52. Ceramic cloisonne with Kinkozan Sobei mark

This small ceramic jar has a mark believed to be that of the workshop of Kinkozan Sobei VI 六代錦光山宗兵衞.   Kinkozan was a well known Kyoto potter involved in making ceramic cloisonne and pieces with great similarity in decoration to this are in museums worldwide. For example there is a vase with similar features (e.g. floral pattern image 52.4 below) in the Freer|Sackler, the Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian art.

If you look at the design quickly then the decoration seems basic, and dominated by the lobed half moon shapes of the strength wiring. Look more closely though and there is great subtlety in the floral designs with green leaves hiding among the blue background.

Note that there is half of a ‘oval square’ pattern, as defined in the discussion about Object 51, at the neck and the base. It is not suggested that this is unique to this workshop, but it is something this workshop seems to have used regularly as it can be seen in museum and pieces by Kinkozan Sobei VI. 

The base mark is 錦光山 (Kinkozan) in similar script form to how it is written on some other pieces by this workshop. Kinkozan Sobei is shown as mark 237 and 238 in Schneider.

Returning to look at the object, the smaller designs are also worth noting as they some are seen on other pieces by this workshop. They are also attractive despite the frequent criticism that ceramic cloisonne is dull compared to metal based cloisonne.

Object no. Lidded jar (no has no lid)     height   9.5 cm      weight 195  gm.

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