A brilliantly colorful Japanese Imari, also known as Arita, antique porcelain dish, using classic Imari colorations of under-glaze cobalt blue, coral reds, greens, and gilded enamels. The central panel depicts the mythical Asian unicorn, known as the kirin. (The qilin was a popular figure in Chinese mythology because it was associated with a wish for sons. Generally the unicorn was defined as a benevolent creature which lives in the Kunlun mountains and represents good fortune, fecundity, and filial piety. The last attribute reveals its association with Confucianism as in Confucian legend, the qilin appeared to Confucius' mother just before he was born.) The dish has a large outer border of lotus petal shaped alternating panels of peony blossoms and lotus vine scrolls. On the reverse are a maker’s mark and enamel decorations of flower arrangements and Japanese Buddhist symbols. It is in excellent condition with flecks of ash from the original firing and other minor kiln flaws, some rubbing to the gold enamels. 9” diameter and 1 ½” high.
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