Any ideas on this vintage bowl?

Fori is not pleasedMarch 31, 2011

I'm wondering if y'all can give me some pointers about this vintage (cuz it's older than ME) bowl. It's hefty, pottery/stoneware/something. Seems to be handpainted, Japanese or fake Japanese. Love the fat bird on the side. Any ideas, or suggestions on trying to figure out where this came from? Thanks! (I've been trying to work through the Gotheborg site--this would be easier if I could read Japanese....) I would be very surprised if this was NOT intended for tourists to purchase.

Pardon the glob of earthquake putty.


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I can't really see the mark clearly....but it looks like it has the Dai nippon character...
Can you find the mark in the link I have attached?
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese porcelain marks

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 9:28AM
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Fori is not pleased

Thanks Linda--I will try to get a better picture but it might be a lost cause. I think it's just sloppy.

I'm looking at Dai Nippon examples and just don't see it. (I mean I see it but I don't SEE it if you know what I mean.) I can sort of see a messy Kutani in the top two characters but I also see the Loch Ness monster...

Anyway to guesstimate the age based on general style? It seems like much of the touristy stuff has the same themes--gold trim, Mt. Fuji, etc.

These things don't photograph well with me behind the camera I'm afraid!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 10:46AM
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Fori is not pleased

Oh this considered pottery? It's not china, right?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 5:11PM
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I believe it's porcelain....some may call it stoneware, but they are both "vitrified"....that is fired at a high temperature.
Tell me, does it ring when you "ping" it with your fingernail ro tap with a pencil?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 6:32PM
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Fori is not pleased

It does ring--considering it's stuck in place with wax I'm surprised it could.

It's not completely smooth, like someone squeezed too hard on one spot on the wheel. (That probably doesn't mean much except that it's not top quality, but interesting.)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 11:18AM
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It's a good piece....research the marks.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 2:39PM
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Hi, fori! I like it! Do you have more or is this an orphan? I've got a few of that type, still packed away. They weren't antiques when I bought them, they were just old dishes that I could afford and I liked something about them. I'm afraid to get them out in case someone puts them in the microwave.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 8:34PM
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Fori is not pleased

I'm trying, LInda, but these characters are HARD! :)

Thanks, Pinch! I just have the one--it was my grandmother's and she probably picked it up in Japan...hmmm...must have been after my dad was sent off to college because HE never got to go anywhere! I'd guess 1950s or 60s. I don't think it's meant to be used for anything because the gold paint is glopped on so thick. It just doesn't seem useful.

It is sort of a fun piece...a non-assuming bird, a simple scene...and then POW! Someone bedazzled the pine trees! Makes me laugh. (The bird lacks glitter for some reason.)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 11:49PM
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Fori is not pleased

As long as we're trying to make out Japanese marks on Christopher's pieces, I still don't know where my fat bird bowl came from!

Any new insights? :P

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 3:14PM
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You're right about the Kyuutani in the top two characters (ninth valley). Romanized, I seem to recall "Kutani" is a fairly well known brand. There are no characters for dai nippon.

I can't make out the fourth character, but the other characters read, "(something) hall of enduring rain". "Hall" simply denoted a public usage building so it's difficult to say what is actually being depicted.

Nice piece!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 5:03PM
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Fori is not pleased

Thanks for the input, Mikk!

I'm assuming Fuji is mostly used on export and touristy items as it's a bit of a cliche. Does that correspond to your experience?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 11:50AM
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Because it is a widely held belief outside of Japan I'll probably get in trouble for saying it, but no. That has not been my experience.

Fujiyama is the tallest and most sacred location in Japan and is recognized as "The" countries symbol. It is by far the most depicted landscape in all of Japan.

Back in the day, it was believed that the great Kami's/God's of Japan resided at the top of Fujiyama, and until the latter 1800's, foreigners were not allowed to set so much as one toe on the mountain.

While Fujiyama depictions may be more prevalent in goods produced for foreign customers, it in no way excludes an item intended for a domestic market.

Of course, if an item depicts Fujiyama, a Crane, and a fuku/seiko/shiawase kanji, that would be kind of like putting Mt. Rushmore, The Statue of Liberty, and an American Bald Eagle on a plate. That would seem to indicate that it was intended for tourist/foreign markets. KWIM?

In the case of this bowl, it is more typical of what you might see in a Japanese home... the depiction of Fujiyama simply lending that the hall/location pictured is religiously sacred.

However, it really isn't very common to see "titles" of a depiction on the underside of items intended for domestic sale. So, while the depiction itself may be more "authentic", titling it on the underside would seem to indicate an intended outside market.

I'm no expert, but the opinion is free :-)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 1:47PM
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Fori is not pleased

I like a free opinion! Thanks! :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 11:21PM
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