An Arita porcelain cockerel censer
Late 17th century, Japan.
This cockerel stands with raised head turned to the left, and open mouth crowing. The head is removable forming the cover of a censer. The bird leans back slightly and is further supported by the elaborate arching tail feathers that touch the ground. The enamel decoration is restrained, being confined to black, turquoise and red, all against white, the legs and beak very lightly washed in yellow.
Similar examples: ‘Japanese porcelain’, by Soame Jenyns 1965, figure 55B illustrating an Arita two-part crowing cock turning to the left, in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Burghley House exhibition of Chinese and Japanese export porcelain of the 17th and 18th century, figure 244 is a model in Blanc de Chine of Chinese manufacture.
Porcelain for Palaces, OCS 1990, figure 169, is a Kakiemon model also at Burghley House. It is not known which of the two Burghley House models came first.