AN IMPORTANT JAPANESE LACQUER PLAQUE DEPICTING THE BATTLE OF DOGGER BANK BY LAKWERKER SASAYA (ACT. CIRCA 1780-1820)
Nagasaki, for the Dutch market, circa 1792
A black lacquered copper panel, decorated in gold and silver depicting a scene at the end of the Battle of Dogger Bank, after a print by Mathias de Sallieth, 1782 with on the reverse the inscription in Dutch: “The view of the country’s ship the Batavier in a wrecked state, positioned windward of the country’s fleet after the battle of Dogger Bank, showing the ensign of distress whereupon the frigates Amphitride and Waakzaamheid came to her assistance, one can also see an English warship, three frigates and a cutter approaching, when the Amphitride and Waakzaamheid approached for the wind captain Bosch lowered the ensign of distress and raised the princely flag again which made the English think it was a plot of the Dutch. They luffed up thinking the Dutch fleet had prepared for battle again”.
H. 33 x W. 55.7 cm
This is one of a series of lacquered copper plaques made by Sasaya for export to Holland. Another panel depicting the Battle of Dogger Bank is illustrated in Uit Verre Streken, December 2013, no. 39. In the collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, there are four panels showing various scenes of the Battle of Dogger Bank, one inscribed “Verlakt by Sasaya in Japan AO 1792”. The scenes are derived from a series of engravings of the battle by Frederik Murat and Matthias Sallieth published in 1782. Isaac Titsingh, commander of the Dutch factory of Deshima in 1779 and 1782 to 1784 and Johan Frederik Baron van Reede tot de Parkeler in 1785 and 1787 till 1789, gave the impetus to the production of Japanese lacquerware decorated with representations from European prints of city scenes and the Battle of Dogger Bank. (These plaques are discussed at some length by Oliver Impey and Christiaan Jörg in Japanese Export Lacquer 1580-1850, Hotei Publishing, Amsterdam, 2005).
The battle of Dogger Bank occurred on August 5th 1781 when the English naval and merchant fleets under Admiral Hyde-Parker encountered the Dutch naval and merchant fleets under Admiral Zoutman.