Q:

What are Imari plates?

A:

Quick Answer

Imari plates are a type of dish from a specific brand of porcelain that originated in 17th century Japan, according to Buying and Selling Antiques. The name originated from the Japanese port from which the porcelain wares were shipped around the world.

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Buying and Selling Antiques states that the earliest dishes were a solid blue. As production techniques advanced, cobalt blue and reddish-orange patterns were added, along with green and gold designs.

Plates are one of the most well-liked types of Imari dishes, according to Buying and Selling Antiques. The most common size is 8.5 inches in diameter, but there are larger chargers, as well. Buying and Selling attributes the popularity of the plates to how easy they are to display; they look great on walls, in hanging racks and on easels.

Collectors Weekly reports that, after the introduction of Japanese Imari dishes, many manufacturers attempted to copy the porcelain ware. Less expensive versions were produced in England, Germany and China, and the original Japanese dishes stopped being exported, the Weekly indicates. The Weekly reveals that Imari opened its international trade again during the mid-1800s, and many of the pieces were purely decorative. In fact, matching pairs of oversized plates with painted sections became popular wall displays.

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