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MEIJI NO TAKARA – Treasures of Imperial Japan; Enamel

Meiji No Takara – Treasures of Imperial Japan


Oliver Impey and Malcolm Fairley with
a contribution by Jack Hillier

Published 1994

Japanese cloisonné enamels were a technical triumph of the Meiji (1868–1912) and Taisho (1912–26) periods, and the 107 examples (of near-300 in the collection) reproduced in this volume offer an unrivalled panorama of achievement centred around the work of three artists: Namikawa Yasuyuki, Namikawa Sosuke, and Ando Jubei.

The Collection includes a large number of works by each of them, making it possible to establish the first reliable chronology for the development of enamelling in Japan.

An introductory essay traces the history of the craft from the first experiments of Kaji Tsunekichi in the 1840s and 1850s and identifies three strands of stylistic evolution that took place from the 1860s; the conservative, the pictorial and the exotic.

An essay by the great British scholar Jack Hillier traces the relationship between Sosuke and the painter Watanabe Seitei.

This volume, combining magnificent colour reproduction with pioneering scholarship, will serve as the essential guide to a little-known facet of Japan’s artistic achievement.

About the author(s)

The late Dr Oliver Impey = Senior Curator, Ashmolean Museum; Reader in Japanese Art, University of Oxford

Malcolm Fairley – Formerly of Sotheby’s and Barry Davies Oriental Art; now co-owner of the Asian Art Gallery, London

The late Jack Hillier – Renowned art historian and author of many publications on Japanese art


320 pages; fully illustrated in colour; 40 x 30 cm; hardback with slipcase; 1994; ISBN: 978-1-874780-03-8


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