February 28, 2015

Meiji Period Cobalt Blue Satsuma Painted Geisha Vase Marked Shozan 尚山

I'm so far behind with planned posts for this blog as I still have over 1000+ pieces in my collection I have yet to photograph and write about,  and since I just made several auction purchases, I have been posting my most recent acquisitions this past week, this antique Japanese Meiji period cobalt blue Satsuma vase signed with the mark of Shozan ( 尚山 ) is among those recent additions to my growing collection.


Meiji Period Cobalt Blue Satsuma Painted Geisha Vase Marked Shozan 尚山
This cobalt blue Satsuma vase is hand painted with Geisha and a child with Mount Fuji in the background.  The base is marked with the signature of Shozan. 尚山  It is late Meiji period, circa 1880s to 1900 and is approx 8 1/2" tall.  The reverse panel shows the landscape and water below Mt. Fuji.


Meiji Period Cobalt Blue Satsuma Painted Geisha Vase Marked Shozan 尚山 Meiji Period Cobalt Blue Satsuma Painted Geisha Vase Marked Shozan 尚山


Shozan mark: 尚山

Meiji Period Cobalt Blue Satsuma Painted Geisha Vase Marked Shozan 尚山

It's worth mentioning that the fake "expert" known as Gotheborg identifies the Shozan mark 尚山 as Shuzan 珠山 which are not only two entirely different and separate identities with completely different marks, but that the kanji for Sho & Shu are not even remotely similar nor are they interchangeable.  When it comes to Japanese porcelain marks, anything read on Gotheborg should be taken with a grain of salt and treated with skepticism since an overwhelming amount of the information contained therein is completely inaccurate.


pp68-est150/200+

February 26, 2015

Japanese Edo period Matsuyama Gama Aode Kutani Double Gourds 松山窯 青で 九谷

Here's another one of my most recent auction acquisitions, a pair of Japanese Edo period Ao-de Kutani double gourd shaped vases from Matsuyama Gama, signed with the kaku seal of Matsuyama Kiln, 松山窯

Matsuyama Gama existed from 1848 to 1863.  In 1863 the name was changed to Matsuyama Okami KilnMatsuyama ceased production in 1872.   The color and style of original Matsuyama Ao-de Kutani look like Yoshidaya Kutani which was the revival of Ko-kutani, aka old Kutani.

Japanese Edo period Matsuyama Gama Ao-de Kutani Double Gourds 松山窯
Japanese Edo period Matsuyama Gama Ao-de Kutani Double Gourds 松山窯 Japanese Edo period Matsuyama Gama Ao-de Kutani Double Gourds 松山窯


















Matsuyama Gama mark松山窯
Matsuyama Gama mark:  松山窯

 This style of Kutani is referred to by a few different, but similar names,  often mistakenly called Ao Kutani, but the correct term is Ao de Kutani, Aote Kutani or Aode Kutani.

Ao-de Kutani uses four colored overglaze enamels: green, yellow, blue and purple to cover the surface of vessels. Ao-de Kutani is characterized by its deep green color. (Ao means blue in modern Japanese). Ao-de Kutani originated from Ko Kutani ware , which was produced between the mid-17th century and the early 18th century. About 120 years after the production of Ko Kutani ware stopped, Yoshidaya kiln revived the Ko Kutani style and produced aote Kutani in the early 19th century. After Yoshidaya kiln stopped production, aode Kutani was produced by Matsuyama Kiln from 1848 to 1863.


Related links on Matsuyama and Aote Kutani, Kutani Revival, Yoshidaya, etc

Matsuyama-gama 1848-1872
Kutani Matsuyama - Inherited Aote Kutani
Revival of Kutani

February 24, 2015

Meiji Period Thousand Faces Satsuma Nikkozan Plate 日光山 薩摩焼

I'm super thrilled with my latest auction purchases this past week, among them this Meiji period Thousand Faces Satsuma plate marked Nikkozan , 日光山 and the bonus is that 100% of the proceeds of the auction went to a non profit charity to support an animal shelter..

Meiji period Thousand Faces Satsuma plate marked Nikkozan , 日光山
Meiji period Satsuma Mark Nikkozan , 日光山

It's my belief that Nikkozan marked Satsuma is likely among the rarest of Satsuma wares because a quick Google search reveals only a few examples, all of which were auctioned off several years ago by Bonham's and Christie's auction houses.  There are no other Nikkozan marked Satsumayaki listed in Google other than these few, and now my own post.

