Lot 99. A large Kakiemon vase with ladies and parasols, Edo period, late 17th century; 45.8 cm., 18 in. high. Estimate 120,000 — 180,000 GBP. Courtesy Sotheby's.
oviform with short ring neck and deep foot rim, decorated in iron-red, green yellow, aubergine, blue and black enamels, with three panels each containing two Chinese figures, one under a parasol and the other with a fan, amoungst plum and bamboo issuing from rockwork, a bird perched in the upper bowing branches, the panels divided by flowerheads and scrolling foliage, the neck and foot with underglaze blue circumferential lines alternately bordering flowers and geometric design.
Note: This is one of the grandest designs in Kakiemon and was much coveted in European collections. The largest group of these vases is in the collection of Augustus the Strong Elector of Saxony in Dresden. The collections are currently being catalogued by Dr. Christiaan J. A. Jörg, and recently discussed in his lecture in November 2018, Porcelain Circling the Globe, as part of the Dresden Porcelain Project.
The shape is Chinese and the panel design shows two Chinese figures, one holding a Chinese-style fan, the other a domed parasol. The inspiration for the composition of plum, chrysanthemum and bamboo with oversized bird and blossoms comes from the Chinese enamels of the late Kangxi period (1662-1722), and the figure types can be found on 17th century Chinese blue and white export wares of the Transitional period (1620-1683).
Similar examples are in the Royal Collection at Hampton Court Palace, the collection of the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace, the collection of the Duke of Bedford at Woburn Abbey, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Tokyo National Museum.
For the example at Blenheim Palace, see Mark Hinton and Oliver Impey, Kakiemon Porcelain from the English Country House (London, 1989), pl. 35 p. 57.
For further examples in Japanese collections see:
Kurita Museum: http:/www.kurita.or.jp/imari/catalog/index.htm (ref.no. 56).
Imaizumi Motosuke, Genshoku Nihon no meito Ko-Imari to Kakiemon [Important Japanese polychrome ceramics: Ko-Imari and Kakiemon] (Tokyo, 1970), pl. 67.
Kurita Hideo, Kurita korekushon kiseki to tenkai/History of the Kurita Collection and Museum (Tokyo, 1990), unnumbered color pl.; Hayashiya Seizo, Kakiemon, vol. 9 of Nihon no toji (Tokyo, 1974), pl. 94; ibid, Kakiemon/Nabeshima, vol. 6 of Nihon no toji (Tokyo, 1972), pl. 94.
Nagatake Takeshi, Yabe Yoshiaki and Minamoto Hiromichi, eds., Kakiemon no sekai: genryu kara gendai made [Exhibition of the world of Kakiemon: from its origins to the present], exh. cat. (Fukuoka, 1983), pl. 8 (Sakaida Kakiemon Collection).
In a painting by Augustin Terwesten on the ceiling of Schloss Oranienburg in Berlin (see above), there is a vase of this shape and pattern. As this ceiling was completed by 1695 this provides a secure terminus ad quem date for the type.
Detail of the ceiling of Schloss Oranienburg, Augustin Terwesten, 1695.
Sotheby's. Fine Japanese Art, London, May 14, 2019, 10:00 AM.