Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Tobacco jar and stand with butterflies and flowers



  • cloisonné

    Decorative technique in which wires are attached to a metal body and coloured enamels are applied between the wires.


    • Second floor | Room 36 | Japan

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


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  • Japanese Decorative Arts of the Meiji Period 1868-1912 by Oliver Impey and Joyce Seaman

    Japanese Decorative Arts of the Meiji Period

    Square tobacco jar on a flat square tray with butterflies on a yellow ground.

    Cloisonné enamel was little used in Japan until the 1830s, when the first three-dimensional objects were made; the early pieces were muddy coloured and much use was made of wire to prevent slippage of the colours. The craft progressed fast and within sixty years was one of the finest of Meiji art-crafts.

    The flocculent yellow ground is typical of the work of Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927) in the 1880s; this is simpler than most and must data from early in the decade. The museum owns Yasuyuki's handwritten receipt for this, which gives the day and the month but not, sadly, the year. This receipt enables us to identify other early and unsigned pieces by him.

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