Loading Spinner

Japanese Art & Antiques

Japanese art dates back to as early as the 10th millennium B.C. It is unique in its constant absorption, adaptation, and diversion from outside influencing and invading cultures. Japanese painting stemmed from Buddhist Chinese influence, bronze work was initiated by the Koreans, and constant simultaneous assimilation and rejection of Western missionary oil painting styles characterize the timeline of Japanese art history. While much of Japan's art history is influenced by religion, it is the country's secular artwork that is perhaps the most influential, including theater, wood-block printing, bronze work, poetry, clothing, accessories, and masks.

While early bronze works in Japan indicate a struggle to use the medium, by the first century A.D., the Japanese were able to create arrowheads, daggers, swords, spearheads, and other weapons. By the second century A.D., the Japanese produced geometric-patterned ceremonial bells, and the century after further perfected the art, producing bells with thinner walls. Bronze mirrors are an excellent example of the intricate bronze work of Japan. With one side polished to a very reflective sheen, the other side is decorated with geometric shapes and natural motifs that stemmed from traditional literature. Many bronze mirrors feature handles within the first century A.D.

Another artistic strength in Japan is fashion, most notably the inro and its accessories. These boxes were fastened to the kimono belt, which lacked pockets. In order to fasten an inro to the kimono, it was tied to a netsuke, which anchored the inro in place above the belt, while the ojime bead kept the inro securely shut. As kimonos are no longer in fashion, ojime are no longer of functional use barring ceremonial practices. However, intricately carved and decorated ojime remain a unique decorative collectible.

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

bp parity badge
Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865) - Lot consisting of two woodcuts, Japan, Meiji period
Feb 21, 10:00 AM EST
Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865) - Lot consisting of two woodcuts, Japan, Meiji period
by Eldred's
Est: $120- $240
$2003 Bids
Antique Japanese Hand-Painted Anatomical Model on Stand, with accessories
Aug 19, 2:15 PM EDT
Antique Japanese Hand-Painted Anatomical Model on Stand, with accessories
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $300- $400
$1000 Bids
Antique Japanese Hand-Painted Anatomical Model on Stand, with accessories
Aug 19, 2:15 PM EDT
Antique Japanese Hand-Painted Anatomical Model on Stand, with accessories
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $300- $400
$1000 Bids
AN IMARI-PALETTE SLENDER VASE AND AN IMARI JAR AND A COVER The vase, 17th century; the jar, Kangxi; the cover later
Mar 10, 11:00 AM EDT
AN IMARI-PALETTE SLENDER VASE AND AN IMARI JAR AND A COVER The vase, 17th century; the jar, Kangxi; the cover later
by Figlio Designs Auctioneers and Appraisers
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$2,5000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Art & Antiques


Eldred's

Eldred's

Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists

Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists

Figlio Designs Auctioneers and Appraisers

Figlio Designs Auctioneers and Appraisers