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Nabeshima ware dish with design of reeds in mist, seven-sun size

Edo period

Porcelain with cobalt pigment under colorless glaze, celadon glaze, and iron pigment on unglazed clay
H: 5.7 W: 20.3 cm
Arita, Japan

Purchase F1964.7

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Nabeshima ware was produced at a carefully managed workshop for the exclusive use of the Nabeshima lords, rulers of the domain within which the Arita kilns lay. The most characteristic products were sets of dishes of standard sizes, decorated with exquisite and technically demanding decoration. This dish is an example of the seven-sun size.

The autumnal motif of withered reeds enveloped by mist is rendered with realism unusual in a Nabeshima design, wherein natural motifs are usually abstractly composed. Iron pigment applied directly to the roughened clay surface conveys the brittleness of the dried leaves, while the use of both cobalt wash and a band of celadon suggests the depth of the mist.

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