1877 Japanese Imari Charger

Value (2008) | $3,000 Auction$7,000 Auction

A Navy chaplain who was stationed in the Far East brought it back before World War I, as a gift to my husband's four great-aunts. My husband's parents got it from the aunts and we got it from his parents.

Okay... Just as a large dish, it doesn't have that much importance. This is a size we call a charger, and it's made in Japan.


Now, this is Japanese Imari. Imari is porcelain that was made in the kilns of Arita, Japan. And they went all over the world from there. What's unusual about this piece is, first of all, the decoration. Very unusual to find mountain scenes in Imari decoration. Mountain scenes are what you see on porcelain that comes from scroll paintings, derivative of what's on the scroll paintings. And more interesting even than that is that this has a date of production. 1877 is in that calligraphy.

I didn't know that.

And it's decorated by hand. All this is hand-painted, and here you have some enamel decoration in the borders. These are called lappets, and they circle the entire charger. And then there was some... a blue rim and then there's gold gilt over the blue.


And you can see where some of this gold has been rubbed off from handling. The gold isn't in the porcelain. It's on top of the glazes. All the other decoration that's here is basically underglaze and very well-kept. I think it's amazing that it's in such good condition. There isn't a scratch on it. You'll see there's a little fishing boat here. There's actually, even, a man on a bridge, which you may be familiar with from Chinese porcelain. It's the most unusual Imari decoration I've seen and I don't think we'll ever see another one.


Uh, and it's the biggest size that there is. I would say that a typical Imari charger of this size could be worth anywhere from $700 to $1,200. Okay. This one, between $3,000 and $7,000.

Oh, my goodness.

Yes. And that's an auction value.

Appraisal Details

Marvin Sokolow Antiques
Bayside, WI
Appraised value (2008)
$3,000 Auction$7,000 Auction
Dallas, TX (June 28, 2008)
19th Century
Gold, Porcelain

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