Japanese Works of Art


A renewed energy is returning to the Japanese works of art market. At a time when the best Chinese works of art are undeniably expensive, some collectors are casting their net wider to embrace other aspects of the vast Asian art panoply. Sworders’ continued championing of ‘value for money’ Japanese works of art has been rewarded with some strong results for top-drawer Meiji period (1868-1912) metalwork and Satsuma in particular. Sold in November 2021, a silver and gold inlaid iron vase with a design of cranes signed Gyokutosai (£2,860) and a Satsuma vase signed Meizan (£1,820) were both signs of a return to form in this area.

There is also a thriving market for Japanese modern and contemporary paintings – in May 2020 we took £14,300 for Homage, an ink painting by Toko Shinoda (b.1913) – while earlier works from the Edo period can also bring impressive sums.

Unusually for an Asian art sale, the top price at Sworders' May 2019 sale was for a Japanese work of art – a rare early to mid-17th century export ware lacquer casket decorated in gold hiramaki-e, takamakie and nashiji techniques on a black ground. It sold well above estimate to a Hong Kong buyer bidding via the internet at £51,040.

To find out more about our forthcoming sales or talk further about potential consignments, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our specialist team.


Results & Highlights

Our specialists

Our specialists hold regular valuation days. Please contact us for more information, or complete the online form to enquire about the valuation of your items. 

Yexue Li

Yexue Li
Asian Art

T: 01279 817778
E: yexueli@sworder.co.uk

Luan Grocholski

Luan Grocholski
Asian Art

T: 01279 817778
E: luangrocholski@sworder.co.uk

In association with

Asian Art in London

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