Birdcage vase

On display

About twenty of these bizarre ‘birdcage’ vases are known. Twelve are in Dresden, in the collection formed in the early 1700s by Augustus the Strong, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony. It is possible that they were made in Arita especially for him.

The vase was decorated in blue under a transparent glaze, but the central portion was left blank, then painted later with gold lacquer. A wire and lacquer cage was added, containing porcelain pheasants with wire legs standing on rocks made of lacquered wood. The flowers sprouting from the rocks are made of porcelain and the plant stems of wire wrapped in textile.


Glossary of terms




underglaze painting

Further reading

Impey, Oliver, Japanese Export Porcelain: Catalogue of the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Amsterdam: Hotei Publishing, 2002), no. 152 on pp. 120-121, pp. 11, 119, 121, & 208, illus. p. 120

Reference URL

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