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Meiji Antiquities

MEIJI STYLE

From 1868 to 1912, Emperor Mutsuhito oversaw an era of transformation in Japan. Formerly a country of feudalism and isolation, Japan entered an age of modernization influenced by newly established trade and exchange with the West. The Meiji period, or period of “enlightened rule,” also saw the global impact of the East Asian country’s culture. Japanese Meiji furniture was exhibited at expositions from Paris to San Francisco and created for export.

Prior to the Meiji era, furniture was mostly made by commission for the ruling class; now there were new domestic and international markets. European styles like Japonisme appropriated Japanese design while craftsmen in places like Wales and England employed japanning, a varnishing technique that approximated the appearance of lacquer for the surfaces of furnishings.

Meiji furniture made for Japanese homes and buildings constructed in Western styles resulted in taller tables, chairs, cabinets with large drawers and other features. The government invested in areas such as transportation and communication, and because people could freely choose occupations after the restrictions of feudalism, industries of various types were energized by expressive new ideas during those years. Art schools were formed and, for the first time, design was an area of study in the country, leading to the evolution of professional design as a career by the 1890s.

The work of Japanese designers was transmitted widely through lavishly illustrated pattern books that included designs for screens and lacquerware for the home. While screens today may be of use as decorative accents or partitions to ensure privacy in one’s space, Japanese screens were adorned with paintings and were featured in performing arts such as concerts, tea ceremonies and more. The color illustrations that characterize Meiji woodblock prints, a genre of Japanese art that grew out of 17th-century developments in printing and book publishing, depicted the sweeping changes that the era brought to East Asia.

Although it was a time of societal and cultural shifts, a bolstered interest in art and design elevated Japanese craft traditions. From colorful porcelain table lamps with silk shades and hardwood tables decorated with dark lacquer to cabinets featuring iron hardware and inlaid with mother-of-pearl, Meiji furniture showcased Japan’s artistic heritage to the world.

Find a collection of antique Japanese Meiji period case pieces and storage cabinets, decorative objects, wall decorations and more furniture on 1stDibs.

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Style: Meiji
Japanese Antique Wooden Block Exhibition Stand 1860s-1920s / Primitive Wabisabi
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
This is a very old Exhibition stand made in Japan. It is from the Meiji period. (1860s-1920s) The material is horse chestnut. It is a hard and durable material that grows wild only i...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Wood

Meiji-Era Japanese Wooden Plant Pot – Timeless Elegance for Your Greene
Located in Hamburg, DE
Introducing our unique Japanese Meiji-era elevated wooden plant pot. Crafted with exquisite attention to detail, the lower base features elegantly blackened metal with a striking wav...
Category

1880s Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Metal

Hanakago (flower Basket) For Ikebana, Japan Late Meiji Era
Located in Saverne, Grand Est
Rare gourd-shaped basket (hyotan) in smoked bamboo (suzudake) used in the traditional Japanese art of flower arranging (ikebana), attached to a support made of twisted branches. Fine...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Bamboo

Japanese Antique Wooden Horse Tricycle 1860s-1900s / Sculpture Wabisabi
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
Very old tricycle with wooden horse made in Japan. It is from the Meiji period (1860s-1900s). It is made of iron, cedar wood, straw, and paper. In Japan at that time, only a few wea...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Iron

Japanese Antique Wabi Sabi Wooden Board 1860s-1900s / Exhibition Stand Mingei
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
This is a very old Japanese workboard. It was made during the Meiji period (1860s-1900s). It is made of pine wood. It was originally a workboard for kneading wheat. Through years of...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Pine

Japanese Meiji Mixed Metals Plate with Birds and Foliage
Located in Louisville, KY
This stunning work of Japanese metal work is brilliant in detail and craftsmanship. Made of copper, bronze and perhaps other metals, the imagery cr...
Category

Late 19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Metal, Copper, Bronze

Japanese Antique Plaster Exhibition Stand 1860s-1900s / Mingei Wabisabi
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
This is a very old plastered stand made in Japan. This item is from the Meiji period (1860s-1900s). The wooden frame is made of cedar wood. It seems to have originally been a small ...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Plaster, Cedar

