Yabu Meizan, Satsuma Vase with Bird and Maple Motif

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Original Japanese antique.

Artist: Yabu Meizan (1853–1934)
Title: Satsuma Vase with Bird and Maple Motif
Date: Early 20th century
Dimensions: (Height) 18.5 x (Neck) 5.5 x (Middle) 10 cm x (Base) 9 cm
Condition: Wear consistent with age and use. Some gilt loss on the bottom lip and base line.


Signed on the base in a gilt square 'Yabu Meizan'.


A Satsuma vase delicately painted in enamels and gilt with branches of maple trailing from the short neck and extending down towards the curve. The design is set against a plain, crackled cream ground, characteristic of Satsuma ware. A group of lively jay birds are perched on the branches, a contrast to the peacefulness exuded by the tree. Japanese maple trees are considered a symbol of grace by many Asian cultures and are associated with the peace and serenity of the elements of the world.


Yabu Meizan was considered to be one of the greatest ceramic artists of Japan during the 19th and 20th century. He was born in Osaka in 1853 and studied painting techniques on ceramics in Tokyo, returning to Osaka, where he established his workshop, in 1880.


Characterized by detailed landscapes and decorative motifs, Yabu Meizan created a new form of intricate artwork. The early artworks were so detailed that one would need the aid of a magnification glass to appreciate the fine miniature paint-work. During the 20th century, he simplified the motif of his designs to appeal to a wider audience and correspond to the fashion of the period, while maintaining his attention to detail throughout.


Unrivaled by any artist of this period, the theme of freely-drawn maple leaves on these artworks is a fine example of a simple design and finely delicate workmanship.

More Information
Title Satsuma Vase with Bird and Maple Motif
Artist Name Yabu Meizan
Dimensions (Height) 18.5 x (Neck) 5.5 x (Middle) 10 cm x (Base) 9 cm
Subject Animal & Birds, Flowers & Botanical
Product Date early 20th century