68. How spiral necklaces evolved away

As the number of Japanese cloisonne objects covered by this website grows there are more and more ‘collections’. That is, objects that appear to come from a common workshop.  This lovely small vase is the fifth object that falls into a collection called here “spiral necklaces and linked tears’. The interesting thing is that it appears that this may be a comparatively late version where the “spiral necklace” is no longer to be seen. 

Here are three of the roundels from this vase. In each case the perimeter has the distinctive “linked tears’ pattern described on the other objects associated with this collection (objects 12, 42, 43, 64).  Note that there are also other roundels on this vase which do not have this pattern. Most of the objects in this collection also mix ‘linked tear’ roundels with another type.

Below is a look back at a couple of the earlier objects in this collection that had the “spiral necklace” feature.  It is easy to see why this might have started to look a little old fashioned, and so have been designed out.

There are two other strong design features in this collection. The first is the patchwork of colourful “oval squares” seen running down the slender neck and also elsewhere on this vase. This pattern is an interesting echo of the single “oval square” pattern seen on early Kinkozan Sobei vases (e.g. object 52).

The second distinctive feature is the selection of “bold chrysanthemums” which always seem to appear half hidden behind another part of the design.  They are very simple but offer a very attractive and distinctive feature.

In short, every available area of the vase is covered with an attractive design, and the effect is pleasing on the eye. This looks like a design that would have sold well, not least in the overseas market.

NB See the index for links to more ‘collections’ identified on this website.

Object 68.   Vase    height 15.3 cm    weight 132 gm.

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