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Importer: Sadajirō Yamanaka, for Yamanaka & Co. (active New York, New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Paris, Shanghai, and Beijing, 1895-1960s)

Date: c. 1820
Medium: Porcelain with blue overglaze enamel decoration
Overall: 11 × 23in. (27.9 × 58.4cm)
Credit Line: Proctor Collection
Object number: PC. 774
Label Text
Many Americans were first introduced to Japanese art at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. One aspect of Japanese work that drew exceptional attention was the ceramics display. “The collection of pottery and porcelain [that] most powerfully impresses the imagination of the American visitor … both from its pompous splendor and the multiplicity of articles, is that of Japan,” noted Susan Carter when reporting on the Centennial.

American designers soon adopted many Japanese forms and motifs. These two vases illustrate typical Japanese crackled or crazed surfaces. This type of asymmetrical pattern is believed to have influenced the irregular design found on crazy quilts. The generic term “crazy quilt” may be derived from the textiles’ resemblance to a “crazed” or cracked surface.