earthenware, painted and gilded
height 36.5 cm
An earthenware vase painted and gilt with representations of the woodblock-print series Tokaido Gojusan Tsugi (The Fifty-three Stopping-places on the Tokaido road) by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), published during the late 1830s. The images overlap one another in a random design. The ground gilt with stylized flowers.
Depicting views along the old road from Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto, the prints became very popular in Europe and America during the early Meiji Era not only for their artistic quality, but also for the window they offered into the interior of a country that was still largely inaccessible to foreign visitors.
O. Impey, M. Fairley (eds.), Meiji No Takara: Treasures Of Imperial Japan: Ceramics Vol II, London 1995, cat. 137. J. Earle, Splendors of Imperial Japan: Arts of the Meiji period from the Khalili Collection, London 2002, cat. 126, pp. 190–1.