Size: Each vase 22.5 cm tall (9 inches). Condition: Very good condition, no chips cracks or restoration. The finer detail of some of the gilt appears a bit worn. There is crazing to the glaze under the painted decoration which shows more in the darker areas e.
This is a classic pair of Japanese Satsuma vases, dating from c1900 and each decorated with Rakan (Arhats) and a long scaly dragon whose body weaves between the Rakan around the whole vase. The vases carry mirroring designs but the details of faces and robes are different. The vases are signed in gilt on red on the base, with the Shimazu crest, which also features in the decoration of the shoulder of the vases, the Hododa signature and Satsuma. Hododa was a workshop which produced a large amount of the Japanese Satsuma export ware, much of it very fine. These vases show excellent painting in the faces of the Rakan, and the dragon is enhanced with raised moriage clay to enhance its scaly appearance.
Rakan (Sanskrit: arhat) are ascetics who guard and proclaim Buddhist law on earth in the period between the death of Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha, and the coming of Maitreya, the Buddha of the Future. They have inspired some of the most free and lively depictions of the human figure in Japanese art.
Old age and the struggle for salvation have left their mark, but in the figures gnarled faces and bodies is a strong expression of the uniqueness of each individual. The item "Pair of Japanese Satsuma vases, Meiji period c1900, decorated with Rakan, signed" is in sale since Tuesday, October 6, 2020. This item is in the category "Antiques\Asian/Oriental Antiques\Japanese\Vases". The seller is "chester1703" and is located in Barkestone, Nottingham. This item can be shipped worldwide.