2016-2017 Lecture Series: Netsuke- Recorded Version
 
Registration Information
September 26, 2016 | 5:50pm -
The National Arts Club
15 Gramercy Park South
Sculpture Court
New York, NY
10003

Netsuke: An Overview
Dieuwke Eijer

Netsuke – Japanese toggles – have been actively collected in Europe since the early 19th century and in the US since after Commodore Perry forced Japan to open its borders to the Western trade in 1853.

The early European collections were rather small in scale, but as the number of Westerners traveling to and in Japan steadily grew after 1860, so did the number of netsuke in Western collections. To people with a less sophisticated eye, simple but original pieces were sold, as well as pieces that were created
for them right then and there. Pieces of much better quality, both antique and contemporary, were sold to people really interested in the culture and with a discerning eye. By the end of the 19th century and in the early 20th century, a new generation of netsuke carvers became active. These carvers made pieces in which tradition and fresh ideas were combined and that appealed to both the domestic and foreign markets. To this day new netsuke are produced for di erent purposes, of varying quality.

Today, collectors, appraisers and dealers have to deal with this variety of pieces, all called ‘netsuke’. This lecture will place the netsuke in their historical context, look at the di erent forms, qualities and purposes of netsuke and discuss how the future of collecting netsuke might be impacted by the ban on ivory sales. 

Dieuwke Eijer has been an independent researcher of Japanese traditional art, specifically of netsuke since 1992. She studied Japanese language and culture at the University of Leiden, Netherlands, graduating on the subject kagamibuta-netsuke in 1992. Eijer is also the daughter of netsuke collecting parents.

From 1995 she worked as head of the Asian Art department of the auction house Lempertz in Cologne, Germany, until she moved to New York in 2002. Together with her husband Eijer owns an online ‘gallery’ for Japanese antiques and art, by the name of ‘Welcome To Another Century’, specializing in Buddhist sculpture, Buddhist painting, Mingei and unusual objects.

Eijer has been cataloguing Japanese woodblock prints for the Lemperts auction house catalogues since 2002. She has also been the part-time assistant of one of New York’s Japanese art gallery owners since 2008. 

1.5 CE credits


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