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.


Inrōs

Japanese collection from the Axminster carpets family comes to auction in Cheltenham

09 April 2019

A collection of 29 Japanese objects including boxes – known as inrō – will be offered at auction at Mallams in Cheltenham next month.

Meiji vase

Renowned collector Nasser Khalili revealed as buyer of ‘lost’ monumental Meiji vase as he reunites it with original set

01 March 2019

The Khalili Collections revealed it was the buyer of the ‘lost’ monumental Meiji cloisonné vase that surfaced for sale in California last month.

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Two Meiji cloisonné masters emerge in the regions

18 February 2019

Two fine examples of Meiji period cloisonné brought similar multi-estimate sums at regional auctions earlier this month.

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New York gallery offers wide selection of Japanese prints in moving out sale

15 February 2019

A wide selection of Japanese prints from the 17th-21st centuries are on offer in New York next month as a leading Japanese art gallery prepares to enter its new premises.

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Seven fabulous fans going under the hammer this month

11 February 2019

With many fans going under the hammer in the coming weeks it is an ideal time to get more familiar with this market where examples can range in price from a few pounds to the high five figures.

Vase

Monumental Meiji vase 'rediscovered' in a Californian restaurant comes to auction

14 January 2019

For over a century, a monumental 8ft (2.44m) high Meiji cloisonné vase provided the focal point to one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s oldest restaurants.

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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.

Qianlong period washer

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.

Foujita

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.

Sotheby’s tests demand for Japanese art by holding first stand-alone sale for 11 years

03 September 2018

Sotheby’s is to test the temperature of the market for Japanese art with its first dedicated sale in London for more than a decade.

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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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