A Japanese Blue and White Hexagonal Porcelain Jar c.1700

c.1690 - 1720

A Japanese Blue and White Hexagonal Porcelain Jar, Arita Kilns c.1690-1720. This jar is in the style or at least influenced by porcelain made at the nearby Kakiemon kilns. The drawing of the central figure with parasol hovers over the ground, a bald boy holds what is probably Goto, wrapped in fabric (see below for more information about this seven-string plucked instrument). The scene on the reverse is very similar, but without a parasol. In between are prunus and banana as well as a plant I can’t identify. This heavily potted Japanese export porcelain would have been part of a five-piece garniture, or possibly a pair of jars with covers. Japanese porcelain jars of this type had covers of domed form with a horizontal rim, finished with shaped finial. The unglazed rim, and around a centimetre interior has had the glazed wiped clean was to help the tight connection with the unglazed part of the rim.


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Small chips around the neck.
Height 26 cm (10 inches) Diameter of the top 12 cm (4 3/4 inches)
Stock number
£ 780
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Chinese Qin, Guqin.  Japanese Goto

Guqin is the modern name for a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family, which used to be referred to as a Qin. It has been played since ancient times, and has traditionally been favoured by scholars and literati as an instrument of great subtlety and refinement, as highlighted by the quote "a gentleman does not part with his qin or se without good reason," as well as being associated with the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius. It is sometimes referred to by the Chinese as "the father of Chinese music" or "the instrument of the sages".
Traditionally the instrument was called simply qin but by the twentieth century the term had come to be applied to many other musical instruments as well: the yangqin hammered dulcimer, the huqin family of bowed string instruments, and the Western piano are examples of this usage. The prefix "gu-" (meaning "ancient") was later added for clarification. It can also be called qixianqin (lit. "seven-stringed instrument"). The guqin is not to be confused with the guzheng, another Chinese long zither also without frets, but with moveable bridges under each string. Because Robert Hans van Gulik`s famous book about the qin is called The Lore of the Chinese Lute, the guqin is sometimes inaccurately called a lute.


A Pair of Earlier Japanese Blue and White Jars

Robert McPherson Antiques - Sold Archive - 26045

A Pair 17th Century Japanese Blue and White Porcelain Jars. These Arita porcelain jars are early Japanese export ware dating from c.1670 – 1680. They are painted in rich tones of cobalt blue, mostly executed with a heavily loaded brush, the glaze is a bluish in colour. Both jars are painted with extensive mountainous landscapes with discrete signs of humanity, buildings nestled between the rocks and in the foreground, bridges as well as drying nets. The scenes are almost the same but as you would expect, not identical. There are some small areas where the piling up of the wet cobalt pigment has become slightly too dense, this has resulted in very small amounts of blackening on the surface. Although the cobalt was applied prior to glazing and is referred to as under-glaze blue, this isn’t really the case. In cross-section the glaze of blue and white shows that it is stained with pigment, it is perhaps better to describe it as in glaze blue. Applied as a black-brown, cobalt oxide rises up into the glaze, and very occasionally it reaches the surface where it oxidises back to black. SOLD Condition One jar has a star-shaped glaze crack to the base, the other has a rim chip. Firing faults - Both jars are warped, the tops are not level, and both wobble a little. One jar has part of the rim bent down, this has a firing chip and a corresponding kiln scar below (where it stuck to something in the kiln). There is some extremely fine kiln dust in the glaze but it hardly shows unless you have the pots very close. Size Height about 26 cm (10 1/4 inches) Provenance From a Private English Collection, purchased about forty years ago. Stock number 26045