A JAPANESE ARITA BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN WINE BOTTLE
Arita, late 17th century
Decorated with two birds, one flying and one perching, amongst peony sprays, on the shoulder a band of gadroons and two lines, on the neck four flowers and leaves.
H. 24 cm
Content 2.1 litres
Bottles of this shape, with the flange below the neck to facilitate the tying of a (cloth) cover, and a bulbous body, exist in different sizes, some undecorated, some “Dutch-overdecorated”, but most Japanese decorated in imitation of early Ming style with birds, peonies and pomegranates. Some come with initials of known individuals, for instance: I:V:H. for Joan van Hoorn, Governor-General in Batavia 1705-09, and sometimes initials of his friends and colleagues, possibly presents given by Joan van Hoorn (personal communication, Jan Veenendaal who is preparing a study of the initials on Japanese bottles).
The form of these Japanese bottles is based on Dutch glass wine bottles and probably intended for wine or other (alcoholic) drinks.