Antique Japanese Export Meiji High Relief Dragon Carved Throne Chair.
Located in Nantwich, GB
An impressive Imperial Meiji period Japanese throne chair which is finely and lavishly carved with dragons holding the eternal pearl in their mouths. ...
Category

19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Wood

Japanese Antique Tree Bark Basket 1860s-1920s / Plant Cover Bowl Wabisabi
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
This basket is made of very old tree bark. It is from the Meiji period (1860s-1920s). It seems to be a very rare tool that was made only in certain areas in the Tohoku region. It se...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Wood

Japanese Old Wooden Octagonal Display Stand / 1880-1920 / Withered Small Stand
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
This is an old Japanese octagonal pedestal. The Material is zelkova wood. It is believed to have been made between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century...
Category

Late 19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Wood

Japanese Antique Wooden Boat 1860-1900s / Wood Bowl Wabi Sabi Mingei
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
This is a very old Japanese wooden boat. It is a piece of furniture from the Meiji period (1860s-1900s). It is made of cedar wood. We found it in an old house along the overseas in ...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Cedar

Vintage Japanese Hand-Carved Zelkova Wood Vessel Planter
Located in Asheville, NC
This antique Japanese mortar is hand-carved from the Meiji Period (1868-1912). It is made of the most stunning Zelkova wood with incredible texture. The staples were newly applied in...
Category

Mid-20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Wood

Antique Japanese Zelkova Wood Mortar Vessel
Located in Asheville, NC
This antique Japanese mortar is hand-carved from the Meiji Period (1868-1912). It is made of the most stunning Zelkova wood with incredible texture. The staples were newly applied in...
Category

1890s Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Wood

Japanese Meiji Dressing Stand with Mirror Black Lacquer
By Vintage Japanese Monochrome
Located in Valladolid, ES
Elegant and beautiful Dressing Table or it could be suitable for a jewellery box , Meiji Period ( 1868 - 1912 ). Executed with black lacquer, holding a bronze hand mirror ( ekagami) Configured with five smooth-running drawers of different Size. Two are equipped with slender "hirute"-shaped bail handles and three with decorative pull-rings. The front-and backside featuring oval grips for easy transport. Surmounted by a mirror frame in a shape reminiscent of a Shintô shrine torii-gate- a twin-posted framework with a triangular crossbar flared in upswept Chinese-style gable ( Karahafu) endings. Resting of the frame is the Japanese traditional handheld mirror with auspicious embossed design of wisteria ( fuji) and lovely patina. Inscription on the right. Considering its age the set is in a very good condition with some traces of usage and wear conform age. Dimensions: Dressing stand...
Category

1880s Dutch Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Bronze

Antique Japanese Bamboo Spinning Wheel
Located in Santa Cruz, CA
Japanese Bamboo Spinning Wheel Mingei (Folk Craft) utilitarian tool traditionally used for everyday spinning. It has Wonderful Patina due to many year...
Category

Late 19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Bamboo, Wood, Cedar

Andrianna Shamaris Antique Wood Chest
Located in New York, NY
Beautiful antique chest with remnants of the original color. We only source the best. This bench was sourced in the spirit of Wabi-Sabi, a J...
Category

1950s Japanese Vintage Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Wood, Reclaimed Wood

Japan 1890 Meiji Shibayama Round Urn in Gilded Wood and Sterling Silver
Located in Miami, FL
Shibayama urm from the Japan meiji (1858-1912) period. Gorgeous piece of art, created in the imperial Japan during the Meiji period, circa 1890. This is a little urn with a lid crafted in gilded wood, shibayama panels and sterling silver. Composed by a four footed round vase with two sterling silver handles in the shape of trees and the lid on top accented with the figure of a crab in sterling silver. The gilded wood is decorated with flowers, sea patterns and the imperial flower...
Category

1890s Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Multi-gemstone, Gold, Silver, Sterling Silver, Gold Leaf

