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Antique Japanese vases sell for £7,400

PUBLISHED: 12:49 27 May 2016 | UPDATED: 12:49 27 May 2016

Antique Shibayama vases

Antique Shibayama vases


Art life: The latest art news from around the county. Antique Japanese vases

Objects like this stunning pair of inlaid ivory vases entranced Victorian and Edwardian visitors to Japan. Sparkling iridescent and semi-precious stones, mother-of-pearl, coral, turquoise and tortoiseshell, horn, jade, even gold and silver blend together to form unique masterpieces depicting traditional scenes including interiors, landscapes, flowers and animals.

Creator of the very finest examples was Shibayama Dosho, the head of a family of master ivory carvers who introduced the style in the 18th century. By the start of the 19th century the family business was flourishing and when Japan opened her doors to tourism and trade with the West some 40 years later, the resulting export boom saw his style copied by many craftsmen. Today, any Japanese ivory decorated in such a charming, individual manner is known among collectors as Shibayama.

General rules on valuing Shibayama relate to the variety and intricacy of inlay and the rarity of shape and form.

Inclusion of the more unusual types of inlay enhances prices, but do make allowances for damage, to which pieces are prone. The pair sold for £7,400.

To learn if your antiques are as valuable as these, visit us at one of our free Friday morning valuation days. The service runs from 10am-1pm, and it’s free and without obligation.

For more information, please call 01227 763337.


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