Two Arita porcelain seated hounds
17th- 18th century, Japan
Height: 41 cm and 47cm
The dogs are naturalistically modelled seated on their haunch with straight front legs, their heads facing upwards. They are glazed in white, and painted with patches of iron-red, brown, black, and gilt over pale violet enamel. The detail of its fur have been added in linear brush strokes over some of its coloured patches, and on the feet. The tales are curled into a circle, and tipped with brown. A cord is tied around each neck, one with a tassel the other with a bell falling at the chest. The dog’s eyelids are painted with traces of pink with the irises in blue with black pupils, the eyebrows and whiskers painted on in black, and the noses have some traces of gilding. Red painted gums are visible in the open mouths, the alert ears are painted with traces of pink around the edges, while the holes in the inner ears served as vents for the escape of air during firing.
Large naturalistic hunting dog porcelain figures such as this one are rare, and are considered masterpieces of Export pottery, as their large size is hard to control in the firing.
A pair of Arita porcelain cats with similar painting is illustrated in ‘The Copeland Collection: Chinese and Japanese ceramic figures’, by William J. R. Sargent, cat. no. 132, page 258.