Dish with design of conch trumpet

Dish, large; four spur-marks on base.
Clay: white porcelain.
Glaze: clear porcelain glaze; slight “orange skin” texture.
Decoration: painted in underglaze cobalt blue. Inside: large conch surrounded by auspicious symbols, noshi, flaming pearls (hoshu), cord. Outside: sutra scrolls on stands and hoshu.

Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1750-1800
Medium
Porcelain with cobalt pigment under clear glaze
Style
Arita ware
Dimensions
H x W: 6.3 x 39.8 cm (2 1/2 x 15 11/16 in)
Geography
Japan, Saga prefecture, Arita
Credit Line
Anonymous gift in memory of Dr. Harold P. Stern
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1978.8
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Dish

Keywords
Arita ware, Buddhism, cobalt pigment, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, marine shell trumpet, porcelain, sutra, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To ?
Hirano Kosuke, Odawara, Japan. [1]

To 1977
Private collection, McLean, Virginia. [2]

From 1977
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of a private collector, McLean, Virginia. [3]

Notes:

[1] Curatorial Remark 2 in the object record.

[2] Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.

[3] The object was donated to the Freer Study Collection on November 1977 and was transferred to the Permanent Collection on March 3, 1978. See original copy of statement dated November 28, 1977, and letter dated Dec 5, 1977, copies in the object file, Collections Management Office. Also see note 2.

Previous Owner(s)

Mr. and Mrs. Province Henry
Hirano Kosuke

Description

Dish, large; four spur-marks on base.
Clay: white porcelain.
Glaze: clear porcelain glaze; slight "orange skin" texture.
Decoration: painted in underglaze cobalt blue. Inside: large conch surrounded by auspicious symbols, noshi, flaming pearls (hoshu), cord. Outside: sutra scrolls on stands and hoshu.

Label

Boldly centered on the dish is a large conch shell, fitted with a metal mouthpiece for use as a horn in the religious rituals of the wandering ascetics or yamabushi. Surrounding the conch-shell horn are small flaming jewels and two large noshi, clusters of dried abalone strips that were attached by tradition to gifts. Large porcelain dishes were in popular demand in the late Edo period for use in serving food to large gatherings at annual village festivals and Buddhist ceremonies.

Published References
  • Mizumachi Wasaburo. Imari sometsuke ozara no kenkyu. Kyoto. pl. 46.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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