KUTANI PORCELAIN: A VITALITY OF COLOR

By: John Hogan

A brief history about Kutani is always of interest! Kutani has been produced for nearly 350 years.

JAPANESE GEISHA GIRL KUTANI ANTIQUE PORCELAIN VASE C. 1900

JAPANESE KUTANI ANTIQUE PORCELAIN VASE

PHOTO OF BACKSTAMP ON BOTTOM OF VASE

It initially began in Yamanaska, Japan around 1650s. It is basically divided into three periods: (1) First Period, called Ku-Kutani, circa 1655-1657; (2) Second Period, called Revival Kutani Period, circa 1807 and (3) Third Period, called Meiji Period, circa 1868-1912.

The actual word Kutani means Nine Valleys and is the name of a village near Yamanaska in Japan. Consequently the pottery and porcelain made here was eventually named Kutani.

The Kutani porcelains always used five colors: red, blue, yellow, purple and green and generally used clear overglaze to seal and finish the product. This process in Japan is called Nishikide.

Although Kutani has been made since 1650s, it was not until the Vienna Exposition of 1873 that these fine hand painted porcelains were first exhibited to the world.


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