Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information




Asian art

View More:


Large charger with design of phoenix and flowering plants in the centre and flower and animal pattern around it

19th century


Arita ware



Although in Japan the term Imari ware designates both blue-and-white and enamel decorated wares, in the West the term has generally referred to porcelains densely decorated in enamels, such as this. In the centre it features a design of phoenix and flowering plants, with a flower and animal pattern around it. The large shallow shape of a charger made it well suited to pictorial decoration. Most dishes were hung on the wall rather than used.

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.264.

Arita ware or Imari ware?

Arita ware (porcelain made around the Arita region) is commonly referred to as 'Imari ware' both in Japan and overseas because porcelain products from the region were transported to domestic and overseas markets through the port of Imari, approximately 15km north of Arita. For the sake of consistency, all porcelain works produced during the Edo period in the Art Gallery of New South Wales collection are catalogued according to the production site, e.g. Arita ware and Hasami ware.

Imari itself was home to the Nabeshima ware, exclusively produced at the Ôkawachi kilns for official use of the ruling Nabeshima clan. With the establishment of the Meiji government in 1868 the independent fiefs of the Edo period were replaced by prefectures in 1871, and the Ôkawachi kilns entered the free market. The term 'Imari ware' (or Ôkawachi ware) now applies to works produced in Imari from 1871 to the present.


Other Titles

Imari ware charger


Place where the work was made

Arita Japan


19th century

Media category


Materials used

porcelain with underglaze blue, overglaze enamel and gilding


8.2 x 59.0 cm

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of Professor R. Clough 1985


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Arita ware

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Referenced in 1 publication


Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Ceramics', Sydney, 2003, 264 (colour illus.).