Q&A on Collecting
Satsuma vases were made in Japan
Q: Enclosed is a photo of a pair of Asian umbrella holders that I inherited from my aunt. Actually, I’m not sure if they are umbrella holders or what they are. They are approximately 18.75 inches high and 8.5 inches at the widest part. Marked on the bottom of each are blue lines with curved lines. The scenes are against a cream-colored background and decorated with small white raised dots. The finish has a crazed appearance. Each is in very good condition. There are no cracks or chips. Any help you could give me will be greatly appreciated.
A: You have a pair of Satsuma vases. They are too small to be umbrella holders. Satsuma-ware is Japanese glazed pottery. It was usually cream-colored and decorated with raised enamels and often had a crackled finish.
Satsuma was first made in the Satsuma Province in Japan by Korean potters around 1600. There are four periods of design: Edo, Meiji, Taisho and Showa. Your vases were made during the Meiji period, which lasted from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The raised dots are moriage, and the figures are Samurai officers.
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