Nabeshima ware dish with design of reeds in mist, seven-sun size


Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1700-1740
Porcelain with cobalt pigment under colorless glaze, celadon glaze, and iron pigment on unglazed clay
Arita ware, Nabeshima type
H x W: 5.7 x 20.3 cm (2 1/4 x 8 in)
Japan, Saga prefecture, Arita, Okawachi kiln
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


Arita ware, Nabeshima type, Edo period (1615 - 1868), green glaze, Japan, Nabeshima ware, porcelain, WWII-era provenance

To 1964
N.V. Hammer, Inc., New York. [1]

From 1964
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from N.V. Hammer, Inc., New York. [2]


[1] Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

N.V. Hammer, Inc.


Nabeshima ware was produced at a carefully managed workshop for the exclusive use of the Nabeshima lords, rulers of the domain within which the Arita kilns lay. The most characteristic products were sets of dishes of standard sizes, decorated with exquisite and technically demanding decoration. This dish is an example of the seven-sun size.

The autumnal motif of withered reeds enveloped by mist is rendered with realism unusual in a Nabeshima design, wherein natural motifs are usually abstractly composed. Iron pigment applied directly to the roughened clay surface conveys the brittleness of the dried leaves, while the use of both cobalt wash and a band of celadon suggests the depth of the mist.

Published References
  • Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. p. 160.
  • Constance Bond. Daimyo's Choice at the Freer. Washington, April 1986. p. 162.
  • Nabeshima Naoyasu. Nabeshima han'yo no kenkyu: (Study of Nabeshima House's Ceramic Ware Factory and Its Products from 1614 to the Present). Kyoto. p. 203.
  • Oriental Ceramics (Toyo Toji Taikan): The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. pl. 67.
  • Jayne Shatz. Japanese Overglaze Enameled Porcelains:The Journey from Tradition to a Contemporary Palette. .
  • p. 14, figs. 1-2.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum