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)
One of a three-piece tea service, the sugar bowl is a small silver container with a lobed shape and a flat lid with a bone finial. The finial is carved into four lobes to match the body of the pot. The surface of the silver is not glassy-smooth; it has a hand-worked, hammered surface. The overall design impression is of satisfying geometric proportions with a slightly organic feel.
The crafts produced by the Weiner Werkstätte in Vienna were developed to reintroduce the aesthetic of hand-made works in a period of mass-produced wares. The workshop focused on creating jewelry, fabrics, ceramic, pottery, and furniture; their style was one of beautiful and simple modern design and outstanding craftsmanship. Their work was made for a select audience rather than to be popularized for mass consumption.
A rectangular shaped plate with eight circular patterns. The rim is slightly flared out to create the concave shape. The top surface is unglazed, scorched to an intense red. The bottom does not have foot. In the kiln, the thick clay slabs were stacked close together so that the floating ash landed on the edge of the plate facing the flame. The circular patterns are areas that were protected from the flame by cylinder clay spacers.
The artist employs the clay and wood-firing technique that are found in the late 16th and 17th century Shigaraki ware. The circular marks seen here were originally created by chance from practical solutions: potters put clay spacers so that the ceramics were evenly fired in kilns. But Takahashi deliberately placed spacers here to create these marks. However, the artist was still able to attain whimsical character from unexpected effect of fire.
Inscription of artist in the left edge: Painted in the first year of the T'ien-ch'i reign (1621), autumn, seventh month, sixteenth day, at Sheng-hu t'ien-she. Sheng Mao-yeh. (T'ien-ch'i yüan-nien ch'iu chi-yüeh chi-wang hsieh yü sheng-hu t'ien-she). Seal of artist: Mao-lin hsiu-chu jen-chia, Fang-wai-she, Nien-an chü-shih, Fang-ch'ing ch'iu-ho, Mao-yeh chih-yin, Yü-hua fu. Additional inscriptions and seals: Box label: Nien-an Sheng Mao-yeh hsiu-ch'i chüan, Sheng Mao-yeh pi Lan-t'ing ch'ü-shui mi-hua chüan. Seals: (unidentified) T'ai (?)-chou pi-ts'ang.
Handscroll depicting figures (42 men and 6 boys) in a landscape, most of whom are sitting along the banks of a stream as cups on lotus leaves float by. A small cluster of figures sits in a shelter over the water examining a handscroll. The painting includes an inscription, six artist’s seals and one collector’s seal.
This elegant handscroll brings to life a famous historical event, a literary gathering of forty-one scholars celebrating the annual Spring Purification Festival at the Orchid Pavilion in the city of Shaoxing, Zhejiang province. Held on the third day of the third month in the year 353, on this special occasion literati enjoyed a ritual drinking game which incorporated composing poetry. Cups of wine, resting on large leaves, were floated down a stream and if a scholar could not recite a suitable poem, he had to drink a cup of wine. The celebration grew ever merrier as retrieving wine cups became more precarious.
What made this particular gathering so memorable was the presence of the great calligrapher Wang Xizhi (303–361). Inside the pavilion Wang is seated at a table writing his preface to the collected poems of this gathering. His preface, which vividly describes the event and laments the rapid passage of time, is a classic of Chinese literature and calligraphy.
Pear-shaped stoneware wine bottle with white slip and sgraffito designs. Stylized foliage is incised across the main register of the body, separated from the register above by two incised bands. Above this are perhaps incised stylized petals, and separating them from the flared lip of the bottle are two more incised bands. The incisions reveal the gray clay beneath the white slip.
The ewer in this drawing is decorated with cavorting satyrs, lions, and grotesque masks.
The ewer in this drawing is embellished with a riot of satyrs in addition to lions and grotesque masks. Satyrs were followers of Bacchus, making them appropriate for a vessel made to serve wine. The extravagant decoration of the piece was a way for the artist to manifest his skill.
Shallow bowl with unglazed foot. Body of the bowl is decorated with a brown glaze, with circular area on interior of bowl areas where wax resist was applied and tan shows through. In these circles are painted brown stylized floral designs.