The term japonisme has its origins in the 1850s when Japan opened its ports after more than 200 years as a ‘closed’ country. The 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration is being marked by a number of events this year.
The objects and art that flooded into Europe proved enormously influential to a range of artists from the Impressionists to the Glasgow School.
Most of the pieces in the Battersea fair showcase are 19th and 20th century works of western design. For example, Nick Jones offers an octagonal yellow marble-topped, wrought iron table by the French designer Raymond Subes, c.1928, for £3800, while Thomas Woodham-Smith brings a matched pair of ebonised Viennese settees, with their original striped velvet upholstery, made c.1910 and available for £11,500.
However, there are also a few examples of Japanese objects. First-time exhibitor Anthony Outred brings a late Edo period trunk, made c.1830. The red lacquer coffer features a continuous wave that extends around the sides and back and it was probably created to store the ceremonial robes of a feudal lord or highly placed dignitary.
Around the rest of the fair are 160 dealer stands from across the UK and Europe, which offer decorative objects and garden artefacts dating from the 17th century to around 1970 as well as paintings, prints and sculpture from the ancient to the contemporary.