Doing a similar search in Japanese also netted less than a couple of links for Nikkozan Satsuma wares.

I'm rather perplexed why so many sites, particularly online auction sites, refer to this design of Rakan with Kannon and dragon, etc as "Thousand Faces".  I have yet to find any information whatsoever on the story behind this design and insofar as Japanese websites go, the term 1000 Faces in relation to Satsuma is non existent.   It is my belief that the name "Thousand Faces" when applicable to this design of Satsuma is a false one.   

February 15, 2015

Late Meiji Thousand Faces Satsuma Vase Signed Hotoda 保土田

  Ever since I first saw the Thousand Faces design a while back, I have been wanting one for my collection, yet have never been able to find one within my budget since whenever I do encounter these on auction, the bidding is competitive and the price goes way out of my affordable price range.  I have seen these Thousand Faces Satsuma vases sell from anywhere from several hundred dollars to over a thousand, so I have never been able to obtain one until now, and all by complete chance and luck without even looking for one.

  I was browsing around eBay one day after putting up a few listings to get rid of some of my modern "junk", and while looking at a Chinese piece,  I decided to look and see what else that seller had, and, well, lo & behold, there it was, this beautiful late Meiji period Thousand Faces Satsuma vase, but he had it listed as Antique Chinese Gods Vase and didn't know anything whatsoever about it, so, as a consequence, those seeking Japanese Satsuma Thousand Faces vase did not find the listing, and bidding was not as competitive.    The seller started the auction at $9.99 and I hoped to snatch it up for that amount, however, one other bidder competed against me, until at the very last second I put in a larger bid and won the auction at $38 with free shipping.   I was extremely ecstatic with joy.  To me, this is the most treasured piece of my collection and I am so very happy.


Thousand Faces Satsuma signed Hodada , aka Hodata, 保多田 Thousand Faces Satsuma signed Hodada , aka Hodata, 保多田
Thousand Faces Satsuma signed Hodada , aka Hodata, 保多田 Thousand Faces Satsuma signed Hodada , aka Hodata, 保多田









































The vase is signed Hotoda , aka Hodota &/or Hododa, etc thanks to the asshats at Gotheborg for perpetuating incorrect information , 保土田.  The correct spelling is HOTODA.  It's dated somewhere around the end of the Meiji period circa 1900 to perhaps early Taisho period 1920.

Hotoda was one of the last great master's of Satsuma during the Meiji period

.    The Thousand Faces design features Kannon, the Japanese Buddhist Goddess of Compassion, aka Kwan Yin / Guanyin, a single male figure which I haven't identified as of this writing, and multiple rakan which are often incorrectly called arhat  or lohan, and are commonly referred to collectively as "immortals,  each of them of the same face, and  a white dragon intertwines through them.  Rakan, Arhat & Lohan all mean the same thing, but only RAKAN is used in Japanese.  The other terms are Indian and Chinese.

  There are several variations of the Thousand Faces Satsuma design, as well as the Thousand Faces Kutani.  

As a bonus, the auction included the wooden stand, which turned out to be Chinese late Qing Guanxu period to early Republic period.

Here's a couple of different Thousand Faces Satsuma vases currently on eBay, and as you can see, the prices on these can be very high.

Thousand Faces Satsuma Thousand Faces Satsuma

February 8, 2015

Chinese Fuzhou Cork Art - 汉语 福州软木画


Chinese Fuzhou cork art originated in the early years of the Republic of China period in Xiyuan village, Fuzhou, capital city of Fujian province.

Chinese cork art was invented by Wu Qiqi, a wood carving artist of Xiyuan village, Fuzhou. In 1914, through the skilled use of various carving techniques, Wu Qiqi used a sharp knife as a pen, engraved and carved flowers, trees, pavilions, trestle bridges and boats, and then made birds and animals such as cranes and peacocks with the rice paper plant. He then stuck all the elements together with white glue, forming a scene and inventing a new and unique style of art which continues to this very day.

I love these cute little things.  Here's some pictures of my little collection of Chinese cork art.

Chinese Fuzhou Cork Art - 汉语 福州软木画

Chinese Fuzhou Cork Art - 汉语 福州软木画 Chinese Fuzhou Cork Art - 汉语 福州软木画

Chinese Fuzhou Cork Art - 汉语 福州软木画 Chinese Fuzhou Cork Art - 汉语 福州软木画