Permanent Collection

  • Late 19th century
  • Japanese
  • Height: 64 in.
  • Porcelain

Meiji era, porcelain with underglaze blue and polychrome overglaze enamels and gilding. This enormous vase, which took over a week to shape (as evidenced by join marks visible in profile view), has a multi-part domed lid including an open work “pompadour” style knop, elephant handles on the high shoulders, major figural scenes on each side contained within elaborately-shaped cartouches, and multiple background and handle designs.  The sides are shaped into twelve compartments, a division which continues onto the high lip and lid.  A dance performance at court, the higher officials seated on a palace veranda and the performers and lower ranked officials below in a courtyard, is portrayed in one of the cartouches, which has an elaborate phoenix – design profile.  There originally was a mate to this vase; matched pairs are typical of such vases, and parts of the lid of the companion piece are in the museum collection.

large floor vase with scene of people dancing in foreground, watched by others on raised platform

Accession number: 1998.224