Bottle with monogram S on H

Apothecary bottle; Round body and tapering neck with flange below everted lip; low rounded foot; rough material adhering to edge of foot-rim in some parts; no apparent spur marks on base.

Clay: white porcelain, medium texture.

Glaze: feldspathic, clear with bluish tint; some pinholes; base glazed, edge of foot-rim unglazed; inside below neck seems to be unglazed.

Decoration: underglaze cobalt blue of fine, brilliant quality, well-painted with a variety of depth of color. Vestiges of overglaze gold outlining and veining remain on some leaves, stems and buds. The base of the neck has an inverted petal design above double and single plain blue bands. The main band of decoration from shoulder to lower belly is enclosed by single lines. Naturalistic sprays of peony spring from behind rocks on a ground base with spiky plants. There are two birds, one flying and one perched. The opposite side has a large laurel wreath tied with a bow at bottom and tassels at top enclosing a European type monogram S on H. On the foot is a double blue line.

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Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1670-1700
Medium
Porcelain with cobalt pigment under clear colorless glaze
Style
Arita ware
Dimensions
H x W: 25.4 x 17.5 cm (10 x 6 7/8 in)
Geography
Japan, Saga prefecture, Arita
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Marion Hammer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1976.3
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Bottle

Keywords
Arita ware, cobalt pigment, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, peony, porcelain
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

Apothecary bottle; Round body and tapering neck with flange below everted lip; low rounded foot; rough material adhering to edge of foot-rim in some parts; no apparent spur marks on base.

Clay: white porcelain, medium texture.

Glaze: feldspathic, clear with bluish tint; some pinholes; base glazed, edge of foot-rim unglazed; inside below neck seems to be unglazed.

Decoration: underglaze cobalt blue of fine, brilliant quality, well-painted with a variety of depth of color. Vestiges of overglaze gold outlining and veining remain on some leaves, stems and buds. The base of the neck has an inverted petal design above double and single plain blue bands. The main band of decoration from shoulder to lower belly is enclosed by single lines. Naturalistic sprays of peony spring from behind rocks on a ground base with spiky plants. There are two birds, one flying and one perched. The opposite side has a large laurel wreath tied with a bow at bottom and tassels at top enclosing a European type monogram S on H. On the foot is a double blue line.

Label

Prototypes for bottles of this shape are found in Northern European stoneware and glass. Thousands of such bottles were made in Arita for the Dutch East India Company. Some bear monograms that can be associated with Governors-General of the East Indies and other prominent Dutch officials. The owner of the initials on this bottle has not been identified.

Published References
  • Julia Murray. A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980. Exh. cat. Washington, 1979. cat. 70, p. 91.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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