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Lidded tripod urn with a lion dog (shishi) finial

19th century


Kawamoto Hansuke


1844 – 1905

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Meiji period 1868 - 1912 → Japan
    19th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    porcelain; glazes
    54.5 x 37.0 cm :

    a - urn, 36.3 x 37 cm

    b - cover, 23.1 x 23.3 cm

    Signature & date

    Signed inside cover, in Japanese, inscribed [as a square seal] "Kawamoto Hansuke". Not dated.

    Acquired c1880
    Upper Asian gallery
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Kawamoto Hansuke

    Works in the collection


  • About

    During the Meiji period (1868-1912), following the restoration to the throne of the Emperor Meiji, Japan actively sought international trade. By 1900 almost half of the ceramics manufactured in Japan were produced to appeal to international markets. A maker’s mark on this vessel attributes it to Kawamoto Hansuke, a name used by a succession of ceramic artists working in Seto, Japan in the 1800s. The urn was probably made for export to Europe or America as it is larger and more elaborate than most equivalent objects created for use in Japan. A common motif on Meiji wares, the spotted green ‘fu dog’ or ‘Shishi’ on the lid of this urn is derived from a Chinese composite lion dog associated with protection. The blue and white base of the urn features vignettes of a fox and a crane.

    By the time of the 1862 World Fair in London, Japanese style had become extremely popular. The Japanese government participated in a range of fairs including the Sydney International Exhibition in 1879, the 1900 Paris International Exposition and the World’s Fairs held in America in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Correspondence, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 10 Sep 2022–2024