Japanese Antique Wooden Small Drawer Chest / 1800s / Wabi-Sabi Tansu
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
We have a uniquely Japanese aesthetic. And thanks to our Japanese sourcing channels and our experience, we are uniquely placed to introduce unique items that no one else can imitate...
Category

Late 19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Cedar

Japanese Antique Lacquered Maki-E Incense Case
Located in Chuo-ku, Tokyo
A work that shines with detailed expression typical of Japan. The design expressed on the lid is the famous "Kiyomizu temple" of Kyoto.
Category

19th Century Chinese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Wood

Japanese Antique Black Wooden Box 1860s-1900s/Sofa Table Tansu Mingei Storage
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
This is an old Japanese black wooden box. It is from the Meiji period (1860s-1900s). The material is cedar. This is black and beautiful. After many years of use, it has become a very...
Category

Late 19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Wood

Japanese Antique Paper Tray 1860s-1900s/Mingei Wabi-Sabi Object
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
This is a very old Japanese paper plate. It is from the Meiji period (1860s-1900s). It is made of thick paper and very solid. It is called a "cocoon dish. It was used to collect s...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Paper

Japanese Antique Wooden Mortar 1860s-1900s/Flower Pot Primitive Wabi-Sabi Mingei
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
Very old Japanese wooden mortar. It is from the Meiji period (1860-1900s). The material is cedar. It is a rare shape that can only be made in t...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Cedar

Japan Satsuma Porcelain Vase and Golden Metal 19th Century
Located in Beuzevillette, FR
Large Satsuma porcelain vase from the Meiji on a gilt metal frame from the Napoleon III period. On one side of the vase is represented a deity, probably ...
Category

19th Century Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Metal

Japanese Old Folk Tools 1860s-1900s/Antique Mingei Object Wabi-Sabi Primitive
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
It is a very old Japanese folk tool. It is from the Meiji period (1860s-1900s). It is a very rare item. The detailed use is unknown. It may be a candlestick. It is a combination of ...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Cedar

Fine Cloisonne Lidded Box, Japan, Meiji Era, with Phoenix Decoration
Located in Hamburg, DE
Fine Japanese cloisonne lidded box from the Meiji period. The small box stands on three brass feet. The lid, also made of brass, has a small flowe...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Brass, Enamel

Four Seasons Flower and Birds Enamel Designed Silver Incense Burner, 19C
Located in Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Incense burner inlaid with cloisonne enamel on silver, made in the Meiji period. This is a gem of the Meiji period by Ipposai. The circular body, has eight demensions with four l...
Category

19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Silver

Antique Japanese Standing Samurai Foot Soldier, Circa 1870-1880
Located in Savannah, GA
Antique Japanese standing samurai foot soldier, Circa 1870-1880.  
Category

Late 19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Porcelain

Japanese Antique Drum-Shaped Bronze Box, Meiji Period
Located in Chuo-ku, Tokyo
An excellent work of metalwork inlay in the Meiji era. It's shaped in a traditional Japanese drum. The grape motif is expressed by "takaniku-zougan...
Category

19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Bronze

Japanese Maki-E Lacquer Stand with Pine-Tree and Fenix Design, Meiji Period
Located in Chuo-ku, Tokyo
This maki-e stand expressed by a graceful curve was made in Meiji period. This type of stand is displayed as a central table in the most important part of Japanese alcove. It fe...
Category

19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Wood, Lacquer

Japanese Antique Wooden Object
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
An old tool for making textiles in Japan. It's a very rare object. The light and shadow that pass through the even holes are very beautiful. A nice art ob...
Category

Late 19th Century Asian Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Oak

Japanese Samurai Doll or Figure, Meiji Period, Circa 1830
Located in Savannah, GA
Japanese Samurai Doll or Figure, Meiji Period, circa 1830. Skirt purple and red colors.  
Category

Early 19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Porcelain

Antique Large Pair of Japanese Bronze Mixed Metal Vases Meiji
Located in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
Antique large pair of fine quality Japanese bronze mixed metal vases C1910 Meiji Period. Fine artist pieces with signatures on the bases. Would look amazing in the right location...
Category

1910s Japanese Vintage Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Bronze

