Period: Edo period (1615–1868)
Date: ca. 1670–90
Medium: Porcelain with celadon glaze, partial brown glaze, and underglaze blue decoration (Hizen ware, Nabeshima type)
Dimensions: H. 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm); Diam. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm)
Credit Line: The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Accession Number: 1975.268.555
The design on this dish is painted in the classic tricolor palette of polychrome Nabeshima ware: cobalt blue, light green celadon, and a rust-red iron glaze. This almost abstract image shows a spray of cherry blossoms, a flower closely associated with Japan, against the backdrop of a multicolored curtain. Nabeshima ware was a specialty product reserved for the military rulers and nobles of Japan, so it was expected to be distinct from the porcelain sold to the general public, as well as more sophisticated. Therefore, the production of this type of porcelain was carried out at a separate kiln from those making commercial porcelain, in order to keep the techniques and designs secret.