Takahashi Hokuzan, red and gold plate with peony tree

On a big plate with a diameter of 34 cm, a peony tree is drawn with feeling the age. The color of the peony is calm, and the flowers of the peony lined with slight gold and the brocade pattern on the edge, so the peony is further complemented.

size ; diameter about 34cm, height about 6cm

Peony meant the flower words of a symbol of “rich” or “noble”, and the seedlings were expensive in the old days, so it is said that only some wealthy people could enjoy it. However, in the Meiji period, when a method of grafting peony was devised, it spread as an ordinary garden tree, it is said that it became popular as an ordinary garden tree.

It seems like that the creator of this work looked at the peony in the garden of his home or somewhere, and drew this “peony figure” by overlaying another flower word “dignified behavior” and a calm painting style.

Making the plate and large vases exported in the Meiji period needed a laborious task and required advanced techniques, but once those exports settled, excellent potters produced large body which was no distortion, or had a uniform thickness, or did not peel off from Western paints, so some painters produced many large plates for the domestic market.

The back name is written in one line writing as “九谷北山kutani Hokuzan”. The writing is rare in Meiji kutani.

creator of the work

Takahashi Hokuzan  高橋 北山  born in 1866, died in 1936.

Takahashi was born in the family of the Kaga clan. In 1882, Hokuzan started studying porcelain painting, trained and refined his skills. He often produced works finished with gold. After that, he created kutani in various painting type by building a kiln for burning picture on the body, or asked some painters to make kutani works at the kiln.