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Signature and date
Intentional flaw in the rigid structure or system of three alternating rows of dots.
Kiln accidents or mishaps that occurred during firing.

Alfred William FINCH

( 1854 - 1930 )


Decorative cup, 1895

- Virginal -

Height:     6,5  cm

Ø Base:  11,5  cm 

Ø Neck:  10    cm

Signed and dated under the base: 'AWF 1895'

By virtue of its timeless design this is certainly one of our absolute favourite objects in the collection. Instinctively we recognise a certain Japanese aesthetic to the object. A faint yellow glaze is covered with a regular pattern of three alternating rows of soft orange dots in slip. Although these dots seem locked into a regular pattern or system, they radiate a dynamism rather than a static structure. Finch would not be Finch of course, if everything was too perfect. One dot seems to have rebelled against the system, and disturbs the rigid structure by falling out of its line into another. In ancient Japanese tradition, dots were used to represent the sun, the moon and the stars. This is also the basis of its national flag: a white square with a red dot in its centre, representing the sun or the goddess Amaterasu. As Yayoi Kusama, the contemporary artist who made polka dots her trademark, explains: "...a polka dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colourful  senseless and unknowing. Polka dots become movement... Polka dots are a way to infinity." Upon contemplating the present object, one feels as if Willy Finch was very much aware of the power that these dots embody.

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