Title: Kakiemon Round Saucer
Date: Late 18th century
Dimensions: (D) 13 (W) 13 (H) 3 cm
A small round saucer decorated with pomegranates in red, blue and green enamel overglaze.
On a crooked tree, a bird is perched among red pomegranate fruit. One is split open, revealing gilded globules of seeds. The freely painted motifs leave ample space for the ware’s milky surface, exposing natural speckles from the firing process. Originally produced in the factories around Arita in Kyushu prefecture, kakiemon wares are hand-painted vessels whose recognisable style was established by Sakaida Kakiemon I when he perfected the technique of overglaze colouring on porcelain. With the bounteousness of the pomegranates myriad seeds, the fruit has tied itself with ideas of harvest and fertility within Japanese symbology, its red flowers marking the approach of the summer months.