G017 A Tall Japanese Imari Lamp Decorated With Phoenix and Maple Trees - Circa 1880

“An apt quotation is like a lamp which flings its light over the whole sentence”.
Letitia Elizabeth Landon.

A tall Japanese Imari lamp of the Meiji period.  The lamp decorated in the traditional Imari palette of iron red, underglaze cobalt blue and orange enamels with four decorative panels.  Two panels, framed in cobalt blue and well decorated with a subjects of an ancient Japanese maple tree, or Momiji, as named in Japanese.  The decoration shows the maple in a formal Japanese garden.  Many of the Imari decorative styles and colours were derived from 19th century, Japanese kimono fabrics which can be clearly identified.

At the top of the decorative panels is a Phoenix in flight.  The Phoenix, or, Hō-ō in Japan, was adopted as a symbol of the Imperial household, particularly the Empress.  This mythical bird represents fire, the sun, justice, obedience and fidelity.  At the base of the panels is a fenced chrysanthemum garden with chrysanthemum flower seals or Kikumon.

With two panels, framed in cobalt blue and decorated with a flower cauldron filled with a cascade of summer flowers, enamelled with touches of green.  The panels divided with wide margins of iron red, painted with flower heads.  The lamp seated in an antique Japanese chrysanthemum stand.  The custom made lamp cap, matte gold plated.   The lamp shown with a pleated, dark navy blue, silk shade suggestion.

It was not until 1860 that Japan opened its doors to trading with the West and one of the products that the West was eager to buy, was porcelain.  It was soon after this date that Japan began to export the bright ceramics that we know today as Imari.

The name Imari refers not to the product of a particular kiln or group of kilns, but to the name of the port of Imari on Japan's southern large island of Kyushu.  It was from this port that ceramics bound for Europe were loaded on to ships to Nagasaki.  It was at Nagasaki that European traders purchased the porcelains and the long haul by sailing ship to Europe began.

In the West, the name “Imari” came to signify porcelain produced around Arita, Japan's centre of porcelain production, especially the porcelain decorated primarily in underglaze blue and iron red.  The traditional Japanese Imari export palette is rather small, with underglaze cobalt blue and iron red predominating.  These colours can be enhanced with yellow, aubergine, orange and green, plus a relativity small range of other colours, but the blue and iron red always predominate.  The lamp with a weight of 4kg/8.8 lbs

Emperor Meiji - Circa 1880

Overall height (including shades) 28"/71cm approx

Lamps shipped to the US and UK are wired to US and UK specifications

The lamp shade shown is for photography purposes only.  


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Category: 19th century antique japanese lamp antique lamp Imari Japanese Japanese table lamp lamps table lamps tall lamp


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