top of page


An Exceedingly Striking, Fine and Early Ai-Kakiemon 

non-biscuit (namagake) porcelain dish 

depicting Cranes and Bamboo

Nangawara kiln (Old Kakiemon kiln site)

17th century
early Edo period, Kanbun era (1660-1673) 

circa 1660-1670

Measuring 21.3cm (8.38 inches) in diameter 


A simply superb and possibly unique example representing the transition between the Ko-Kutani style and the Kakiemon style manufactured in the Old Kakiemon kiln (Nangawara) in the late Kanbun period. Identical cobalt-blue seal marks within a double-square have been excavated at the Old Kakiemon kiln site. The interior is very asymmetrically and naturalistically painted in sharp, stunningly vivid strokes of cobalt blue - an exceptionally fine example of the Ai-Kakiemon (Blue Kakiemon) style.

This very early Kakiemon non-biscuit (namagake) porcelain of circular form with gently flared rim is covered with a very pale bluish-grey glaze, the interior superbly and sharply painted with the a pair of cranes among bamboo shoots. The reverse is finely encircled with a very neatly drawn scrolling karakusa, and a cobalt blue kaku-fuku seal mark within a double square to the base. The underside set with three spar marks, and the edge of the footrim burnt orange.


This early transitional dish is exceptionally rare in that it marks a period when both non-biscuit fired and biscuit-fired porcelains were manufactured at the same time and at the same place - on the cusp of when the so-called Ko-Kutani style would be superseded by that of the the Kakiemon.

A splendid 17th C Japanese Ai Kakiemon cranes dish, Nangawara kiln Arita, c1665

bottom of page