This vase takes the shape of a double gourd, with a large pear-shaped bottom topped by a smaller oval shape. The vase is decorated with overgalze enamels, primarily with an overall pattern of chrysanthemums. The design is also interspersed with plum blossoms, peonies, and auspicious birds.
This colorfully decorated gourd shape vase is an example of Imari ware, a type of porcelain made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for export to Europe. Lavish and intricate designs were made possible by firing each piece three times at successively lower temperatures: once with the cobalt blue painting and a clear glaze, a second time to fix the overglaze enamels, and a third time to fix the gilding.
The flat iron plate with quatrefoil design. It has three holes: one for blade (middle) flanked by oval-shape hole (for kougai) and oval with bump shape (for kozuka). Chrysanthemums, autumn grass and a rock are carved on lower-right side; a butterfly is descending toward the flowers. Gold inlays are applied to the flowers, grass, part of the rock, and butterfly. The surface is finely granulated by etching (“ishime-ji”).
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. A smaller hole on the left is to place an ornamental stick, kozuka. Another hole on the right is to insert kougai, spatula-like sticks which are said to be used for itching hair underneath hats or helmets. Butterflies, chrysanthemums, autumn grass, and rock are popular motifs in Japanese decorative arts; the combination of chrysanthemums and grass suggests that this is an autumn scene.
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)
A medium size, well potted porcelain jar with wooden rid, round shoulder and neck. Floral designs are painted with blue underglaze and red and gold overglaze enamels. There are Chinese scholar and attendant boy with a fan on one side and Japanese lady in kimono on the opposite side, painted with enamels. Band of flowers on the neck, another broader band of chrysanthemums on the shoulder. There is also a band of leaf patterns on the bottom. A large crack from neck to the middle of the body; porcelain glaze has small cracks all over the body. The foot is unglazed; the eye is fully glazed. No glaze on the rim. The teak wood lid, a later addition, has a finial made of an ivory netsuke of laughing Hotei.
The Chinese sage with an attendant and flower maiden might be T’ao Yüan-ming, celebrated scholar and poet in Tang period. After his early retirement, he lived in his little estate where he planted many chrysanthemums and other flowers, and enjoyed drinking wine. The pot-bellied, half naked man Hotei is one of the “Seven gods of felicity,” the god of contentment and happiness. Partly Taoist and partly Buddhist origin, he is generally identified with the Chinese priest known as Pu-tai Ho-shang. The date is unknown; he is stated to have lived in the 6th, 7th, and 8th centuries. He carries a bag which is said to contain “precious things” (takaramono).
Earthenware stirrup cup with sgraffito design and celadon glaze. A chrysanthemum blossom decorates the tapered base of the cup, and widens into a large middle register with four stylized chrysanthemum medallions. The cup curves back inward toward the rim of the cup, decorated with a fret pattern just below.
Shallow bowl with celadon glaze. Four concentric circles grace the exterior of the bowl, with a chrysanthemum roundel centered in the inner circle. Above these designs, three thinly incised bands stretch across the bowl parallel to the rim. In this location on the inside of the bowl is a cross-hatched pattern, flanked by one incised line above and two below. Also decorating the inside of the bowls are four sprays of litchis.
Shallow stoneware bowl with white slip and colorless glaze. The interior is decorated with a stamped rope-curtain pattern, incised bands of lines and a repeating stylized lotus petal pattern. In the center of the bowl lie three inlaid chrysanthemum florets. Three scars on the inside of the bowl indicate the piece was fired in a stack for large-scale production.
Bowl with chrysanthemum florets, rope curtain design, and stylized lotus petals.
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.
Purple silk damask (rinzu) in T-paper pattern (sayagata), bokashi dyed so that the shoulders are a darker purple than the lower half of the haori. Woven designs of phoenixes, paulownia, cranes, chysanthemums, etc., incorporate metallic threads. Lining is orange and white silk. There are purple and white kumihimo (a kind of cord) with tassels.
The haori was originally part of a man’s formal attire, but in the nineteenth century, female entertainers in Edo (modern Tokyo) adopted it as a cloak for outdoor wear in mild weather.
It is a black silk damask haori (short jacket for kimono) with wax-resist patterns, hand-painted design and metallic threads embroidery. The haori is in medium length, covering just underneath hip. It has elongated sleeves. The silk fabric is woven in a twill pattern of palace carts and flower baskets. Then the fabric is dyed with black. The white family crest under the collar and the diagonal part where chrysanthemum design would appear are left out from dying. The pinkish orange scale pattern is added using wax-resist technique. Chrysanthemum design is hand-painted with white, red, yellow, and blue colors. Finally embroidery is added in various metallic threads around the contours of the chrysanthemum petals and leaves.
Orange satin damask lining with woven wave design, with stenciled (?) designs of white flying cranes. Silver cord on one side, gold on the other, both with tassels.
The haori was originally part of a man’s formal attire, but in the nineteenth century, female entertainers in Edo (modern Tokyo) adopted it as a cloak for outdoor wear in mild weather. By the end of the century, married women of the upper class adopted black crepe silk haori with family crests (such as that seen here, at the back of the collar) for formal, public occasions. For much of the twentieth century, the haori has been the standard outerwear for a woman who dresses in a kimono outside the home. The twill pattern of palace carts and flower baskets is a traditional auspicious theme for Japanese women’s wear. Chrysanthemums are motifs of autumn season, and traditional clothes with this flower design are usually worn in fall.
This is made of a thick brocade of red, gold and silver. Medallion patterns and wavy stripes are woven through the entirety of the fabric, rather than halfway, as is common in less intricate obi. Medallion motifs of tortoise shells, flowers, and bamboo leaves are spaced among the golden waves across the fabric.
The red color of this obi is a bold and auspicious one, and marks the obi as one probably worn only for weddings or other formal celebrations. The motifs within the medallions that decorate the obi are traditonal symbols of longevity.
A round ceramic box (that is, a bowl with a fitted lid), decorated with chrysanthemum scrolls drawn in blue outline against a blue background. The blue is cobalt pigment painted before the application of a clear glaze.
A small ceramic box decorated with chrysanthemum scrolls. Both the chrysanthemum motif and the technique of underglaze blue painting were adopted from Chinese prototypes, but the shape of this box, the tones of the cobalt blue, and the casual free-hand drawing are distintively Vietnamese.
Covered boxes were used as burial objects to accompany the dead. This practice for the care of deceased people in afterlife preceded the succession of foreign religious influence from Buddhism, Hinduism to Islam. The stoneware trade ceramics were also objects of status and wealth, for the local kilns only produced less durable and inexpensive earthernwares. The round shape with a handle, and some of the design motifs were adopted from stone and metal reliquaries and architectural elements came with Indian Hinduism and Buddhism.