- Museum number
Large porcelain dish (ōzara), wheel-thrown, decorated in underglaze cobalt blue with a landscape design in the Kraak style with urushi subsequently applied.
- Production date
1690-1710 (circa (porcelain dish))
1710-1740 (lacquer application)
Diameter: 53.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Large dish with applied lacquer
This distinctive dish is an extremely large example of Japanese porcelain fired in the Arita klins and destined for the export market in the Middle East or Europe. It was based on a particular type of Chinese blue and white pottery made for export and known as Kraak style. Fired in Arita between about 1690 and 1710, the dish was later decorated with lacquer (urushi), probably in Nagasaki, though possibly elsewhere, before being exported by the Dutch East India Company. Japanese lacquer had a good reputation in Europe and very large lacquer plates becane particularly popular in centaral Europe in the early 1700s.
Sometimes varnish was added to Japanese porcerain in Europe, a process called japanning.
More rarely, lacquer was applied to porcelain in Japan. There are examples of large lacquer plates, known as chargers and used as a base to display dinnerware at banquets, in the Residenz in Munich and Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin. There is a similarly large dish to this one in Kraak style, but without lacquer, in the Topkapi Sarai Palace in Istanbul.
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue design and subsequent lacquer embellishment, Arita, 1690-1710
Puchase funded by Edward Studzinski and the Japanese Acquisitions Fund
(Label Copy, 2017)
This quite distinctive dish is made of porcelain decorated in underglaze cobalt blue in a loose Kraak style pattern based on Chinese prototypes typical of export ware to the Middle East and Europe. The dish dates to 1690-1710. There is an example of a smaller but similarly patterned blue and white dish (without usurshi decoration) in the Princesseshof, Leeuwarden. An example of a similarly sized large dish with a slightly different pattern still in the Kraak style is housed in the Topkapi Sarai Palace in Istanbul. What makes this dish quite special is that it has been over decorated with urushi (lacquer) in a Nagasaki workshop around 1710s before it was exported to Europe to adapt the dish to the fashion for large lacquer chargers that were particular popular in Germany. There still are examples of the lacquer chargers and the adapted porcelain works in the Residenz in Munich and in Charlottenburg in Berlin. Few examples of this type of dish however reach museum collections as they went out of fashion and in the 20th century are occasionally stripped of their urushi (lacquer) to reveal the blue and white porcelain beneath. There are examples of Japanese underglaze cobalt blue decorated porcelain dishes with varnish applied in Europe to imitate the effect of lacquer (japanning). One example is in the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Eastern Asian Art and another in the Prague National Gallery.
- On display (G93/dc7/sD)
- Exhibition history
2014 Oct - , BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
- Acquisition date
- Registration number