This pear-shaped vase has a wide body that flares out at the neck. The body is entirely decorated with underglaze blue sigil prints with gold highlights in various calligraphic styles. This decoration is displayed on a brown enamelled background, except for a large central band in molded porcelain. On this section is depicted in relief a phoenix flying among flowers and bamboos. Its graceful white shape contrasts with the turquoise glaze applied in the background. The base is left bare, except for the center which is glazed and bears the artist’s mark, Tominaga Genroku, in underglaze blue cobalt oxide.
Tominaga Genroku (1859-1920) was a Japanese potter, son of a kiln owner in Ureshino, Saga Prefecture in southern Japan. Around 1889, he succeeded the family business and built a new kiln, developing new techniques to create his own style. He represented his native prefecture in Japanese decorative and industrial arts exhibitions. His refined designs are very popular and sought after by ceramic enthusiasts.