As part of our oriental collection we are delighted to offer this extremely fine quality early Meiji period Japanese Satsuma koro, this large earthenware koro is most unusual having been manufactured in Tokyo and not from one of the more commonly known Kyoto factorys , this was painted from a blank long before the advent of Satsuma wares being mass produced for the export market , the finely painted panels depict numerous scenes as seen in the multi photos , interestingly the artist has chosen to use Chinese influence subject matter on some of the panels , he has also cleverly captured swimming fish and other scenes behind lace quality porcelain netting , as with other early period artists like Meizan (not Yabu) the enamels are thickly applied and the colours very vibrant, the super quality heavy silver lid fits like a glove and we have no doubt is original to the piece.
We firmly attributed this piece to a Tokyo artist called Naruse Seishi but for further assurance we contacted Louis Lawrence for a second opinion , below is pasted his response to my e-mail .
The condition for a piece of this age is quite superb , the paint is as fresh as the day it was applied , please note a tiny fragment of onlaid net loss in pic 11 , otherwise an absolute masterpiece from a very rare artist !!
PRIVATE UK COLLECTION
I think there is little doubt that this is indeed by Naruse Seishi. The style, colours and the use of decoration behind netting are all typical of this artist’s work. Naruse Seishi (1845-1923) was a highly skilled pottery decorator who ran a workshop in the vicinity of the Zojoji Temple in Tokyo between 1872 and 1886. The practice of painting on ceramic blanks bought in from other parts of the country, in this case Satsuma in south-western Japan, was common at the time. Some of his work is unsigned. Other pieces are signed with his name and the name of his workshop Tohakuen. The signature is illustrated in the directory of artists in my second book on Satsuma, page 242.
Best Wishes Louis Lawrence.