Baluster vase with flowersOn display
Contact us about this object
This vase was made by the potter Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kōzan (1842-1916). Although Kōzan also produced ceramic works using earthenware and stoneware, this vase is an example of his works in porcelain, for which he is most famous. New underglaze colours, such as pink and green, that could withstand a high firing temperature, were developed around the time that this vase was made. Kōzan was one of the first to exploit the full range of these new possibilities for decoration.
Baluster vase with flowers
Date1900 - 1910
Material and technique
porcelain, decorated with white slip, and with polychrome underglaze enamels
Dimensions32 cm (height)
21.5 cm max. (diameter)
No. of items
Purchased with the assistance of the Story Fund, 1991.
Museum locationSecond floor | Gallery 36 | Japan from 1850
Baluster-shaped porcelain vase decorated in underglaze green, white and mauve with raised white enamel, showing clumps of flowers on a mottled green ground. Signed on base in underglaze blue: Makuzu Kōzan sei.
New underglaze colours, such as pink and green, colours that would stand a high temperature firing, were developed around this time, partly through the assistance of Gottfried Wagener, a scientific polymath, who was an oyatoi gaijin, a foreigner employed by the Japanese government to develop Japanese industry and art industry. Kōzan was one of the first to seek his advice, and to exploit the full range of these colours (as was Namikawa Yasuyuki for enamels [see EA1988.1, EA1993.39, EA1995.151, EA2000.48, EA2000.180, EA2002.177]).
In: Impey, Oliver, and Joyce Seaman, Japanese Decorative Arts of the Meiji Period 1868-1912, Ashmolean Handbooks (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2005)
Glossary of terms
Ceramic material made of clay which is fired to a temperature of c.1000-1200⁰c. The resulting ceramic is non-vitreous and varies in colour from dark red to yellow.
Ceramic material composed of kaolin, quartz, and feldspar which is fired to a temperature of c.1350-1400⁰c. The resulting ceramic is vitreous, translucent, and white in colour.
A semi-fluid clay applied to a ceramic before glazing either to coat the surface or for decorative effect.
Ceramic material made of clay which is fired to a temperature of c.1200-1300⁰c and is often buff or grey in colour.
Impey, Oliver, and Joyce Seaman, Japanese Decorative Arts of the Meiji Period 1868-1912, Ashmolean Handbooks (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2005), no. 9 on p. 22, p. 8, illus. pp. 22-23