Finely decorated pair of Meiji period Japanese Kutani vases c1890. The vases are of tapering cylindrical form with waisted neck. Decorated as a mirror-imaged pair of vases. Characteristic iron-red and gilt overglaze decoration known as Akae Kutani or Iidaya style. Hand painted floral and foliate decoration around its body with exotic birds (which were a popular Kutani motif). Geometric bands at its foot and rim. A particularly finely painted and gilded pair of Kutani vases. Painted marks to bases including the Kutani characters (九谷). The vases are 30 cm in height.
The word Kutani means Nine Valleys and is the name of an area and a village. Kutani ceramics are divided into two phases: Ko-Kutani (old Kutani), from the 17th and early 18th centuries, and Saikō-Kutani from the revival of production in the 19th century - primarily for export. Ko-Kutani was decorated in typical polychrome colours (and are very rare) whilst in the 19th century the style shifted to a more red design called Akae Kutani or Iidaya style.