Coffee Pot with a Relief of Seven Gods of Fortune


Anonymous - Coffee Pot with a Relief of Seven Gods of Fortune
This ewer comes from the Arita region of Kyūshū Island and was made in the first half of the 18th century for export to European markets. Its shape, featuring a high relief of seven gods of fortune, shows that Japanese workshop production was not limited to the mere emulation of Chinese models. Their products always displayed features unique to Japanese taste, but also began adapting to the demands of the export market. That is why the ewer’s shape is reminiscent of its European model, the tin coffee pot, though coffee drinking is unfamiliar in Japanese culture, which practises the tea drinking ritual. The decoration of this export ewer with figures of the Seven Gods of Fortune represents a popular Japanese theme found in paintings and works of applied art. Interestingly, among the Seven Gods of Fortune is a lone female, the goddess Benzaiten, or Benten, Buddhist patron of knowledge, speech and music. She is usually depicted with a biwa lute.
measurements: height 40 cm
in collections:
material: Porcelain, metal tap
technique: Underglaze cobalt painting, enamel and gold surface painting
inventory number: Vu 561
gallery collection: Collection of Asian and African Art