National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, NGV Asian Art Acquisition Fund, 2011
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Gordon Darling Foundation
These porcelain bowls decorated with under glaze blue, over glaze coloured enamels and gold gilt depict Dutchmen and Dutch ships in vivid colours on their exterior and simple blue motives on their interior. During the Edo period Dutch trading ships became likened to Takarabune (ships of good fortune) and Dutch people likened to gods of good luck due to the wealth they brought to local traders. This unusual symbolism was often enforced further with the inclusion of local motifs such as the two scrolls (appearing on the lid and base) that further celebrated happiness and good fortune for the domestic household. Such unusual examples of Arita porcelain clearly illustrate early exchanges between Japan and Europe and are highly sought after artworks for this reason.