Arita-yaki in the Asian Works of Art Auction at McTear's

Posted in: Asian Works of Art
Posted on: 30 January 2015
Arita-yaki in the Asian Works of Art Auction at McTear's Arita-yaki is the Japanese term for porcelain made in the town of Arita. We perhaps know them better as Imari wares. In the late 17th/early 18th century these ceramics were exported to the West in huge numbers from the port of Imari. In the early 17th century the kilns in Arita were established after the discovery of kaolin in the area.

Interestingly it was not a native who made this town into a revolutionary and now world-famous porcelain centre. The immigrant Korean potter, Yi Sam-pyeong along with his extended family of almost two hundred, left Korea on the offer of a privileged position in Japan. After Yi Sam-Pyeong's discovery, his kilns began to produce revised Korean-style blue and white porcelains, known as Shoki-Imari.

In the mid-17th century, the Chinese population in Arita expanded due to unrest in China. The typical Imari palette is believed to have been developed by a Chinese refugee. The Chinese artisans inevitably brought their own style to the Japanese production. Soon these Arita porcelains were being developed in China itself, with their own indigenous traits superseding the more traditional Japanese elements.

Lot 262 in The Asian Works of Art Auction shows the wonderful mix of artistic traditions between these two nation: the Japanese chrysanthemum decoration and gently lobed body of the vase, fused to perfection with the Chinese foe dog finial and emergence of a famille verte colouring. It is a lovely example of a type of porcelain that has been perhaps overlooked. Only when a striking example comes to the surface does one sit up and pay attention. One to watch on Tuesday 17th February…

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