Dish with scenes of a porcelain factory
onbekend, Arita, c. 1850-1875
The Mesdag Collection, The Hague
The blue decoration of this large dish illustrates the production of Japanese porcelain in nine independent scenes. Depicted are the extraction of raw materials in a quarry; the processing of the clay; and the forming of the porcelain stoneware. The decorating, glazing, firing, and ultimate selling of the wares are pictured as well.
All nine scenes portray specific aspects of the production process. The central scene, for instance, shows how the clay is first kneaded and subsequently formed in a variety of ways. This is done with both a potter’s wheel and a mould.