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Octagonal Lidded Bowl with an overglaze enamel design of acorns / 色絵団栗蓋付壷

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Octagonal Lidded Bowl with an overglaze enamel design of acorns
    • 色絵団栗蓋付壷
  • Description

    Octagonal lidded bowl, nigoshide porcelain with overglaze polychrome enamel design of acorns, made with the use of a press mould.

  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 2016
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 25 centimetres
    • Diameter: 25 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    The work was made by Sakaida Kakiemon XV (b.1968) in February through March 2016. The latter parts of its construction was captured by the BM film team in Arita when they were embedded in the Kakiemon kiln for 4 days to record ceramic production processes. He made this work specifically for the British Museum.

    Japanese porcelain was first produced 400 years ago in Arita, western Japan. Porcelain is made from a mix of kaolin, feldspar and silica, often known as porcelain stone, which becomes white, semi-translucent and fully vitrified when fired at a high temperature. Some of the most exquisite porcelain made during the Edo period (1615-1868) came from the Kakiemon kiln.

    The Classic Kakiemon style flourished 1670-1700. Many of the processes established at this time are still in use today. From the 1930s, the ingenuity and patience of father and son Kakiemon XII (1878-1963) and Kakiemon XIII (1906-1982) led to the revival of Classic Kakiemon style. They rediscovered the nigoshide technique for creating the creamy white body using porcelain stone from the quarry at Izumiyama, the original source. Nigoshide was designated a nationally important craft skill by the Japanese government in 1971. For his revitalisation of Classic Kakiemon style in 1973, Kakiemon XIII was appointed a ‘Holder of an Important Intangible Cultural Property’, or a ‘Living National Treasure’. Kakiemon XIII introduced a naturalistic painterly style of decoration, while Kakiemon XIV (1934-2013) further invigorated the brand with his dynamic use of bold designs and patterns.

    Kakiemon XV has made as his initial mark the introduction of new motifs, such as the acorns seen here and the enlargement of their design on the porcelain surface. To acquire works at this early stage reveal his fresh interpretation of the Kakiemon style and allow visitors to the British Museum to see the process of reinvention of an ages old brand for contemporary audiences.

    Sakaida Kakiemon XV recently took charge of the Kakiemon kiln and workshop in 2014 upon the death of his father and formally gave up his given name of Hiroshi. The Kakiemon kiln follows the traditional Japanese head of household or iemoto system where the eldest son inherits the practise upon the death or retirement of the father. Kakiemon XV while always knowing her would take over from his father led a full life pursuing other passions including hurdling and drawing and painting. More recently he worked at his father’s kiln and with his father’s recent death find himself in charge of over 50 people working in the kiln and the complex question of how to modernise the Kakiemon brand while staying within its traditional production practises. This work reveals that he already has an articulated vision for the future of the Kakiemon kiln.


  • Location

    Not on display

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Credit Line: "Purchase funded by the JTI Japanese Acquisition Fund"

  • Department


  • Registration number


Octagonal lidded bowl, nigoshide porcelain with overglaze polychrome enamel design of acorns, made with the use of a press mould.

3/4: Above

reproduced by permission of the artist © The Trustees of the British Museum

Image description



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Object reference number: JCR24790

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