Japanese Works of Art

The arts and antiques of Japan have been collected in the West ever since the country reopened its doors to trade with foreigners in the 1853. 

Japanese art spans early wood sculpture dating back to the Momoyama period and prized early porcelain from the Nabeshima or Kakiemon kilns. However many of the collectable categories of Japanese art date from the Meiji period (1868-1912) such as miniatures like netsuke and inro, metalwares, bronze sculptures, armour, swords and sword fittings such as tsuba.


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Sotheby's hoping to be big in Japan again with London sale

03 December 2018

For the first time in a decade, Sotheby’s Asian Art in London offering included a designated sale of Japanese art on November 6.

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Meiji cloisonné provides boost to English salerooms

03 December 2018

An unusual dish from the workshop of Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927) sold for £18,000 at Woolley & Wallis on November 14. But this was not the only example of top-tier Meiji cloisonné for sale last month.

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De Waal Netsuke collection brings welcome addition to Blythe Road auction

03 December 2018

A welcome addition to the November 21 Asian Works of Art sale at Matthew Barton (24% buyer’s premium) of 25 Blythe Road in west London were 79 netsuke from the collection belonging to Edmund de Waal, author of the bestselling memoir 'The Hare with Amber Eyes'. London Japanese art dealer Max Rutherston helped organise the sale and took this section of the auction.

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Netsuke portraying historical general appears in Cologne auction

19 November 2018

The sales of Asian art at Lempertz in Cologne traditionally devote a large selection to Japanese works of art and the auction on December 7-8 is no exception.

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Saleroom selection: 10 pieces of Asian art on offer in November 2018

01 November 2018

November is the UK’s busiest month of Asian art sales with a glut of auctions taking place in both London and the regions.

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De Waal netsuke at auction – minus hare with amber eyes

29 October 2018

Netsuke from the collection of ceramicist and author Edmund de Waal, made famous by the 2010 memoir 'The Hare with the Amber Eyes', go under the hammer in London.

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Foujita record brings many happy returns for Bonhams

13 October 2018

'La fête d’anniversaire' by the Japanese-French artist Léonard Foujita (1886-1968) sold for a hammer price of £6.1m (plus buyer's premium) to one of eight phone bidders at Bonhams’ Impressionist and Modern Art sale on October 11.

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Trio of shibayama sales reflects Japanese demand

08 October 2018

The growing momentum behind at least some Japanese works of art – given Sotheby’s seal of approval with the announcement of its first dedicated sale in 11 years (ATG No 2357) – has been noted at a lower level in provincial rooms for some time.

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Autumn Battersea fair puts the focus on Japonism

24 September 2018

Japonisme, western art inspired by Japanese art and design, is the theme of the next Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair in London’s Battersea. At the event, which runs from October 2-7, a showcase in the foyer focuses on pieces that reflect the influence of Japanese design on European interiors.

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Prints of the legendary 47 ronin feature in New York exhibition

17 September 2018

A series of woodblock prints by the Japanese artist Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) portrays the 47 ronin, a group of ferociously loyal samurai who famously avenged their master’s death.

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Who was Mondo? Japanese art dealer discovers unusual dragon sea king netsuke

13 August 2018

Dealer Rosemary Bandini, who specialises in Japanese netsuke, calls a figure that she sold recently one of her most frustrating yet intriguing discoveries to date.

Cloisonné enamel vases

Christie’s to celebrate anniversary of Japanese-French diplomatic relations with dedicated auction

27 July 2018

Auction house Christie’s will celebrate the 160th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and Japan with an auction called Japonisms at Christie’s Paris in November, writes Hannah Stokes.

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Mask netsuke prove a mixed bag but head is highlight

25 June 2018

The 195-lot collection of mask netsuke amassed by Swiss entrepreneur Peter Müller met with mixed success when offered by Matthew Barton (24% buyer’s premium).

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Results for Kakiemon and Meiji metalwork underline stronger market for Asia’s ‘second tier’

11 June 2018

Results for Kakiemon and Meiji metalwork underline stronger market for Asia’s ‘second tier’

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Dealer launches summer samurai expo in the Netherlands

08 May 2018

A Japanese art and antiques event focusing on the history of the samurai launches in Utrecht this summer.

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Kensington Church Street dealers ask trade to be vigilant following thefts

26 March 2018

A thief who targeted Kensington Church Street dealers is believed to have struck again.

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Unprecedented collection of maps of Japan offered by Daniel Crouch Rare Books in Tokyo

21 March 2018

Daniel Crouch Rare Books offers what is dubbed the largest collection of maps of Japan ever to come on the open market at this week’s Tokyo Book Fair.

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Netsuke fans look further afield

12 March 2018

With Bonhams the only one of the ‘big three’ in this market, other salerooms carve out a role...

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Sweet okimono success in Shropshire

12 March 2018

Widely exported during the Meiji period to a Western market newly awake to the skills of Japanese craftsmen, okimono now often appear at provincial salerooms.

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The importance of TEFAF Maastricht and my star item this year – images and video

26 February 2018

Here we ask the dealers who participated in ATG's Round Table discussion the reasons why they choose to stand at the fair and ask them to pick out a star item they are taking this year.

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