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Three legged pot

Satsuma Made in China

I purchased this cute little 3-legged vessel at a roadside gas station near the Washington/Oregon state border, of all places, for $19.57 American.

It looks somewhat old, so I am hoping you may be able to tell me something about it. Enclosed are some photos to help.

The amount of gilt work is impressive - the artwork all over is trimmed in gold - but what fascinates me the most is the raised glaze dots over almost the entire surface over the legs, the pierced lid and the flowered blue panels between the painted scenes where the handles are located.

Any knowledge you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Japanese style "Satsuma" made in China

Thank you for sharing your interesting piece with me.

It's shape is a traditional Chinese bronze shape, belonging to a Confucian forefathers altar.

Now, this piece is maybe to late to really have been intended to be used as such, since the mark indicates that is in made after 1949. The mark more or less only says "Republic of China", which is a modern mark.

"Satsuma" is in this case the name of the decoration, which today and to us is a typical Japanese export product.

I actually did not know this was copied in China - something your piece are clearly showing. But on the other hand, why should they have left out specifically Japanese Satsuma ware while copying everything else:-)

The origins of Japanese Satsuma earthenware goes back a long time. The first pottery with this name was founded in the 17th century, in Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan by the Prince of Satsuma. All pieces from this time were all made of brown clay.

In the late 18th century clay from Kagoshima Prefecture was brought to Awata (near Kyoto) to make Satsuma type ceramics there. Most Japanese Satsuma pieces we see today are probably made there, dating from the mid 18th century up until today. The special Satsuma clay is a light, yellowish earthenware with crackled glaze and a soft finish. It also requires a lower temperature when firing than porcelain. Besides this Kyoto ware, Satsuma ware was also made in - or decorated from blanks in - Yokohama and Tokyo, and then exported to the West.

Jan-Erik Nilsson