These miniature Iris bulbs were planted in late winter and two months later after being kept in the dark they were brought out as they had reached a good length,. Within 10 days the bulbs flowered. Interestingly with Bulb pots these will grow at different times and you can see new shoots coming up through the planting. The beauty of the flowers were well matched with the antique Chinese bulb pot from the early 19th century

Bulb pot/bulb bowl  including Orchid Pots collecting -While not actually Suibans , some bulb pots can indeed be used as Suibans for Suiseki

During the Chinese Song and Yuan Dynasties and later during the Qing Dynasty bulb bowls (or bulb pots) were used as containers for flower bulbs, such as narcissus. Narcissus blooms were particularly popular around the time of the lunar New Year (late January - February) when the Chinese celebrate the coming of spring. They look a lot like bonsai or Penjing pots in their architecture due to their shared characteristic of usually having feet but the similarity between the two types of vessels stops there, as bulb pots do not contain drainage holes.

Bulbs were planted in these pots and then forced into bloom using only a medium of gravel and water. The bulbs sat on top of the gravel and water was added to a level just below them assuring the bulbs did not rot but encouraging root formation instead.

Bulb pots although sharing similar architecture to bonsai pots (as stated above) are usually made of porcelain often featuring Polychrome enamelled decorations of one sort or another. The motifs encountered on these pots often feature Chinese figures and reflect the type of day to day activities of the period. Of course these attributes only increase the delight provided the collector of bulb pots.

Smaller or double walled pots are for Orchids and small pots with legs can be used for either.

Orchid Pots
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 Bulb pots from the late Vaughn Bantings collection

Vaughn lived in New Orleans and was a teacher of Bonsai to many folk including Gary Marchal. He became an authority on Bulb bowls and we often exchanged notes and images. I was happy to buy three of my favourites from his estate. He was a friend and we all miss him.

Some of the Bulb Pots here were part of the collection of Vaughn Banting (VB)who was a well known American  Bonsai artist and Bulb Bowl authority. I was fortunate to meet Vaughn during on my visits to N'Awlins where he lived. At that time I was both speaking at the New Orleans Bonsai Club and another time I was there photographing Vaughn's student, the internationally respected Bonsai Master Gary Marchal for my book, Bonsai Masterclass.

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(VB)Japanese Antique Porcelain Bulb Tray

Bought in Shanghai for Vaughn Banting

Wonderfully vibrant colours on this hand-painted porcelain antique bulb tray from Japan. Three figures are shown standing on large leaves as they travel across water. Reverse shows figures amid craggy rocks. Interesting geometric banding around rim and base. This footed bulb dish (or bulb pot) with no drain was designed as a dish for forcing bulbs.Circa 1750-1800

Width: 9" (23cm)
Depth: 5.5" (14cm)
Height: 3.5" (9cm)

£575 plus shipping Sale price £330 including shipping



(VB) Chinese Double-Coin "Good Fortune" Bulb Pot for Orchids
Beautiful hand-painted porcelain double walled bulb dish with narrow mouth and wide brim. Double-Coin design invokes good fortune. Slight texturing in porcelain of coins and floral designs. Top rim features four panels of floral scenes set among the water and wave background. Chrysanthemum flowers adorn each corner. Good Feng Shui elements. A row of Odontoglossom orchids would look outstanding in this dish. Orchids like to be a little tight in their pots. Orchids transferred to overly large pots tend to concentrate their energy on root growth and may not show new growth.No Chips. Two hairline glaze lines in the inner well, but does not leak. This footed bulb dish (or bulb pot) with no drain was designed as a dish for orchids. Circa 1820

Width: 9.25" (23.5cm)
Depth: 5.5" (14cm)
Height: 2.75" (7cm)

£450 plus shipping  Sale price £290 including shipping


(VB) Japanese Antique Blue and White Bulb Pot that would also be used for orchids

This antique porcelain "bulb pot" was designed for planting and forcing bulbs to provide beauty in the home. It has a cobalt blue under-glaze and is decorated with floral motifs with a white over-glaze. Similar to a bonsai pot, but without a drain. No cracks or chips. Circa 1800

Glazed Ceramic (Sizhuan)

Width: 7.25" (18.5cm)
Depth: 5" (12.5cm)
Height: 2.25" (5.5cm)

£495 plus shipping Sale price £295 including shipping





Chinese Famile Rose Bulb Pot c 1900
with no chips, cracks, or repairs. £475 plus shipping Sale price £300 including shipping

2¾ inch highx9.3 inch longx7 inch wide

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Meiji Era 1860-1900, this pot is circa 1880. Shallow pot better used for orchids or small bulbs

Thank goodness past owners left the old staple repair alone on one foot of this stately 19th century orchid or bulb pot (as well as for Ikebana -a tray for live flower arrangements). First of all it is quite unobtrusive, but more importantly it is one of the better clues to accurate dating of the piece, which otherwise is in uncommonly good condition for its age. At first glance the swirling sometsuke (under glaze blue on white) pattern brought to mind a Chinese early Quing Dynasty narcissus bowl, but the distinctive feet are historically more consistent with Japanese designs for such porcelain forms, including the related bonsai pot. A most distinguished example of the porcelain arts. SIZE: 9 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches. CONDITION: Very good. Slightly uneven stance due to hand potting and staple repair on foot has been offset with a felt pad, as shown. Expected small firing flaws. Minor water staining inside. No other damage observed.

£425 PLUS SHIPPING  Sale price £210 including shipping

A very rare and simply gorgeous Japanese Bulb or Orchid pot similar to the previous one. Early Meiji around 1860 10.5 x 3.5 inches. No damage. Enamelled design of wisteria along and over the edge of the pots rim. The colours are outstanding and this pot is so good it quite happily stands alone as an artwork in itself.

£495 Plus shipping Sale price £300 including shipping


3.25x2.25x1.75 inches

A charming little bulb bowl from the 18th century. Pink glaze on white porcelain £45 Now £29 including shipping

Stand is sold separately is a beautiful hand carved miniature Daiza £75

Plum Blossom mini bulb bowl. This size is rare and because its small is often overlooked as a bulb bowl. However its for a tiny display of miniature flowers. Small really is beautiful


This is an antique Chinese porcelain export bowl dating to the mid 19th C. C.1850's This porcelain bowl is decorated with several Chinese period style goldfish in a traditional imperial design and is a very nice bowl 

Size: 8" x 5 3/4" x 2 1/2" tall.  £350 plus Post at cost. Courier £50

Sale price now £180 including shipping


Packed in foam


An antique Chinese porcelain Orchid Pot

Hand painted  with 8 panels featuring flora and landscapes.

Small surface chip and hairline glaze crack to one corner of pot.

Marked on the base with a sticker from previous owner who has tried to decipher it.

14 cm by 10 cm by 6 cm. £145 Sale price now £70 including shipping

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This is an antique Chinese porcelain Orchid bowl dating to the mid 19th C. C.1850's and it is decorated in raised enamel glaze of a floral design...

 Size:7 1/2" x 6 1/4" x 2 1/2" tall. £230 plus shipping  Sale price now £140 including shipping



Click for a big picture

plus shipping 

Sale price now £85 including shipping

March 2012 LARGE Square Bulb pot planted with small Narcissus-more information and pictures to come
£210 plus shipping  Sale price now £140 including shipping




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Specially selected very beautiful small antique accent items for
Bonsai Display or Tokonoma
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Tokonoma Settings in the Kobayashi Bonsai Museum in Tokyo-Click for a bigger image

































































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