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Japanese 12" Satsuma Export Ware Vase / Late Meiji-Early Showa Period /Circa 1890-1920's

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (1156 items)

    Found this little treasure in the showcase of our local Goodwill. The design on this 12" vase is really over the top. Each side has a different scene of Samurai warlords in fantastic and ornate battle armor. You can barely see their faces for all the gold and raised enamel detail. It's in surprisingly great shape with no apparent damage or paint loss. The bottom has a mark. Gotheborg's site has a similar mark that was used to designate "right" of a pair or it's position in a set. The single line could be "ichi" or the number one. I'm fairly sure this is an export Meiji era piece or just a tad outside that time period say to 1920 or the early Showa period. Value for these is fairly modest because a lot were made and are still copied. Not to everyone's taste, but I love Asian ceramics and pottery and this is a beauty ! -Mike-

    Courtesy of

    The typical Satsuma ware we most of the time come into contact with is a yellowish earthenware usually decorated with a minute decoration with Japanese figures, expressive faces or detailed oriental landscapes, or sometimes embellished with vivid dragons in relief. This ware is in fact an export product specifically designed in the mid 19th century to cater to the western export market. The Japanese themselves had very little interest in this ware.
    From around the 1890's to the early 1920's at least twenty larger studios or factories were producing "Satsuma" wares of which much were of low quality and destined for the European and American export markets.
    At the same time, other artists were producing exquisite wares of the highest quality. There were many masterpieces created during its heyday and several studios have created eternal fame for their names with these magnificent wares. Most high quality export 'Satsuma' is easily recognized by its finely crackled glaze and by the fact that its yellowish earthenware body does not "ring" when tapped. The production soon spread to several cities such as Kyoto, Tokyo, Nagoya, Yokohama and elsewhere throughout Japan, from the Meiji period (1868-1912) up until today.

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    1. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 7 years ago
      That is a great find!
    2. mikelv85 mikelv85, 7 years ago
      Thanks Bonnie :).... It's a great way to end the week !
    3. mikelv85 mikelv85, 7 years ago
      Thank you Nicefice :)
    4. jscott0363 jscott0363, 7 years ago
      Quite a find Mike!! Can't imagine why anyone would take something this nice to the GW.
    5. OneGoodFind OneGoodFind, 7 years ago
      Wow! I mean WOW!!
    6. mikelv85 mikelv85, 7 years ago
      Thank you Scott and One ..... I never seem to find much at this particular GW and stop in only occasionally, but every once in a great while you are right...WOW ! As to why people get rid of something like this. Grandma's old junk mostly and they think it's ugly or a cheap knock-off. While not top shelf Satsuma it is a real eye catcher. I guess I'm one of those Westerner's it was being marketed to back in the :)
    7. LuluX LuluX, 7 years ago
      Such a handsome piece! Certainly tells a story and so much work!
      Must have been meant for you to find :)
    8. mikelv85 mikelv85, 7 years ago
      Thanks LuluX :) was a spur of the moment stop. I just had a feeling since I hadn't been there in a while. My collector's sense of intuition.
    9. mikelv85 mikelv85, 7 years ago
      Thanks Lisa :)...These were very exotic items back in their day. I do get the feeling that these were considered lesser quality but I mean look at the workmanship in this piece. I will admit the clay bodies of these pieces are not finished very well before being painted. There are bits of clay stuck in the glaze here and there. There's a piece on the base's bottom edge that should have been caught and removed but these were mass produced and needed to get to the artists quickly. I also love Nippon. All those beautiful flowers ! Particularly the vases.
    10. Trey Trey, 7 years ago
      Now you need a sword to go with it:)
    11. mikelv85 mikelv85, 7 years ago
      lol..Thanks Trey :)

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