Posted by Graham Smith (U15490989) on Monday, 5th November 2012
The first item discussed in yesterday evening's programme, a large and beautiful Japanese porcelain vase, was regrettably mis-identified as being made by Fukagawa. Its correct attribution should be to another company, Koransha, whose mark the vase bears on its base. The company's name translates as "Company of the Scented Orchid" and its mark/logo is a stylised single orchid flower - that of the native "Wind Orchid" ("Fu Ran" in Japanese, botanical name Neofinetia falcata).
Koransha was founded in 1875 by Ezaiemon Fukagawa, whose family had been in the porcelain business since the 1600s. In 1894 another family member, Chuji Fukagawa, founded the completely separate Fukagawa Porcelain Manufacturing Company, usually referred to simply as "Fukagawa". Its mark/logo is the mountain-river mark (a stylised Mount Fuji with a river below it), a play on words of the family name.
Both companies were, and continue to be, makers of the very highest quality wares - Fukagawa carries the Japanese Royal Warrant - and are too often confused despite being commercial rivals. Since its foundation Koransha marked all its works "Made by Fukagawa" ("Fuka Gawa Sei" in Japanese) in combination with the orchid mark. Use of the family name by Koransha ceased when the Fukagawa Company started - for obvious reasons – from then on restricting their mark to just the orchid. Thus the vase in yesterday evening's Roadshow must date from 1894 or later.
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