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satsuma

Satsuma Pottery

Satsuma pottery was made in or around Kagoshima in Kyushu, Japan in the later part of the 19th century through to the early 1920's in Satsuma in southern Japan.  It is also known that in the same location, there were kilns making pottery going as far back as the 16th century - so the location on the southern island of Japan was already steeped in pottery making history.  The term Satsuma, derived from the location where they were made then became the way that the pottery was described.  A typical piece if Satsuma pottery will be of a yellowy complexion and usually decorated with intricate and minute Japanese figures, landscapes and even dragons.  The designs also feature a form of decoration called moriage which is a term used to describe the use of raised enamel of Japanse pottery.

The clay used to make the Satsuma Pottery also differs depending on the location the item was made. For example, the clay used from the Kyushu area gives a darker tone to the pottery where as clay used from Kyoto gives a lighter appearance. The darker clay from Kyushu also allows the crackled glaze to have a darker, more pronounced appearance.

The Satsuma pottery business was also in full effect to mass produce many pieces of earthenware for export to Europe and America and there more perhaps more than 20 factories producing the pottery.  Therefore the majority of the pottery items from this location may be low quality and common but there were also makers of amazing fine pottery at the same time too.

There are several things that Satsuma Pottery is famous for and can be identified using these things.  The pottery nearly always has a cracked glaze and it also does not ring when tapped like some other china pottery does.  The craqueleuer of the glaze was done on purpose by the maker and is not a sign of the age of the piece as many people think.  The early pieces of pottery made in the Satsuma region were covered in a thick heavy glaze and the pieces are very rare and are seldom found at auction.  These earlier pieces do not feature many surface designs.  The highly collectible decorated pieces were made in the 19th and 20th century.

Another hallmark of the Satsuma vase, bowl or piece of pottery is the design that adorns the piece.  Lavished with scenes of Japan, the images are tiny and intricate and are possibly the most fascinating thing about the vases you can buy.  Images of people, immortals, dragons, flowers, landscapes, birds and events are all hand painted onto the pottery surface and then a light glaze is put over the surface which then cracks slightly.  These items are very beautiful pieces and are very collectible.

The factories and makers of Satsuma also produced smaller pieces such as bowls and geisha buttons which are also hand painted with the most amazing images.  The small sets of satsuma pottery buttons are highly collectible too and are a perfect addition to any satsuma collection.

When buying a Satsuma bowl, vase or piece if satsuma pottery, the marking on the piece will usually denote the name of the factory or company who has produced the item.  Due to the fact that there were so many makers of this fine china and export pottery, the markings will vary from piece to piece. If the item has the words "ROYAL SATSUMA" or the word Satsuma written in english, then it will be a fake, made for the mass market and possibly made in China.

Large Antique Japanese Satsuma Pottery Vase
Large Antique Japanese Satsuma Pottery Vase
$228.50 (25 Bids)
Unusual Antique Japanese Satsuma Pottery Vase with Applied Enamels
Unusual Antique Japanese Satsuma Pottery Vase with Applied Enamels
$51.00 (19 Bids)
Antique Signed Japanese Meiji or Taisho Period Satsuma Pottery Bowl
Antique Signed Japanese Meiji or Taisho Period Satsuma Pottery Bowl
$9.99
Japanese Meiji Moriage Kyoto Satsuma Earthenware Pottery Gold Gilt Covered Box
Japanese Meiji Moriage Kyoto Satsuma Earthenware Pottery Gold Gilt Covered Box
$50.00
3 SATSUMA POTTERY BUTTONS  B7
3 SATSUMA POTTERY BUTTONS B7
$12.50
Antique Japanese Satsuma Pottery Turquoise Melon Form Lidded Jar
Antique Japanese Satsuma Pottery Turquoise Melon Form Lidded Jar
$124.99
NICE Eastlake Aesthetic Movement Satsuma Pottery Brass Gas Portable Table Lamp
NICE Eastlake Aesthetic Movement Satsuma Pottery Brass Gas Portable Table Lamp
$84.99
LG Antique JAPANESE SATSUMA Style POTTERY Figural SAMURAI WARRIOR Painting VASE
LG Antique JAPANESE SATSUMA Style POTTERY Figural SAMURAI WARRIOR Painting VASE
$10.50 (8 Bids)
Antique Vase Bowl Japanese SHIMAZU Crest MEIJI Era Satsuma Art Pottery Vtg Asian
Antique Vase Bowl Japanese SHIMAZU Crest MEIJI Era Satsuma Art Pottery Vtg Asian
$95.00
Categories
satsuma

