UNUSUAL JAPANESE SATSUMA VASE
A highly unusual vase of vegetal form, with a globular body and short rim, painted in raised and washed enamels with considerable gilding, the central frieze depicting archers staring out over mountainous seas and further warriors in a lavish brocade tent, between formal borders, signed with an impressed gourd mark.
This vase is the most interesting shape. The moulded ridges and small, paired buds in the painted stem suggest a bamboo stalk but the vessel is bulbous rather than cylindrical. It is possible that the Japanese made shaped bamboo water bottles and this is an earthenware copy of one. The detailed facial features and the use of delicate washes, in contrast to thick, raised enamels, are similar to the treatment of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune (page 10).