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Arita, Hizen province [Japan]

Pair of mounted bowls, one with cover porcelain: 1690-1800, mounts: 1780-1800

Porcelain painted in underglaze blue, red and gilt enamels, mounted in gilt bronze | 63.5 x 31.5 x 31.0 cm (largest of members) | RCIN 28790

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This bowl incorporates elements of a woodblock genre called ukiyo-e (‘pictures of the floating world’). Such prints depicted music, food and sexual fulfilment as the best response to life’s transience. The luxurious motifs of flowers and flowing kimono translate well onto porcelain due to the brilliance of the underglaze blue, red enamel and gold.