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A Splendid blue and white Japanese Arita porcelain dish boldly painted with a Crane and Turtle (Tsuru Kame), representative of Friendship, Devotion and Longevity


Arita kiln, Hizen province, Japan

Edo period (late 17th century), Genroku era (1688-1704)

circa 1690-1700


Measuring 20.8 cm (8.18 inches) in diamter, 2.9 cm (1.14 inches) high

This very fine late 17th century Arita white porcelain dish of circular form with a flared rim, the interior asymmetrically painted in fine underglaze cobalt blue tones with three auspicious symbols, a crane in flight above a perpetually-lived turtle (Minogame) and a pine issuing by the partly snow-clad rockwork, the underside decorated with karakusa scrolling, a cobalt-blue circle to the base set with four spar marks, some kiln-grit adhering to the footring.

According to ancient Japanese legend, the crane lives a thousand years and the turtle ten thousand years. These auspicious symbols of longevity are seen as bearers of good fortune and long-lasting friendship and devotion; the crane having only one partner for life. The tortoise is also The Guardian of the North and represents winter; this dish bearing a snowy bank beneath a pine tree.


A very beautiful and unusual example.

A Japanese Arita porcelain dish boldly painted with a crane and tortoise, c1690

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