A Japanese export lacquer ewer, late 17th Century.

This multi-lobed ewer, in the form of a cherry blossom in cross section, with a naturalistic spout and handle, is decorated with bridges and pavilions within a continuous landscape, using gold, silver and aokin thinly raised makie on the black lacquer ground, height 12.5cm, width 15.5cm, handle to spout.

At this time, early Qing dynasty ewers and teapots with naturalistic handles were a common feature and it is possible that this ewer may have been custom-made for export imitating Chinese pots.

The 1835 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Japan Closet, Japan in the Glass case opposite the door(s), sic, Black Japan & Gold A Teapot.’

The 1867 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Cabinets, No 88 Japan Closet, A black and gold japan teapot.’

Exhibited: ‘Export Lacquer: Reflection of the West in Black & Gold Makie.’ 2008, Kyoto Museum & Suntory Museum, Tokyo, Cat. No.178.


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