterious old vase will be enjoyed by its new owner!
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