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Arita, Hizen province [Japan]

Two sake bottles c. 1840-60

Porcelain with underglaze blue, white slip | 21.7 x 14.0 x 14.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 27526

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Traces of saké can still be found in this bottle. A painted design of the ‘Three Friends of Winter’ suggests loyalty even in difficult conditions – a suitable theme for a gift sent to Britain shortly after Japan resumed direct trade in the 1850s.