We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Bottle with design of landscape and flowering plants

circa 1650-1660


  • Details

    Other Title
    Ko-Kutani style
    Place where the work was made
    Arita Japan
    Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615 - 1868 → Japan
    circa 1650-1660
    Media category
    Materials used
    porcelain with overglaze enamel
    3.6 cm diam.of rim; 20.1 x 8.9 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1979
    South Building, lower level 1, Asian Lantern galleries
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Arita ware/Ko-Kutani style

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Ko-Kutani or 'old Kutani' wares are distinguished by their brightly coloured and graphically strong decoration. This square-shaped sake bottle, painted in overglaze enamels, is dominated by four panels of similar but not identical landscape and flower designs. The bright and unexpected green, blue and yellow mountains and rocks; the red trees and green pagodas, set against a brilliant white, are startling in their effect, as are the two panels of flowering 'nadeshiko' pinks. Ko-Kutani ware takes its name from the village of Kutani on the west coast of Japan's main island, Honshu, in Kaga prefecture. It was here, reputedly in 1661, that the Maeda clan began producing porcelain that was distinguished by its colourful overglaze enamel decoration. By around 1700 the industry had lost its vitality and the kilns closed. Early in the nineteenth century they were re-established to produce a later variant known as Ao-Kutani, or 'green' Kutani ware.

    Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 272.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

    • Japanese Porcelain, The Arts Council Gallery, London, 28 Mar 1956–28 Apr 1956

    • Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019

    • Elemental, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Jul 2022–2024

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 12 publications

  • Provenance

    Richard de la Mare, pre 1956, Much Hadham/Hertfordshire/England

    Sotheby's London, 29 Mar 1979, London/England, offered for sale in the "Catalogue of Japanese pottery, porcelain, inro, lacquer wares and works of art. The property of Richard de la Mare, Esq. and other owners", 29th March 1979, lot 162.

    Bluett and Sons Limited, Aug 1979, London/England, purchased by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1979.