Incense burner (koro), Edo period (1615–1868), mid–17th century
Nonomura Ninsei (Japanese, active ca. 1646–94)
Japan, Kyoto, Kyoto ware
Light fawn clay covered with crackled glaze and gold application; "flowers of the four seasons" decoration depicted in polychrome overglaze and gold paint; H. 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm), W. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm), D. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm)
Mark: Ninsei (imprint)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.668)
The richly decorated body of this incense burner has diaper patterns on its shoulder and a metal cover. The seasonal motifs would have made the burner suitable for use with several types of incense. Ninsei was one of the first Japanese potters to mark his pieces. Before him, almost all Japanese potters were anonymous. His wares produced in Kyoto in the second half of the seventeenth century are known by their colorful overglaze and gold decorations as well as refined Kyoto-style patterns. Later, his style was adapted by several artists.