A pair of flower vases, Japanese, circa 1660/80.

Each vase is modelled in the form of a section of bamboo emanating from amorphous rockwork, upon which is stalking a cartoon-like macrocephalic tiger.

Each has been somewhat crudely constructed in a two-part mould, the tiger being applied afterwards and each is decorated in bold Kakiemon type enamels.

Tigers and bamboo together, symbolised the valour and indomitability of the samurai and were a common theme in Japanese art.

The vases appear in the 1763 Burghley Inventory: ‘the North drawing room….two china tygers.’


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