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Discovering Japanese Porcelain and Pottery

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Much of my hunting for both Chinese and Japanese art, particularly porcelain and pottery is done in the New England area. Boston, Salem, Beverly, and other towns in Massachusetts were the receiving end of the long clipper ship journeys to the Far East, that included Japan. But before those days, the Dutch East India Company had set up shop in New England, bringing in all sorts of novel and practical wares from Japan, China, and India all along the Eastern seaboard, that included Boston and its surrounding seaport communities. A recent auction this pair of Japan bronze gilt in silver and gold highlights went under the hammer and found their way to me.

Unmarked (but many of the craftsman that switched from war to art did not mark their wares early in the Meiji period) but certainly finely crafted. Featuring symbolism that is Japanese and not Chinese, so this piece was made for the Japan market and not for export. They are a matched set of bronze brush pots. The metal composition shows some of the early transition bronze ware, displaying splotches of copper and the tooling of an extremely fine cutting on the base in the circular motion, almost like a very fine vinyl record. The rest is composed of cut and mounted images of trees, flowers, birds, mountains, sky, and many other fascinating images.


A closer look at some parts of the matched pair. The patina is quite good as well.


The two birds sitting on a branch of the old and wise tree with its spring time burst of leaves and the mountain in the background with the wisping clouds above is wonderful.



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