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 Kakiémon teapot with four elements, Japan circa 1690-1700 
 Kakiémon teapot with four elements, Japan circa 1690-1700  - Porcelain & Faience Style Louis XIV  Kakiémon teapot with four elements, Japan circa 1690-1700  -  Kakiémon teapot with four elements, Japan circa 1690-1700  - Louis XIV Antiquités -  Kakiémon teapot with four elements, Japan circa 1690-1700 
Ref : 104717
Period :
17th century
Provenance :
Medium :
Japanese porcelain and ormolu
Dimensions :
l. 5.91 inch X H. 5.12 inch X P. 3.94 inch
Porcelain & Faience  -  Kakiémon teapot with four elements, Japan circa 1690-1700  17th century -  Kakiémon teapot with four elements, Japan circa 1690-1700  Louis XIV -  Kakiémon teapot with four elements, Japan circa 1690-1700  Antiquités -  Kakiémon teapot with four elements, Japan circa 1690-1700 
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16th to 19th century furniture and works of art

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Kakiémon teapot with four elements, Japan circa 1690-1700 

Rare porcelain teapot of spherical form, provided with its lid, a handle and a spout in the imitation of bamboo. 
Polychrome floral decoration made of green, blue and khaki enamels, delicately enhanced with gold. 
The central parts of the body of the teapot have heart-shaped reserves that house Fö dogs, in a vegetal environment. 
The handle, the lid and the spout are linked together by the chains of a very beautiful vermeil setting decorated with bird, mermaid and stag. 
Porcelain : Arita kiln, Saga prefecture, Japan around 1690-1700, commissioned by the Dutch East India Company for export to Europe. 
Restoration to the neck of the teapot, in the middle part of the spout and a chip glued back underneath. 
The gilded silver mounting, probably made in Holland, around 1700, by craftsmen from Augsburg. 
Provenance :  
Sir Anthony Du Boulay Collection (1929-2022), director of the Ceramics Department at Christie's and later president of Christie's Geneva. 
He is also Honorary Adviser for Ceramics to the National Trust and has played a very important role in the Société de Porcelaine Française and the Oriental Ceramic Society. 
Dimensions : 
Height : 13 cm ; Width : 15 cm ; Depth : 10 cm. 
Teapot published on page 73 in the catalog "The world in colours - An exhibition of ceramics with coloured decoration dating from 700 to 1920", published by the Association "The Oriental Ceramic Society". 
A Kakiémon teapot with a similar mounting but with a missing spout is in the British Museum (inv. no. 1034).  
An Arita teapot with a similar mounting, Christie's New-York sale, September 15, 1999, lot 89 ($14 950). 
Our view : 
Our teapot came out of the kilns of Arita in the years 1670-1690, before being exported by the all powerful "VOC" (Dutch East India Company) which had established a trading post in the land of the rising sun from the middle of the 17th century. 
In addition to its rare heart-shaped reserves, our teapot has a particularly refined decoration on a very white enamel background enriched with the very first "kakiémon" enamels that will make the international reputation of Arita porcelains, to the point that many European factories will imitate this very particular decoration. 
This type of porcelain was one of the very first pieces imported into Europe, even before the great trade with China.  
This porcelain, practically unknown on our continent, was reserved in the 17th century for a princely elite; it was so expensive at that time that it was collected for the material itself. 
This is why our teapot was diverted from its utilitarian use and was embellished, in the manner of a jewel, with a mount made by a goldsmith. 
Contrary to the rocaille mounts which will make the essential of the price of the pieces of this type in the following century, it is well here the porcelain which is highlighted by this discrete mount with miniature figures. 
This goldsmith's work represents the four elements, earth with a deer, water with a mermaid and air with a bird, while the porcelain, which requires a perfect mastery of firing, symbolizes the art of fire. 
This type of mount seems to have been very successful but few have come down to us in good condition, notably because of their great fragility due in part to the softness of the precious metal used. 
Although the goldsmiths are not known to us with certainty, the iconography of the subjects is frankly Germanic and the various realizations are to be brought closer to the goldsmith workshops of Augsburg. 
It is possible that German craftsmen specialized in this type of frames reserved until then for rare shells, ivory... left their native land where work was lacking to settle in Amsterdam where this sought-after material was unloaded in large quantities. 
But in view of the commercial strategies put in place by the Dutch multinational, it is also possible that the company sends its most beautiful pieces to Augsburg to be assembled and then resold with a higher margin.
This type of primitive pieces, assembled by a goldsmith, is extremely rare nowadays, the majority being preserved in the large museums. 
"Kakiémon*" is named after the Japanese potter who introduced the art of glazing, Sakaida Kakiémon. The first Kakiémon patterned porcelains were made in the Arita workshops in Sage Prefecture in the mid-17th century. These places are currently listed as the National Historic Site of Japan. Also, this craft is considered as one of the Japanese cultural heritages. This decorative style is usually done on a milky white background, called "nigoshide" in Japanese. This background accentuates the delicacy and refinement of the porcelain. The patterns are structured asymmetrically. However, they maintain a certain form of balance and harmony. Most of the images composed are typical of Japanese culture : chrysanthemum, Japanese apricot tree, bamboo, quail... 

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Porcelain & Faience