Posts Tagged ‘Japanese’

Japanese Imari mystery vessel, c.1800

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

This unusual Japanese porcelain vessel has been a mystery to me ever since I purchased it in London in 2014. The dealer I bought it from knew little about it, so I have been researching it for the past few years. It stands 8.75 inches high and is decorated in the Imari style and color palette, including cobalt blue, iron red, green, and gilt accents. I asked some experts to weigh in on its function and age and their responses range from it being a shaving mug, an incense burner, to a tumba for drinking fermented millet. Most agree it was made during the Edo period (1603–1867).

The original lid and handle broke over 125 years ago and were replaced in Tibet (others suggest Turkey and Persia) with an ornate replacement adorned with turquoise, coral and blue glass beads. If anyone can shed more light on this mystery vessel, especially when it was made and its original use, I would greatly appreciate it.

Japanese teapot, c.1730

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

A small pear-shaped porcelain teapot made in Japan during the Edo middle period (1704-1800), with underglaze Imari decoration of birds and flowers in cobalt blue, iron red and gold.

Measures 3-1/2″ high, 5-1/4″ wide.

Silver replacement lid with chain, engraved decoration and Dutch hallmarks is from the early to mid 1800’s.

This nearly identical teapot shows what the original lid on mine would have looked like before the silversmith got a hold of it. Thanks Hans!


Photo courtesy of Pater Gratia Oriental Art

“Make-do” at the Met, part 2

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Over the summer I returned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to see what antiques with inventive repairs were hiding in plain sight. I discovered numerous examples scattered throughout the various collections, including these two teapots found among the Japanese porcelains.

“Teapot in the Shape of a Melon with Floral Design” Rim and hinge made by Thome, New York. Japan, Edo period (1615-1868), late 17th century. Porcelain with underglaze blue decoration and overglaze enamels (Arita ware, Kakiemon type); modern silver lid

“Lobed Teapot with Floral Design” Japan, Edo period (1615-1868), late 17th century. Porcelain with overglaze enamels (Arita ware, Ko Imari type); European replacement spout and handle

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Googly doll door stop, c.1930

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

This unusual door stop is an example of an item I had to buy, despite not liking it very much. But how could I pass up a broken doll-in-a-can door stop?

When this fragile bisque doll lost its legs, it was submerged in cement and put in to a tin can, along with a metal wire handle covered in oil cloth.

Based on the popular Kewpie doll of the 1910’s and with a nod to Betty Boop, these inexpensive Japanese dolls with “googly” eyes were given out as carnival prizes. I applaud the ingenuity of the family member who rescued the sad little girl’s broken toy, and brought it back to life as a useful household item.

Here’s another example of a doll-in-a-can door stop, but this one is fully adorned

Photo courtesy of Louwers Antiques