Nabeshima ware dish in seven-sun size

Historical period(s)
Edo period or Taisho era, 1690-1730 or 1912-1926
Porcelain with cobalt pigment under clear glaze, enamels over the glaze
Arita ware, Nabeshima type
H x W: 5.8 x 20.3 cm (2 5/16 x 8 in)
Japan, Saga prefecture, Imari
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


Arita ware, Nabeshima type, cobalt pigment, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, porcelain, Taisho era (1912 - 1926), WWII-era provenance

To 1963
Harry C. Nail, Jr., Palo Alto, California. [1]

From 1963
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Harry C. Nail, Jr., Palo Alto, California. [2]


[1] Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Harry C. Nail Jr.


Auspicious symbols have been assembled eclectically from various groups of  "eights" (The Eight Buddhist Emblems, the Eight Taoist Emblems, the Eight Precious Things and the Eight Musical Instruments), all of which were popular for decorative use in China as well as in Japan.  Eight "sacred jewels" ring the character kotobuki ("congratulations") rendered in reserve in white against the under-glaze-cobalt ground.  The items depicted around the rim include the hat and the cape of invisibility in the upper left, scrolls and books suggesting wisdom, bulging moneybags shown not just once but twice, and attributes carried by various of the Eight Taoist Immortals.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.