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

The upper sections depict figures in a landscape, including a charming image of a laden water buffalo being encouraged to cross a bridge.

These are set above a broad band of karakusa scroll, 8.3cm high..

Karakusa is the term for a design inspired by patterns found in floral tendrils and the scrolling foliage of vines and plants. 

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.


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