PASSION: The Collectors

Interest amongst western collectors in Japanese goods, particularly ceramic and porcelain, began in the late 16th century.  Competition from Chinese ceramics, which were superior in manufacture, cheaper to produce and available in larger quantities, had fuelled interest in Oriental design.  Japanese producers found it hard to compete with Chinese export wares.  However, they learnt from their designs, as did the European manufacturers to meet the demand from collectors.

It was in 1854 following the establishment of trade treaties, that Japanese imported goods began to flood the western markets.  Ukiyo-e prints used as packaging for ceramics fuelled the desire and interest for Japanese art in the west. In France the Japonisme movement developed alongside the growing demand for Japanese artefacts from western collectors.

In England it was the Great Exhibition of 1862 in London, which brought the design and craftsmanship of Japanese goods to the public’s attention.  Twenty years later Japanese artefacts were so in vogue with passionate collectors that Liberty of London began to import and sell Japanese goods.

Discover the objects in more detail:

Left Hand Side of Case

Centre of Case

Right Hand Side of Case