Japanese Meiji Period Cloisonne Enamel Sake Pot


Manner of Namikawa Yasuyuki

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    Squat form Sake Pot

    From our Japanese collection we are delighted to offer this Japanese Meiji Period Cloisonne Enamel Sake Pot. The Sake pot of rounded squat form with clean edges profusely decorated with a loose ‘millefleur‘ blossoming flower pattern upon a black ground base with varying gauge scrolling wire motifs amongst roundels with further blossoming flowers, bamboo cane and Phoenix birds (Ho-o). The base with a striking yellow ground with decorated cloud like enamels. The work is very much in the style of Namikawa Yasuyuki and likely a follower of Namikawa dating to the golden era of Japanese Cloisonne Enamel production in Japan the Meiji period (1868-1912) circa 1890.

    Cloisonne is a technique of decorating metalwork objects with coloured material separated by wire often made from precious metals. In the first instance the decoration is formed by creating a stencil on the metal object by affixing wires to the surface which will be visible once the product is finished allowing the artisan to craft beautiful scenes such as blossoming flowers or mythical animals by filling in the spaces with various colours. For further information please see our news article ‘Cloisonne | A Japanese Masterpiece‘.

    Meiji Period was an era of Japanese history that spanned from 1868 to 1912. It was the first half of the Empire of Japan, when the Japanese people began to build a paradigm of a modern, industrialised nation state and emergent great power, influenced by Western countries and aesthetics. As a result of radically different ideas, the changes to Japan were profound and it affected the social structure, politics, economy, military, and foreign relations across the board. The period corresponded to the reign of Emperor Meiji and was preceded by the Keio era and was succeeded by the Taisho era.

    Cultural Art during the Meiji Period was of particular interest to the government and they overhauled the art export market which in turn promoted Japanese arts via various world’s fairs, beginning in Vienna at the world fair in 1873. The government heavily funded the fairs and took an active role organising how Japan’s culture was presented to the world including creating a semi-public company named Kiritsu Kosho Kaisha (First Industrial Manufacturing Company). The Kiritsu Kosho Kaisha was used to promote and commercialise exports of Japanese art and established the Hakurankai Jimukyoku (Exhibition Bureau) to maintain quality standards. For the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, the Japanese government created a Centennial Office and sent a special envoy to secure space for the 30,000 items that would be displayed. The Imperial Household also took an active interest in arts and crafts, commissioning works by select artists to be given as gifts for foreign dignitaries further emphasising the high quality and importance of Japanese art. Just before the end of the 19th century in 1890, the Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist to the Imperial Household) system was created to recognise distinguished artists. These artists were selected for their exceptionally high quality wares and talent in their own industry. Over a period of 54 years Seventy artists were appointed, amongst these were ceramicist Makuzu Kozan and cloisonné enamel artist Namikawa Yasuyuki.

    Enamel (vitreous enamel) also known as porcelain enamel, is a material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 °C. The powder melts, flows, and then hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating. The word vitreous comes from the Latin vitreous, meaning “glassy”.

    Antique a collectable object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its age and quality. Objects of this nature are generally considered antique at 100 plus years of age.

    Measurements 14cm High x 16cm Long x 12cm Wide (5.5 x 6.3 x 4.7 Inches)

    Condition Excellent, No damage and no restoration.

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