Satsuma Bowl

If you are looking to buy a Satsuma bowl, then you are in for a real treat.  These small pieces of Japanese pottery originally made in the 19th century on the southern island of Japan are highly collectible and beautiful items.

The bowls come in various different shapes and sizes and feature the classic and well known style of decoration that has made the satsuma name, method and items like the bowls such as the satsuma buttons popular.  In fact, the bowls and smaller items may be less valuable due to their size, but the designs and decoration is often more intricate and beautiful than the larger pieces of satsuma pottery.

The Satsuma style of pottery has been made in Japan for hundreds of years and can be best described as a thin, transparent, cracked glaze over a finely decorated piece of creamy or beige pottery.  This style of bowl was also mass produced in the Japanese region and was exported all over the globe.

One of the things that has made Japanese Satsuma pottery so popular is the designs that adorn the surface of the items.  It is common for the pieces from the 19th and 20th century to be heavily illustrated and decorated with scenes from Japan featuring people or animals or Japanese landscapes.  You might think that a small bowl was not able to be decorated in the way, but the amazing artwork on the Satsuma bowls is amazing.  Using gold, raised enamel and minute images, these bowls are amazing collectors items and look beautiful as part of any display.

Some of the Satsuma bowls have handles which might indicate that they were actually used to serve food or store items for carrying.  There are also bowls that are larger in design and feature a lid and handles, making them look more like a jar than a bowl.

Due to the number of makers of this style of Japanese pottery, there are many identifying marks on the pieces you will find at auction.  Also, as the items were mass produced and also copied by other countries such as China, a good rule of thumb is that if the item says SATSUMA on the bottom - then it is not originally from Japan.  Many makers and copiers of the Satuma style thought that putting the word SATSUMA on the base of any fine pottery item that looked as if it was made in the same way or from the same location as all of the other, more expensive bowls, vases and plates that people would think it was authentic.

Antique 19th Century Japanese Fine Hand Painted Satsuma Bowl 725
Antique 19th Century Japanese Fine Hand Painted Satsuma Bowl 725
$585.00
Large Japanese Satsuma Mille Fleur Bowl Thousand Flowers Gilt Gold Marked
Large Japanese Satsuma Mille Fleur Bowl Thousand Flowers Gilt Gold Marked
$205.20
Antique Signed Japanese Meiji or Taisho Period Satsuma Pottery Bowl
Antique Signed Japanese Meiji or Taisho Period Satsuma Pottery Bowl
$9.99
Antique JAPANESE 5 SATSUMA LOBED BOWL Koshida under Shimazu THOUSAND FLOWER L
Antique JAPANESE 5 SATSUMA LOBED BOWL Koshida under Shimazu THOUSAND FLOWER L
$169.00
Antique Japanese Satsuma Chrysanthemum Bowl SIGNED
Antique Japanese Satsuma Chrysanthemum Bowl SIGNED
$295.00
Japanese Satsuma Bowl Signed Taisho Period
Japanese Satsuma Bowl Signed Taisho Period
$145.00
Signed Japanese Satsuma Bowl
Signed Japanese Satsuma Bowl
$189.99
SATSUMA BOWL ANTIQUE 1000 FLOWERS SIGNED SHIMAZU CLAN FANTASTIC
SATSUMA BOWL ANTIQUE 1000 FLOWERS SIGNED SHIMAZU CLAN FANTASTIC
$110.00
Antique Meiji Satsuma Bowl Gold Signed
Antique Meiji Satsuma Bowl Gold Signed
$500.00
Categories
satsuma

Satsuma Buttons

One of the more intricate and beautiful types of Japanese Pottery you will find are the sets of Satsuma Buttons.  These porcelain or earthenware pottery buttons are amazingly tiny sewing buttons adorned with beautiful images in the style that the Satsuma region on the southern island of Japan is famous for.

