Blue Underglaze Porcelain Bowl

Late 19th –Early 20th Century
‘Koran-sha’ Kilns porcelain
3¼” h. x 7¾” w. d.

This bowl, made by potters of the “Koran-Sha’ kilns, a company established in 1874, known to produce very refined porcelain, following a modernized method of production introduced into Japan by German technical experts who came to Japan around 1870. The ‘Koran-Sha’ mark is shown at the bottom of the bowl.

This bowl, made in the Koran-Sha kiln, bears the hallmark of the famous Kakiemon porcelain. Kahiyemon is attributed the honor to be the first maker of colored porcelain in Japan, having made use of the secret of metallic oxidation discovered in the middle Near East thousands of years ago. He developed and popularized, not only in Japan but in Europe, a strongly individualistic style of porcelain decoration which though based in Chinese models is purely Japanese in taste and feeling. He was the first potter to disregard the Chinese style of crowded patterns covering the entire surface of the article to be decorated and his designs show the Japanese love of simplicity and of skillfully contrived blank spaces. He seldom covers more than one third to one half, at the most, of the surface to be decorated. He used strong rich colors: a soft orange-red, a clear blue-green, almost turquoise, a clear opaque yellow, an over-glazed violet-blue, a purple which shades at times into brown, with a good under-the-glaze blue which he introduced sparingly. Occasionally he highlighted his designs with gold paint. Most of these colors and simplistic style of decoration is shown on this bowl.

The bowl shows designs of chrysanthemum flowers on the interior wall, pine on the exterior wall, in light orange-red, light opaque yellow, touches of turquoise on leaves, and gold on blue-underglaze very fine porcelain body. Because space pattern demands a fine porcelain and a beautiful white glaze, (exemplified by this bowl), not only was Kakiemon ware able to command a high price in his days in Asia and Europe, even today, modern style Kakiemon porcelain is proportionally more expensive than other wares.