Buying Meiji period bronzesPosted on 16 March 2012
One of the first boxes contains these two beautiful Japanese bronze vases with carp. For those of you who have never really looked at Japanese bronzes before I will give you a quick run through what to look for. At a rapid gallop - basically (as the young say in every sentence) BASICALLY - the Japanese spent many centuries isolated from the world until 'opened up' to the West in 1868 by the Americans. Before this the country was controlled by various warrior overlords with private armies. For our purposes this meant that huge numbers of very skilled craftsmen were employed making arms and armour. Once trade with the West began these craftsmen turned to works of art. The best quality work therefore is generally considered to be Meiji period 1868-1912. Signatures help too - although there are so many and few of us can read them - but they show that the maker was proud of his work and considered it worthy of his name.
These vases tick two boxes - Meiji and signed.