This Japanese Satsuma plate I found at a local antique fair.
This amazing dish is super-saturated with decoration all done by hand by an artist in the late Meiji era (19th Century). Each of the butterflies that flutter about on the centre of the plate have every individual cell of their wings outlined in gold and the clouds of flowers that crowd around the edge of the plate are and endless joy if you look at each petal and how they have been realised.
How long must it have taken the painter to create the design, draw it first in black, fill in every cell with different coloured glazes, fire it, re-edge every petal and butterfly wing with liquid gold and then fire it again? I could not even begin to guess.
Given that the entire plate is actually only 20cm wide you can start to appreciate just how skillful the artist must have been to complete the design.
Satsuma Ware is the name given to a particular type of Japanese pottery which typically uses coloured glazes and gold over a crackled glaze on a cream coloured earthenware pottery and can be very simply decorated or lavishly intricate as in this example.
Japanese pottery marks are often difficult to trace as they did not follow set conventions and could be the name of the artist, the era, the pottery or even a name for the object.
This is the painted mark on the back of the plate for those who like to know. I would love hear from anyone who can identify the mark.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Intricate