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Japanese Kutani-style Glass vase c. 1880 attrib. to Harrach

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    Posted 4 years ago

    Michelleb007
    (228 items)

    Over the last few years, I have become very interested in a fascinating part of the decorative history in Europe and America that occurred when Japan opened its ports to international trade in the 1850’s. Its influence on European art and design was tremendous.

    When I came across this unusual glass vase a few months ago, it really caught my eye and I snapped it up. What fascinates be about it is that it was made in Europe, and is attempting to be an almost exact copy of aka-e style (predominately orange-red with gold) Kutani Japanese porcelain. Kutani is a traditional Japanese form of porcelain decoration from the region of Kutani (Ishikawa), and usually features bright colors and imagery of nature, flowers, birds and sometimes people.

    From what I have read, Kutani porcelain was first exhibited in Europe at the Vienna World Exposition in 1873. It was so popular that it helped to fuel the large amount of Japanese imports that started to flow into Europe at that time. I find it very interesting that a European glass maker wanted to capitalize on this popularity by making almost exact copies of Kutani ware, but using glass.

    From the colors used, to the floral motifs, to the gold detailing on top of the colored enamel, my vase was designed to copy Kutani porcelain, but the enamel work was done on an opaque white glass. It has a cut and polished rim, and stands just over 5” (12.7cm) tall. Although my vase is unmarked, Warren Galle has an ewer that is decorated in a very similar style that is numbered on the bottom in the Harrach manner. After seeing his ewer, I believe my vase was also made by Harrach, c.1880. As you can see in my photos, the floral motifs change constantly around the vase. The last image shows examples of Japanese Kutani porcelain for reference.

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    Comments

    1. MaryGregoryGuy MaryGregoryGuy, 4 years ago
      Fantastic, Michelle!
    2. Michelleb007 Michelleb007, 4 years ago
      Thanks so much, John! :)
    3. philmac51 philmac51, 4 years ago
      Fascinating write-up here Michelle! - thanks for posting this very interesting piece and article.
    4. Michelleb007 Michelleb007, 4 years ago
      My pleasure, Phil! I am glad you found it interesting. :)
    5. ozmarty ozmarty, 4 years ago
      Fantastic vase and history...
      from the 17th Century Europeans were trying copying Asian ceramics . the fascinating story of Johann Friedrich Böttger is worth reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Friedrich_B%C3%B6ttger

      there is a good little book about him too.
    6. inky inky, 4 years ago
      Such a well written and informative write up, thank you...it's a beautiful vase!...:-)
    7. Michelleb007 Michelleb007, 4 years ago
      Thanks so much, Marty - I am going to read up on him! :)
    8. Michelleb007 Michelleb007, 4 years ago
      Inky, thank you, that is so nice of you to say! I am glad you like it! :)
    9. Tiurr Tiurr, 4 years ago
      This vase is gorgeous! Fascinating history too.
    10. Michelleb007 Michelleb007, 4 years ago
      Hi Tiurr, thank you, I appreciate your comment! :)
    11. sklo42 sklo42, 4 years ago
      Beautiful vase......and further education :)
    12. MALKEY MALKEY, 4 years ago
      great insight to beautiful piece just super Michelle
    13. skivatinitz skivatinitz, 4 years ago
      what a beautiful vase and interesting post, thanks a lot
    14. Michelleb007 Michelleb007, 4 years ago
      Thank you, skivatinitz - I appreciate it, and glad you like the vase. :)

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