Measuring roughly only 1 inch in diameter, the satsuma button is designed to be sewn on to clothing and features an intricate image or design on the surface.  The design of the buttons often features images of plants or flowers that are native to Japan.  Some buttons also feature images of faces or landscapes and buildings.  The buttons have a hole post on the rear that allows them to be attached to clothing.

The button are all decorated and painted by hand by the skilled craftsmen that made the other Japanese Satsuma pottery such as vases and bowls and the same skill and care went into theses items as went into the larger pieces.  Using an array of colors and the heavy use of gold enamel, these tiny buttons really spring to life.  The artists also employed the use of raised enamel too which makes the buttons ever more pretty and detailed.

The buttons follow the usual method of manufacture that has made the Satsuma pottery very collectible all over the world.  The pottery is of an off white or creamy color and is heavily decorated and covered with a thin translucent glaze which is then deliberately cracked through over heating to give the hall mark look and design to the pottery.  The cracks are known as Kannyu. These hallmarks are the same on a Satsuma Vase.

Often available in sets of 6, these antique kimono buttons may have been made for the Japanese Geisha girls or ladies of higher standing.  Sold as a complete set, it would be possible that the buttons were designed to fit a standard piece of clothing such as a Kimono or coat.  The sets of buttons were also sold attached to a piece of card with thread - so finding an antique set of these with the original card still attached would be highly sought after.

As some of these antique satsuma buttons are quite rare, it is important that you check they are from the region of Satsuma or Osumi.  It is common for buttons to be made by copiers of the style and design as they were so popular when they were made hundreds of years ago.  The original satsuma mark is often a circle with a cross inside followed by the name of the maker underneath, although not always.  Satsuma is the name given to Japanese pottery that was created in that area of Japan, so there may be items that are not what they seem.

Lot of three Antique Buttons Satsuma
Lot of three Antique Buttons Satsuma
$11.50 (7 Bids)
3 SATSUMA POTTERY BUTTONS  B7
3 SATSUMA POTTERY BUTTONS B7
$12.50
Antique Vintage Japanese Butterflies Painted Satsuma Porcelain Buttons Set of 6
Antique Vintage Japanese Butterflies Painted Satsuma Porcelain Buttons Set of 6
$80.00
Antique Vintage Japanese OWLS Birds Painted Satsuma Porcelain Buttons Set of 6
Antique Vintage Japanese OWLS Birds Painted Satsuma Porcelain Buttons Set of 6
$80.00
Vintage Japanese Kutani not Satsuma Porcelain ButtonButterfly
Vintage Japanese Kutani not Satsuma Porcelain ButtonButterfly
$25.00
set 4 ANTIQUE SATSUMA BUTTONS STAMPED JAPAN FLORAL TREE  GOLD as found
set 4 ANTIQUE SATSUMA BUTTONS STAMPED JAPAN FLORAL TREE GOLD as found
$14.99
6 Antique Hand Painted Satsuma Pink Japanese Flower Buttons
6 Antique Hand Painted Satsuma Pink Japanese Flower Buttons
$39.95
VINTAGE HAND PAINTED SATSUMA PORCELAIN BUTTONS LOT OF 3 NICE 1
VINTAGE HAND PAINTED SATSUMA PORCELAIN BUTTONS LOT OF 3 NICE 1
$19.99
Antique SATSUMA Porcelain HAND PAINTED Japanese IMMORTAL with 4 EYES Button
Antique SATSUMA Porcelain HAND PAINTED Japanese IMMORTAL with 4 EYES Button
$24.95