Satsuma style vase depicting a bird perched on a cherry tree

Details

  • Catalogue text

    Earthenware vase decorated with a bird perched on a flowering cherry tree, watching a spider descending on a thread among autumn leaves. Signed on the base with the seal mark: Yabu Meizan.

    Yabu Meizan (1853-1934) was a decorator, not a potter; the ceramic body was bought in as a blank, probably from Kagoshima. His factory in Ōsaka produced Satsuma-style overglaze-decorated pieces, specializing in the minute depiction of large numbers of figures in processions. For this, he used copper templates many of which have survived, though their use is extremely difficult to detect. At the Japan-British Exhibition at Shepherd’s Bush in 1910, he exhibited pieces both in his old style and in a new, much more open style, such as that of the vase here, While the critics praised the new style (‘contemporary’), the public preferred the old style even though it was very expensive.

    In: Impey, Oliver, and Joyce Seaman, Japanese Decorative Arts of the Meiji Period 1868-1912, Ashmolean Handbooks (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2005)

Glossary of terms

earthenware

Further reading

Impey, Oliver, and Joyce Seaman, Japanese Decorative Arts of the Meiji Period 1868-1912, Ashmolean Handbooks (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2005), no. 21 on p. 46, p. 7, illus. pp. 46-47

Reference URL

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