A selection of ceramics through the ages (5 second delay) Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology The Collections:
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Early Europe & Near East
Classical to Medieval
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  • Museum Accession No.: EA1999.45
  • Catalogue No.: 10
  • Object type: Jug
  • Kiln/Location: Blue-glazed -with gold, silver and red enamel, Arita
  • Period/Date: 1659-80
  • Dimensions: H. 22.2 cm, D. 11.0 cm
  • Provenance: Story Fund
  • Description: Jug, with cylindrical upper neck and pinched spout. The narrow lower neck above a baluster-shaped body with wide foot. Traces of gold and silver on the body and two red enamel lines around the foot.

    The shape derives from Western stoneware and occurs in many variations; see, for example, the blue-and-white, no. 17, and the coloured example, no. 55. Some examples of this shape bear armorials; see, e.g., Scheurleer, 1973a, no. 89, for a pair of such jugs with the arms of Van Outshoor, and that in the British Museum (BM 1963.4.22.1). Although this is not strictly blue-and-white and bears enamel decoration, it is included here for the sake of clarity, as it is more closely related to blue-and-white than to anything else. This decoration, with the underglaze blue wash (ruri), is found on several other shapes, including mugs, bottles and incense burners. Zacharias Wagenaer, Opperhoofd of the Dutch factory in Deshima, claims this decorative scheme as his own in a famous letter to the Governor General in Batavia on 10 December 1659, '... long before the arrival of our ships, I had contracted with a certain person for about 200 pieces after my own invention, to be made curiously, on a blue ground with silver tendril-work, in order to take them with me to Batavia as sample pieces for home. But seeing later on that all corners and shops were filled with them and that they were now as common as grass, I have taken less of them...' (NFJ 290; Volker, 1954, p. 136). What he did order was shipped from Japan to Batavia on the Hilversum on 4 November 1659, and from Batavia to Holland on I7 January 1660: 24 pint jugs, 30 mustard pots, 30 salt cellars, 10 inkpots, and 14 wine jugs (VOC 1230; Vialle, 1993, pp. 30, 31).

  • Exhibited:
  • Similar Example:
  • Illustrated: One of the larger and silver gilt mounted pair in the British Museum (BM 63A and B) is illustrated in the Porcelain Park catalogue, 1994, pl. 16.
Main View
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Detail of Decoration
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