A pair of small Imari cylindrical sake cups, early 18th Century.

The cups, which are 8.3cm in height, are painted with figures in a landscape, including a charming image of a laden water buffalo being encouraged to cross a bridge; beneath, is a broad band of karakusa scroll. Karakusa is the term for a design inspired by patterns found in floral tendrils, the scrolling foliage of vines and plants, and so on. The form, which entered Japan, with Buddhist art, during the Nara period (710-794), gradually incorporated traditional Japanese symbolic floral subjects such as pine, bamboo, plum, wisteria, pawlownia and camellia.



Related collections