Since the biscuit clay and glaze do not "fit" exactly, during firing the glaze shrinks more than the biscuit.This cream-coloured crackled ware has two qualities in its favour.Here after much experimentation they succeeded in making the ware now known as Satsuma.One of the distinguishing features and indeed charms of Satsuma ware is its crackled glaze, the crackle being formed naturally when the piece is fired.Very small objects such as buttons, hatpins and buckles were also made and are still being produced today.At the turn of the century a blue and white Satsuma ware was made for export.These three wonderful Satsuma pieces, dating from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century Meiji period were presumably made and painted by the same potter since their decoration is fairly consistent.The Manchurian cranes that feature on all three pieces symbolised longevity of life, while the chrysanthemum was a symbol of purity.
Gold enamels were first added during the latter part of the 1700's but were used sparingly at first.
During the Meiji Restoration period (1868-1912) pieces are often decorated with floral designs and to a lesser extent with birds and fish.
It was not until about 1850 that human figures, warriors and saintly figures appeared within the designs.
Most of the early decorations were floral designs with birds and butterflies.
By 1800, geometric and other repetitive patterns, known as diapers, and landscape were included to the overall designs.