In the mid seventeenth Century the shaving basin, made in silver or pewter, was a widespread article of use. The first mention of porcelain barber's basins is in 1669, when the records of the Dutch porcelain trade reveal an order of fifty Chinese pieces for the medicine shop at Batavia. In the following Century a small but steady supply of both Chinese and Japanese shaving basins were brought to Europe. The Japanese models usually had two holes on the rim opposite the neckpiece, as in the present lot, which were made for a cord to be suspended from the neck of the man who was being shaved. In the Chinese barber's bowls these holes were normally made in the foot ring. See D.S. Howard, The Choice of the Private Trader, 1994, p. 226-27 and D.S. Howard & J. Ayers, China for the West, p. 134.
Imari porcelain is named after a Japanese port from where the porcelain was shipped to Nagasaki for export by the Dutch V.O.C. The typical Imari palette with iron-red and gilt on underglaze-blue became popular in Dutch Interiors and was much in demand in Europe during the 18th Century.