Dish with a design of peonies and waves, Nabeshima ware


Period Edo period, late 17th-early 18th century
Materials and techniques Porcelain with underglaze blue and overglaze enamels
Size H.5.5 D.20.0 BD.10.9


This unusual pattern of peonies and waves is a representative design of nana-sun size Nabeshima dishes. The waves are expressed using a technique unique to Nabeshima called “sumi-hajiki” or the “repellent ink”. In this technique, the designs are first drawn in ink, and the overall surface coated with gosu (cobalt). Cobalt does not penetrate ink, and when the ware is fired at a high temperature, the ink disappears, creating a design in white against the blue ground. Variation has been given to the peonies by line depicting the petals on two of the flowers while coloring the others in gradating shades. The leaves are also given variation, some being drawn in underglaze blue while others are colored in overglaze enamels. Nabeshima dishes are usually thick at the base around the tall foot where the curve starts, but this dish has a very gentle curve and is shallow. The back is decorated with the traditional shippo-tsunagi pattern, and the foot with the comb design, both in underglaze blue.

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