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Japan, Saga Prefecture; Edo period (1615-1867), 17th century
Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue with iron-brown and green glazes (Arita ware, Nabeshima type)
H. 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm); D. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
An arresting design fills the interior surface of this dish: three horizontal bands, each a different color, form a backdrop to the sweeping branches of cherry blossoms sprouting from the bottom. All of the blue areas were painted with cobalt blue before the dish was glazed. The color differentiation between celadon green and iron brown glazes results from the different amount of iron added to the basic clear glaze Nabeshima ware, of which this is an early example, was manufactured in northern Kyushu almost exclusively for the Nabeshima daimyo, both for his family's own use and for presentation to the Edo shogunate.
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