Yabu Meizan Japanese Meiji Period Satsuma Vase

Value (2013) | $5,000 Auction$8,000 Auction

I've had it about ten years. I do a lot of yard sales, estate sales. I think it's from an estate sale. And I know I didn't pay much for it, so a lot of times the estate sales have the last day, half price. So that's where I think I got it. I've always loved the piece.

It's a Japanese vase. It's earthenware satsuma. It's an enameled satsuma in gilt and high-fired enamels. Satsuma was done during the Meiji period primarily, 1880 to 1920. This vase is enameled with wonderful drapery of wisteria. There's a very finely executed cobweb.

I know, I love that.

With a little dangling spider. There's songbirds. It's a profusion of wisteria to the shoulder, and then drooping down to this ovoid body. The rim is gilded. There's high points of gilding to identify each leaf. It's a beautifully hand-painted vase. Now, with earthenware satsuma there's a folklore or an urban legend that the Japanese artists who executed these vases would go blind due to the detail and intricate work.

I could see why they would think that.

At the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, I would say about 10%-20% of what we see are Japanese earthenware satsuma.


The vast majority of that is mass-produced, quickly painted, rapidly executed, made for the mass export to the U.S. and to the Western market. This, however, resides in that very top percent.

Oh, my goodness.

The mark is gilded. It's overpainted on the body of the vase. And the mark is of Yabu Meizan. And Yabu Meizan had a workshop in Japan during the 1880s to 1920s. He was a Imperial Court artist. His workshop were the very, very top tier of Japanese earthenware satsuma. Japanese works of art have suffered a decline in the last 20 years. However, there has been a resurgence in the price of the cream of the crop. And he is the foremost earthenware satsuma painter, his workshop. As to value, I would say conservative auction estimate would be between $5,000 and $8,000.

Oh, my goodness. I can't believe it. (sighs) I still love it. (laughs)

Perhaps a little bit more now.

Yeah. Now I'm a little bit more nervous about, you know, it just sits in my living room on a bookshelf, you know.

Well, please don't stop enjoying it.

No, I'm going to enjoy it.

Appraisal Details

PKR Antiques & Fine Art
West Palm Beach, FL
Appraised value (2013)
$5,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
Richmond, VA (August 17, 2013)
Asian Arts

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