Square Jar with Birds and Flowers

色絵花鳥文四角壺

late 1600s
Location: not on view
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A jar like this was fired at a high temperature, painted with colored enamels, and then fired again at a lower temperature.

Description

This lidded square jar was likely paired with a complementary yet nonidentical mate. The pine tree, plum, and bamboo together form the frequently depicted motif known as the Three Friends of Winter (shōchikubai), so named because of their hardy perseverance in the cold. Each side also features a pair of birds, including cranes on one face and pheasants on another.
Square Jar with Birds and Flowers

Square Jar with Birds and Flowers

late 1600s

Japan, Edo period (1615–1868)

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