This is an exceptionally lovely pair of Japanese Satsuma mantel vases that date to the Meiji Period (c 1868 – 1912.)
The material composition is a pottery or faience, and with respect to Satsuma it is sometimes referred to as a soft paste porcelain.
The vases are 12” high and 5” wide at the belly. The shape is one of a round lower belly with a long slender neck, and each vase has applied handles at the lower part of the neck.
The crackle glaze is a pale buff verging on a pale yellow. All Satsuma ware has the crackle glaze, which is a glaze that is crazed.
Over the surface of each vase are small white beads, applied by hand; the labor involved for the beading must have been extraordinary.
On the front and back of each vase are birds in flight, which I take to be cranes, however egrets and herons also look similar. The details of each bird are outlined in gold and white enamel is filled in. The legs and feet are black.
The higher end Satsuma of the 19th century, where talented artists decorated the pottery, generally used gold. On these vases, the gold is in raised enamel on the body of the vases, and in some places more layers added along with dots and lines. There are long swaths of gold forming leaves and stems. There are gold flowers on the neck of each vase and with additional brush strokes on the flowers. The rim has a layered design that droops down a bit onto the neck, with additional designs hand done on the gold. There is gold on the handles and gold around each foot. The handles are not entirely covered with gold, and some of this may be minimal wear, but I think it was intentional at the time of decoration.
There are flowers with raised pale blue enamel forming the petals and a thick gold center with added gold beading.
At the side of each handle, raised up from the body of the vases, are outstretched wings, which I think may be formed by hand applied slip versus a mold. The raised design of wings is outlined with gold strokes. The handles send an extension up the sides of each neck, also covered in gold, until it meets a raised band of large white dots.
The vases are striking, gorgeous and rare. There was a lot of artist work, unimaginable hours of labors involved in producing the decorations on the vases.
The vases are signed on the bottom in red hand lettered Japanese characters. The vases may be of the Kyoto School.
There are no chips, nicks or cracks. Inside the two vases, mostly deep inside the necks, there are glaze skips on the pottery. One vase has a larger glaze skip inside the neck closer to the top and you can see it in the photo that shows the overhead shot. There is some minimal exterior wear due to handling over the years. The estate had placed cloth protectors on the bottom of each vase and some remnants remain.
Please zoom in on all of the photos and enjoy.
Japanese Satsuma Gorgeous Pair 12” Mantel Vases Flying Cranes Birds Fine Beading Embellished Enameling Meiji Period Signed Exquisite
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