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Incense burner (koro)

Date:
late 17th century
Culture:
Japanese
Medium:
Hard-paste porcelain painted with cobalt blue under and colored enamels over transparent glaze (Hizen ware; Kakiemon type)
Dimensions:
Height: 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Porcelain-Export
Credit Line:
The Hans Syz Collection, Gift of Stephan B. Syz and John D. Syz, 1995
Accession Number:
1995.268.114a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 201
The gift of the Hans Syz Collection endows the Museum with nearly three hundred examples of European and Asian ceramics meticulously acquired by Dr. Syz to chart the migration of models and patterns from East to West. Documenting a continuous process of influence and adaptation, these pieces provide a discriminating review of the nuances of stylistic change resulting from three centuries of trade.

Among the most telling comparisons is that of a Japanese incense burner (koro) and its Viennese counterpart. The Japanese model, finely enameled in a palette of light coral, green, and blue in the kakiemon style of late-seventeenth-century Japanese porcelain, is known to have been exported to Europe, as Augustus the Strong, elector of Saxony, acquired an example in 1723. While no records are known to survive from Du Paquier's factory, it is likely that the koro reached Vienna, as it had Dresden, through the intermediacy of a merchant. In Vienna Du Paquier boldly converted the Japanese form to a European one with new proportions, Baroque mask feet, European pastoral scenes.
Hans Syz
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