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This Japanese Awaji Pottery pitcher measures 8" high by 8" across the handle by 6.5" in diameter.  It has a classic cider pitcher form with a nice thick bifurcated strap handle.  It is deeply carved with Irises on both sides.  It is richly glazed in a ground of green with very vivid and complementary colors in the decoration.  This pitcher bears its Japanese Awaji cipher in the form of a carved flower blossom, shown in the photos.  It is in original condition with some glaze thinning and rubs at the base foot edge from handling and use. This pitcher likely dates to c 1920-1930, and is an excellent example of Awaji excerpt from an expert on Awaji Pottery, Mr. Thomas Libby:


Circa 1880–1939

Thomas Kelway Libby ©2010


Awaji pottery was made on the Japanese island of the same name between 1830 and 1939. Most of the pieces that we see here in the West were made sometime between the mid 1870's when Awaji began exporting pottery, and the mid to late 1930's when the last of the kilns closed. Awaji pottery comes in an abundant variety of shapes, colors, and decorative techniques. The glazes are often brilliant in tone and most are translucent and finely crackled. The ware is sometimes mistaken by the uninitiated for European majolica or American art pottery. Unlike majolica and the vast majority of Western art pottery, most Awaji pottery is robustly hand-thrown, with only small and complex forms molded. Some of the earlier ware is delicately potted, but the majority of Awaji-ware is more stoutly constructed and pleasantly balanced. The Awaji potters were masters of their craft who had an innate feel for the possibilities of the clay form. The result of their efforts is a pottery of exceptionally lively forms that have an informal and genuine feel, devoid of fussiness and pretension.

The ceramic body (or paste) is made of high-fired, white or cream colored clay that borders on stoneware. The formula apparently changed over time and varied from pink or buff, to white to grey. The glazes are lead based which gives the colors brilliance and makes the translucent enamels glassy and often iridescent. The most common Awaji glaze colors are a grass green, yellow that can range from pale lemon to deep amber, cobalt blue, and aubergine. Other glazes are a light green, dusty blue, light and dark turquoise, mirror-black, and burgundy. The Awaji potters were adept at creating unadorned monochromes, two-tone glazes, three-color glazes (sancai), incised decoration (most commonly featuring irises), and applied relief decoration.

Awaji Pottery Pitcher with Iris Blossoms in Vivid Colors c1880-1939

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