A selection of ceramics through the ages (5 second delay) Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology The Collections:
PotWeb: Ceramics online
@ the Ashmolean Museum
Early Europe & Near East
Classical to Medieval
Europe from 1500
Oriental & Islamic

Japanese Export Porcelain in the Ashmolean Museum

The Background to Japanese Export Porcelain

Classification of Japanese Export Porcelain

Oliver Impey divides the Japanese Export Porcelain trade into three periods:

  • Early period (1659-1670's),
  • Middle period (1670's-1720's) and
  • Late period (1720's-1740's).

The divisions are not precise. Within each period the orders were composed of blue and white, celadon and enamel wares.

In the Early period, the blue and white style copied largely the Chinese Kraak and transitional designs. The enamels are somewhat more opaque and dark than later periods and the separation into the Imari and Kakiemon enamel palettes was not yet clearly developed (early enamel ware).

The Middle period demonstrates a freer style of painting with more individual and Japanese touches in both blue and white and enamel work. Enamelling occurs over blue and white designs as well as over white ware. Some blue and white designs incorporated areas reserved for overglaze enamel decoration, indicating a degree of integration between underglaze and overglaze decorators. The Imari and Kakiemon palettes and flavour of decoration become distinct. The majority of export wares fall within this period.

The Late period shows more variety in shapes, often adopting European shapes and decorative requirements. Some pieces are derived from European originals.

Top: Bottle 1659-70 (EA1978.727)
Middle: Rectangular dish mid- to late 17th century (EA1978.480)
Bottom: Tripod dish c. 1730 (EA2001.6)
Types of Export Porcelain Background

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