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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Meiping vase. Decorated with irises in underglaze blue and pale mauve. Made of porcelain. Marked.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1900 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 32.7 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Genroku sei
  • Curator's comments

    Farrer 2001

    A tall ornamental vase lends itself to a design of tall stiff leafed irises. The colours are stylised, but the painting of the irises is very realistic and finely executed. By 1900 irises were popular garden plants in the West, and Japanese nurseries specialised in exporting huge quantities of rhizomes, with dozens of vividly coloured flowers. The design and painting of this vase is influenced by fashionable 'art nouveau' style, which incorporated ideas and images from newly accessible and startlingly different Japan. The surge of interest in Japanese culture and enthusiasm for all aspects of Japanese art was dubbed 'Japonisme' in 1872 by the French art critic Phillipe Burty.


  • Bibliography

    • Farrer 2001 102 bibliographic details
  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


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Object reference number: JCR11327

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