This month’s Focus On:
Japanese bronze vases.
Japanese bronze vases and what you should consider before you start a collection.
Using bronze vessels.
The practice of using bronze vases for flower arrangments probably dates back to the 14th or 15th century.
Is there a period I should focus on?
Bronzes have been in production for hundreds of years. Start with a particular period you are drawn to. You can always expand your collection as you become more knowledgeable.
Handle as many pieces as possible.
This best way to become familiar with what you want to collect is by being exposed to it. Handle as many pieces as possible. Visit antique stores, museums, and auction houses. Auction houses are ideal places to visit as it allows you examine the items up close. Take note of the weight, proportion and the various patinas available.
Buy what resonates with you.
Consider this an investment in well-being. Surrounding yourself with objects of beauty and history that inspire you. And remember, buy the best your budget allows.
There are many shapes and forms in Japanese bronzes. Here are a few of the more popular ones.
popular shapes from left to right
trumpet, pear, bronze with inset, ovoid, and beaker
You always want to purchase an item that is free of major defects. While anything with dents or missing parts should make one think twice before purchasing, surface scratches or a dull patina can easily be remedied.
When do bronzes date from?
The use of bronze to make swords and personal items began sometime during the 3rd century B.C. We start to see the use of bronze to create ritual vessels and ultimately as a decorative container to hold flower arrangements around the 8th century.
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
Keep interested in what you collect. Visit antique trade shows, auctions, and museums. Finally, learn as much as you can on what you collect.
What should a collector look out for?
Aside from your own sense of aesthetics you need to consider quality, rarity, and condition
Quality vs. trends
Current trends are now focused on Chinese goods. The demand for these items is driving up the prices and placing them out of most collectors’ reach. Now is the perfect time to invest in quality Japanese bronze vases.