Imari Bowls

Imari bowls cover many types of porcelain in the Japanese culture, the name being used because the bowls were sold out of the port in Northern Kyushu. The porcelain ware was inspired by a design of the Chinese during the Ming Dynasty. The porcelain is decorated and is also inspired by the Chinese culture; however the Japanese made the designs unique to their society.


If an individual would like to collect these bowls, there are several distinguishing factors they should look for when deciding what to buy. Color is always a good place to start when looking at porcelain; one should try to avoid poorly painted and dull colors. Bright colors, sharp designs, and a variety of pleasant forms is the key to collecting this item; however if an individual is looking for a rare piece, chocolate brown is an unusual to see in these pieces. There are many designs to look for when deciding to collect this item; patterns of birds, flowers and animals are common in many Imari bowls.

Another key factor to look for when collecting is shape such as fish or boats. One of the rarest and expensive pieces on the market today is the “Black Ship” which honors the Dutch traders; smaller pieces such as cups and plates can be purchased for prices often less than one hundred dollars. Imari bowls are some of the most beautiful pieces of porcelain; an individual could easily begin a lovely collection with some beautiful small and affordable pieces.

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