A selection of ceramics through the ages (5 second delay) Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology The Collections:
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  • Museum Accession No.: EA1978.447
  • Catalogue No.: 297
  • Object type: Figure of Benkei on a giant carp
  • Kiln/Location: Imari
  • Period/Date: c. 1700
  • Dimensions: H. 14.0 cm, L. 25.0 cm; Burnt initial on base
  • Provenance: Reitlinger gift
  • Description: Figure of Benkei on a swimming carp. Figure moulded to show boys shaven head and kimono, one shoulder revealed, loose-hanging sleeve is modelled with a hole at opening. Carp has scales all over and hole pierced through tail. Underglaze blue, and red, green, aubergine and black enamels with gold. Carp marked in underglaze blue, gilding on mouth, tail and fins. The boys kimono is spotted green and aubergine, with black obi and bordered with red. Flat, unglazed base with cloth mpress marks.

    The figures with the carp upright, leaping the Lungmen Falls, are usually later than this; See Porcelain for Palaces, 1990, pls, 178,179. Benkei was the legendary giant warrior of the 12th century, who became the follower of Minamoto Yoshitsune after losing their fight on the Gojo Bridge. The burnt mark might, with the eye of faith, be read as the 'AR' mark, written on the underside of those pieces with an unglazed base in he collection of King Augustus the Strong of Poland, Elector of Saxony, at Dresden. For another example in the Princessehof, Leeuwarden, see Jorg, 2003, no. 358.

  • Exhibited:
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