It has a long, thin neck and flat oval body. The wide foot is rather shallow but deeply recessed on the underside. The entire of surface is decorated with peony blossom design printed in cobalt blue sigment.
This is a typical bottle type of the late Joseon period, having the characteristic features of a long, thin neck and flat oval body. The bottle was likely produced at the Bunwon-ri kilns in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do Province.
A medium size, shallow bowl with a semi-circular cut out on the rim. The bowl has flat surface on the rim and is concaved in the middle like a soup bowl. It has two holes on the opposite side of the cut out and a short foot. There is a blue band around the rim. There are two long-tailed birds in red, pale orange and yellow, perched on a blue pine tree which grows underneath the birds. Behind the pine tree trunk, there is a cherry tree in full blossom, its brunches extends in circle around the rim. The cherry tree and blossoms are in red, pale orange and yellow. More cherry flowers adorn the background of the birds. There are also red peonies on the left side of the pine tree; peony flowers also appear as spray on the four sides of the rim, backed by blue cloud design.
Combination of birds and flowers is popular motif called “bird-and-flower” painting in East Asian cultures. The two birds and cherry blossoms suggest that this is a spring scene. The cut out is where a person places his neck, and the two holes opposite the neck recess are used to string the cord around the neck during shaving. Pewter and silver shaving basins were common toilet articles in mid 17th century Europe and were ordered by the Dutch East India Company as early as 1662. (Reference: Imari: Japanese Porcelain for European Palaces from the Freda and Ralph Lupin Collection)
It is in the shape of a sectioned melon. The body is vertically divided into ten sections and to create an embossed effect, the grooves between each two sections were pressed down slightly. The lid has a loop attached at the top. It is decorated on all sides with black and white inlaid design of butterfly, chrysanthemum and peony with stem and foliage. The spout and handle was broken and restored. The lid seems to be fake.
broken handle not original, badly restored spout, lid is fake, a married piece
(visiting Korean curators from Ehwa University, notes by Min Li 7/07)
Covered jar of celadon glaze, body decorated with peony scroll, with base decorated with lotus petals. The circular contours of a peony scroll have been slightly compressed to complement the squat belly of the jar.
Peonies are associated with wealth, imperial splendor, and the erotic appeal of a beautiful woman. In this small but exquisite example of Longquan ware, the circular contours of a peony scroll have been slightly compressed to complement the squat belly of the jar. The Longquan kiln Zhejiang Province emerged as the primary center of celadon ceramics in second quarter of the thirteenth century, when the Song court established its southern capital at nearby Hangzhou. It reached its peak of production during the first quarter of the fourteenth century, when this jar is made, and were exported to markets in East and Southeast Asia, as well as the Middle East.
It is a pink silk crepe kimono with wax-resist patterns, hand-painted design and metallic threads embroidery. The kimono is in full length and has elongated sleeves. The fabric is dyed with pink, leaving the family crest under the collar and the floral design part white. The red scale pattern is added using wax-resist technique. Then the design of multiple kinds of plants is hand-painted with white, red, yellow, and pale and blue green colors. There are mix of fall and winter flowers and trees: nandin on the left sleeve, plum, chrysanthemums, thistles, amaranths, camellias and narcissus on the front and back, makino (Chloranthus glaber, with red berries) and more camellias on the right sleeve. Embroidery is added in various metallic threads around the contours of flowers and leaves.
Flowers and trees represented in this kimono are traditionally considered fall and winter plants. The kimono is designed to be worn in these seasons. The “winter” plants such as nandin, camellias, narcissus, and plums are auspicious symbols; it is possible that this kimono was originally made for the New Year celebration.
A medium size, well potted jar with round shoulder and shorter neck. Inside is not totally glazed. On the body, pine, bamboo, and plum trees are finely painted with blue underglaze. Then a translucent glaze is applied, which turns into milky, white color. It has three floral decorations on the shoulder; the decoration is originated in functional elements of “ears” to which ropes were tied for transportation. The neck has a band of double lines and spray design of peony flowers and leaves. The rim of the neck is unglazed. The foot is unglazed; eye is glazed. Some imperfections of glaze are seen toward the bottom. Glaze is scraped off on one part. Many speckles on the surface.
The three plants depicted here, pine, bamboo, and plum, are called “three friends in winter,” and have been depicted in many forms of Japanese decorative arts throughout its history. They symbolize long life and cultured gentlemen.
This is a portrait of a courtesan and her two attendants. The courtesan wears a red cloak with a peacock flying over peonies and a pale green color kimono with “shippô” (seven treasures) pattern. Her green obi, tied in the front, has design of red and blue clouds with gold plants. She is turning away from a viewer to show the gorgeous cloak. Her hair is sculpted in a butterfly shape on the top and has wings to the side. Tortoise-shell combs and multiple hairpins adorn the hair. Her two attendants flank the courtesan; they wear matching, dark green kimono with chrysanthemum flower design and red underkimono. Their kimono have especially long sleeves (furisode), whose openings are tied with ribbons. Their obi are in brocade and tied on their backs. Their hair is sculpted in round shape on their tops and has side wings like the courtesan. They wear silver hair accessories of cherry blossoms and tassels, long hairpins and red silk ribbons. The attendant on the left holds a battledore pad and the right attendant holds a ball. All the women wear black platform sandals. There is a cherry tree in full blossom on the right, from which some petals fall on the women and the ground. There are the artist’s signature and seal on the lower right corner. It has mounting of beige silk and two strips of floral pattern brocade on the top and bottom of the painting.
Traditionally the famous beauties of the Yoshiwara entertainment quarter in Edo would parade under the cherry blossoms every spring in the newest fashions. Here we see an unknown courtesan (but probably one of the top courtesans at the time) accompanied by two young attendants in matching costumes. The battledore pad and ball were originally used in courtly games (the ball is for kicking), but here they are perhaps attributes to the elegance that the courtesan evokes.
Peonies in full bloom grow as if from a rock or tree stump. A calligraphic inscription is on the left side.
In 1731, Yûhi had the chance to study with a Chinese artist, when Shen Nanpin (ca. 1682–after 1733) arrived in Nagasaki for a stay of nearly two years. Nanpin specialized in bird-and-flower painting, of which this painting is similar in style.