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A fine quality, mid 18th century Edo period, Arita Imari lobed plate featuring a grape and vine motif with butterfly and gilded rim. Japanese. Circa 1760.
Similar examples are featured in 'The Story of Imari' by Goro Shimura, page 115-117, plates 59 and 60 where he writes, 'The butterfly's position indicates that the red grapes follow the laws of physics but the blue ones do not.' He suggests this may be a symbol of good luck as the design is influenced by the Japanese phrase, 'nari agaru' whose meaning includes 'become, attain, grow' and 'ascend'. Therefore the juxtaposition means 'to attain a higher social position'.