Over the past century, Sotheby’s has provided unparalleled expertise in the appraisal and sale of Japanese works of art. With a specialisation in all works from the Jōmon to the Taishō periods (14,000 BCE to the 1920s), we are proud to have offered in our sale rooms some of the finest and rarest examples of Japanese art, including ceramics, lacquer, screens, Meiji period works of art, samurai armour and swords, and Edo and Meiji period woodblock prints.
We have had the privilege to auction many of the great collections of the 19th and 20th Centuries through landmark single owner sales. The important collection of Mr Henri Vever, offered in a 4-part series of sales, is widely regarded as among the greatest auctions held of Japanese prints. The George and Cornelia Wingfield Digby Collection sale inspired buyers with a unique curated group of fine Japanese ceramics. Other famous collections have included the late Charles A. Greenfield, Carlo Monzino, and further important print sales, including the Adolf Stoclet, the Huguette Berès and the Walter Amstutz collections, to name but a few.
In more recent years, the sales of the dogū from the Tsuneichi Inoue Collection, achieving a European record for Japanese works of art, and of a fine example of Katsushika Hokusai’s ‘Under the Great Wave off Kanagawa’ in Hong Kong have meant that Sotheby’s remains a leading player in the market for Japanese works of art. As such, our specialists are dedicated to researching and presenting the finest pieces to the market, and achieving exceptional sale results.
Sotheby's hosts sales of Japanese art twice a year in London, every May and November. In advance of our forthcoming sales, we would be delighted to provide you with a free and confidential valuation of your Japanese art.
Royal Collection Trust presents Japan: Courts and Culture
The Royal Collection contains one of the finest holdings of Japanese works of art in the western world. For the first time, highlights from across the collection are brought together in the new publication Japan: Courts and Culture, which tells the story of three centuries of diplomatic, artistic and cultural exchange between Britain and Japan. New research and stunning photography illustrate a royal narrative never before documented in a publication, as the relationship between the two ‘island nations’ develops from first encounters and early trade to diplomatic engagement and modern partnership.