Vase

Inverted pyriform-shape (pear-shaped) vase with violet ground and light blue mottled texture. Narrow mouth, flared lip and thin rim with trumpet-shaped neck and high, gently sloping shoulders. Body tapers into tall stem resting on flat slightly rounded foot trimmed to create footring.

Clay: Porcelain, footrim slightly darkened on surface by use.

Glaze: Lip brushed with pink pigment and rim colored grey. A narrow band between the footring and the foot reveals the white of the porcelain underneath the glaze. Light blue mottling covers exterior surface of the violet-toned glaze and, in several areas, glaze has a pitted, “orange peel” texture, the result of minute bubbles in the glaze which burst at high temperatures during firing. Colorless glaze applied to the interior. Unglazed footrim.

Decoration: Purple glaze with minute splotches of bluish-purple appearing over the surface. The pink of the lip and the white of the interior contrast with the darker body.

Mark: in cobalt, “Dainippon.” Paper label: “CMK 20”

… Read More

Historical period(s)
Meiji era, ca. 1893-1899
Medium
Porcelain with violet glaze
Dimensions
H x W x D: 19 x 8.3 x 8.3 cm (7 1/2 x 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Bequest of Isabel S. Kurtz
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
F1991.25
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Vase

Keywords
Japan, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), porcelain
Provenance

To ?
Charles M. Kurtz (1855-1909). [1]

To 1991
Isabel S. Kurtz (1901-1991). [2]

From 1991
Freer Gallery of Art, bequest of Isabel S. Kurtz (1901-1991). [3]

Notes:

[1] Ms. Isabel Kurtz bequeathed the group of Asian ceramics, F1991.19-.44, to the Freer Gallery of Art. These objects had been collected by her father, Charles M. Kurtz, who was a friend of Charles Freer. Also see Curatorial Remark 2 in the object record.

[2] See note 1. Also see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.

[3] See note 2.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Charles M. Kurtz 1855-1909
Isabel S. Kurtz 1901-1991

Description

Inverted pyriform-shape (pear-shaped) vase with violet ground and light blue mottled texture. Narrow mouth, flared lip and thin rim with trumpet-shaped neck and high, gently sloping shoulders. Body tapers into tall stem resting on flat slightly rounded foot trimmed to create footring.

Clay: Porcelain, footrim slightly darkened on surface by use.

Glaze: Lip brushed with pink pigment and rim colored grey. A narrow band between the footring and the foot reveals the white of the porcelain underneath the glaze. Light blue mottling covers exterior surface of the violet-toned glaze and, in several areas, glaze has a pitted, "orange peel" texture, the result of minute bubbles in the glaze which burst at high temperatures during firing. Colorless glaze applied to the interior. Unglazed footrim.

Decoration: Purple glaze with minute splotches of bluish-purple appearing over the surface. The pink of the lip and the white of the interior contrast with the darker body.

Mark: in cobalt, "Dainippon." Paper label: "CMK 20"

Inscription(s)

Cobalt mark "Dainippon"

Paper label: "CMK 20"

Label

This vase was part of a collection formed by Charles M. Kurtz (1855-1909), during the period when he served as assistant art director for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and art director for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Centennial International Exposition in St. Louis. Kurtz's collecting focused on porcelain with highly colored glazed. Along with these pieces by prominent Japanese potters, Kurtz acquired vases of similar shapes and colors from American and European factories. Kurtz's collection, representative of a broad popular interest in Japanese art in the late nineteenth century, also reflects the growing internationalism in the decoration of ceramics resulting from rapid exchange of information and technology facilitated by the international fairs.

Many ceramic artists in the Meiji era combined several metallic oxides in their glazes to produce the rich, unexpected coloration seen in pieces such as this. Although the new oxides were imported from the West, Chinese porcelains provided the models for intensely colored monochrome glazes.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.