In the early stages of cloisonne production in Nagoya 名古屋 a ceramic base was commonly used. This object is of that type and has an interesting mark that establishes its origin there. Before looking at this further the following images show that it has bold decoration, though this has been somewhat obscured by the extensive crazing on the black background.
The mark shown in the images below is a very well known one. It has four pairs of characters which spell out ‘Japanese Cloisonne Company produced’. In original characters this is 日本七寶會社製造 which in slightly more modern form is 日本七宝会社製造. Using the Japanese word for cloisonne (shippou) this might be said as Shippou Kaisha or Cloisonne Company.
It is interesting that in the famous (to enthusiasts) 1882 book by James Lord Bowes ‘Japanese Marks and Seals’ 日本のしるしと印 (印章) published in 1882 there is a nearly exact copy of this mark. It is given subtitle: “Nippon, Shippo Kuwai-sha, sei-zo. The Shippo Company, Japan, made the ware”.
If we briefly compare this jar with two similarly shaped ceramic cloisonne jars covered on this site it is clear that the decoration is very different. It is also interesting that the two jars below also have lots of strength wiring (the many small lobed-halfmoon shapes) and have not suffered crazing.
On this jar there are several areas with distinctive decorations. The colours are fairly basic but attractive originally when against a clear black background.
The lid seems to have kept its original black colour so probably shows how the original effect would have been much bolder. The crazing is rather attractive in its own right nevertheless.
Object 67. Jar with lid height 15.2 cm weight 527 gm.
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