A selection of the Japanese inrōs to be offered at Mallams on May 2.

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The items were in the collection of Michael Tomkinson (1841-1921). Tomkinson and partner William Adam (1828-98) produced woven Axminster carpets in Kidderminster and by 1876 had 800 employees.

Tomkinson later acquired a reputation as a serious collector of Japanese works of art which he displayed at his home Franche Hall in Kidderminster.

Franche Hall in Kidderminster

A photo of Franche Hall in Kidderminster where Japanese art collector Michael Tomkinson (1841-1921) stored his collection.

His collection included ceramics, ivories, swords, textiles, lacquers, and numerous other Japanese works of art and his interest was reflected in a printed two-volume catalogue A Japanese Collection, published in 1898.

The collection to be offered at Mallams on May 2 will include a special edition of that catalogue printed on Indian paper and signed and dedicated by the author to his son Raymond Tomkinson in 1899. It is number seven of a limited edition of 200 and estimated at £1500-2500.

The collection is being sold by a direct descendant of Tomkinson.

A Japanese Collection

Michael Tomkinson (1841-1921) catalogue 'A Japanese Collection', published in 1898. This is an inscribed copy, number seven of a limited edition of 200, estimated at £1500-2500 at Mallams.