|Japanese antiques have long been admired and
revered by antique collectors throughout the world, and the Japanese influence in
design and craftsmanship can be seen in antiques across all continents. Antique Central covers all areas of Japanese antique
collecting including Japanese furniture, antique Japanese porcelain and pottery, Japanese screens, as
well as collectible Japanese swords and armour, Japanese collectible dolls and toys, and other
decorative items with a
few notes on Japanese textiles and rugs. Many
antique collectors, as well as designers, are seeking these items for their artistic and aesthetic qualities,
using items such as beautifully aged carved panels or a Japanese tansu to
create cultural sophistication and warmth. We don't sell Japanese antiques, but have a wealth of information and guides to collecting
Japanese collectibles and antiques that will help in your selection.
What is especially attractive to collectors in regard to Japanese antiques is the ability to acquire collectible Japanese pieces, rich in
history, and of exceptional quality, beauty and artistry at more than reasonable prices. Antique Japanese elements, useful as well as
decorative, have long been a part of home decor and highly collectible, but there seems to be a current resurgence in using Japanese
pieces in new and bold ways within contemporary Western decor, incorporating objects such as a beautifully aged Japanese butcher
table and blue and white Japanese porcelain with traditional colors and simplistic shapes amongst a modern sofa and contemporary
A traditional Japanese antique screen becomes a backdrop to more modern textures and furniture shapes, giving the
decor a sophisticated look, but with a new and fresh approach. This new Asian look in the Americas is
achieved by incorporating every day Japanese antiques, such as garden stools, antique Japanese vase or pots, vintage Japanese lanterns, or perhaps a
Japanese bamboo ladder among the western styled interiors. And, reproductions of these types of Japanese antiques have begun to
emerge in many chain stores throughout the country.
But, as we stated before Japanese antiques are readily available to collectors, and often at very reasonable prices, making it much
smarter to invest in authentic antique Japanese pieces. The quality, in general, especially of collectible Japanese lacquered furniture, Japanese swords, screens, and porcelains are unsurpassed for they were the originators of the craft that influenced all other
Lacquer work originally came from the Orient and was most widely used in that part of the world. Japanese lacquer furniture consists
of several layers, as many as 200, of a refined hard resin from the Rhus vernicifera tree, which are decorated and inlaid with different
materials. Chinese and Japanese lacquer was first imported into Europe around 1600. The demand for antique Japanese furniture
was extremely high throughout Europe, and the early attempts by European furniture craftsmen to imitate the Japanese lacquer
technique, termed japanning, was inferior in application as well as quality of
craftsmanship for they had not discovered this most important ingredient. It wasn't until the early 18th century that European lacquer techniques began to rival those of Japan.
Japanese pottery is recorded to have been produced as early as 7500 B.C. Stoneware and glazing techniques were introduced from
Korea and China, respectively, in the early fifth century, and continued to strongly influence Japanese antiques, especially the glazed
pottery pieces made between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. Today many interior designers and collectors seek these types of
Japanese antique vases, bowls, pots, and other items to display among such design elements as raffia textures and zebra prints,
bringing a fresh and beautifully exotic approach to home interiors.
Antique Japanese fans, previously used as a tool within the Japanese culture for courtship, have caught the eye of many collectors
and are now one of most widely collected accessory items. The variety of Japanese fans is endless and consist of exquisite
materials of silk, ivory, mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell to lesser, and less expensive materials in gauze, satin, lace, and paper. The
hand-painted Japanese fans of earlier periods demand high prices, but more modern examples, especially paper are very affordable.
Another popular area in Japanese collectibles, the collecting of Japanese antique swords, is an art in
and of itself. If a letter of authenticity
accompanies the sword, one must know the native language to translate it. There is a multitude of classifications and sword ratings
used to authenticate the swords and sword smiths, and the translation of the words alone will confuse most collectors. Antique Central
has provided an informational basis for clarifying the terminology, but it is strongly advisable to study, research, handle examples and
seek expert opinion before purchasing an antique Japanese sword.
Highly decorated Japanese porcelain, along with the incredible textiles, fans and metalwork continue to inspire many of the designs of
Western and European countries. It is interesting to note that most Japanese homes were never elaborately adorned with the
Japanese wares we as collectors are so eager to acquire. The Japanese antiques that we are familiar with and the Japanese
collectibles that are most often seen in antique stores across the country were strictly produced for export.