A hardwood centre table Late Meiji Period
Lot 383W
A hardwood centre table Late Meiji Period
Sold for £1,750 (US$ 2,941) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Various properties
A hardwood centre table
Late Meiji Period
The circular top carved with Greek-key banding, the shaped apron carved with irises, on a large four-legged base carved with irises growing in a pond, terminating in large scroll feet with removable casts. 77.4cm x 136cm (30½in x 53½in).


  • 杜若模様木製円形テーブル 明治時代後期

    Historically, furniture never played a major role in Japanese decorative arts; (in contrast to the West) Japanese houses until the Meiji Period (1868-1912) contained little furniture. Apart from built-in cabinets, the furniture was low and largely portable, suitable for a floor-sitting society.

    When Japan, after more than 200 years of isolation, opened its ports to the West, foreigners who came to Japan, and who at first shipped furniture from their own countries to save on the high shipping costs, soon began to order pieces from Japanese craftsmen. Made according to Western designs, these pieces would be usually sold at auctions attended by Japanese second-hand shop owners, and dealers in new Western-style furniture, when their owners left Japan for their home country.

    Although traditional Japanese furniture was rectilinear and made in standard sizes, due to the increasing numbers of Western-style buildings in Japan, carved furniture was being produced more commonly. Japanese carved furniture designed specifically for the export market could be admired at numerous World Fairs that took place in the late 19th and early 20th century in Europe and America. This furniture was sculptural, flashy and often revealed features similar to those of the Western Baroque fashion. It was frequently decorated with Asian motifs such as dragons, ho-o birds as well as Greek-key border and flowers such as irises, cherry and chrysanthemums.

    For more information about Japanese export furniture see Yumiko Yamamori, 'Export Carved Furniture from the Meiji Period' in Orientations, May 2006 issue, vol.37, no.4.
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