Antique Bronze Vase Cloisonné Japan Meiji 19th Century Japanese
Located in Amsterdam, Noord Holland
Absolute top Quality vase with superb decoration of flowers Cloisonné is a way of enamelling an object, (typically made of copper) whereby fine wires are used to delineate the dec...
Category

19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Porcelain

Antique ca 1900 Japanese Satsuma Obiyama Candle Holders Richly Decorated Marked
Located in Amsterdam, Noord Holland
Description Sharing with you is this nice pair of Japanese Satsuma candle holders, Obiyama, Meiji/Taisho period. Absolute top quality pieces. ...
Category

19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Porcelain

Meiji Era circa 1900 Antique Japanese Bronze Sea Dragon 3-Arm Candelabra
Located in Tustin, CA
Magnificent and powerful, fantastically sculptural, ferocious bronze Japanese writhing sea dragon candleholder is coiled around itself, with an uplifted head and a stylized plume of ...
Category

Late 19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Bronze

Japanese Antique Farming Tools / Vine Knitting Bag / Wall Hanging Flower Case
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
We have an aesthetic sense peculiar to Japanese people. And we introduce the unique items that only we can do, the route of purchasing in Japan, the experience value so far, and the...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Natural Fiber

19th Century Chinese Export Royal Crane Vase Table Lamp
Located in Savannah, GA
In the Chinese culture cranes are the symbols of longevity. This ceramic vase was converted into a table lamp and features a pair of cranes with flowers on a decorative filigree bras...
Category

1880s Chinese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Brass

Japanese Lacquered Altar Table, Meiji Period, Late 19th Century
Located in New York, NY
A Japanese lacquered altar table, Meiji Period, late 19th century. Exquisitely carved dragon design in the front, black / red lacquer and gilt trimmings.
Category

1880s Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Wood

Pair of 14‘’ Large Japanese Golden Black Lacquer Cover Boxes
Located in Brea, CA
A pair of large Japanese golden black lacquer cover boxes, very big beautiful pieces. possibly 19th century, each 14 inch diameter x 10 inch high, one ...
Category

Late 19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Lacquer

Rare Japanese Meiji Period circa 1870 Pair of Bronze Dragon Candlestick Holders
Located in GB
Wimbledon-Furniture We are delighted to offer for sale this very rare original pair of Japanese Meiji bronze candlestick holders wrapped with dragons circa 1870 A lovely decor...
Category

1870s Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Bronze

Japanese Bronze Vessel with Dragon Handles and Falcon Lid
Located in Greenwich, CT
Japanese bronze vessel with pair of dragon handles, falcon lid, birds in landscape and elephant heads base.
Category

1890s Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Bronze

Japanese Meiji Lacquer Writing Set
Located in New Orleans, LA
This remarkable Japanese portable writing set contains the instruments of sublime artistic expression. Also known as a yatate, this Meiji-period set i...
Category

19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Stone

Monumental and Massive Japanese Sakyamuni with Disciples Buddhist Painting
Located in Greenwich, CT
Monumental and massive Japanese Sakyamuni with disciples Buddhist painting. Very large massive Japanese Buddhist painting, painting on silk ...
Category

1880s Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Silk

Japanese Erotic Otofuku Folk Art Carving, Late Meiji Period, circa 1900
Located in Prahran, Victoria
Rare and highly unusual Japanese Folk Art wood carving depicting the folk heroine and good luck figure Otafuku with a finely painted erotic design on the interior and a carved inscri...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Cypress

Japanese Antique Wooden Board 1860s-1900s / Abstract Art Wabi Sabi
Located in Sammu-shi, Chiba
Since ancient times, people have created and passed down necessary tools from familiar materials to survive in the severe struggle against nature, and have nurtured a lifestyle cultu...
Category

Early 20th Century Japanese Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Cedar

Fine Quality Japanese Antique Gold Painted Satsuma Earthenware Flower Vase, Meij
Located in Chuo-ku, Tokyo
This work was produced in Kagoshima at the beginning of the Meiji era and exported to Europe. It is likely specially made by order from overseas. Despite being a masterpiece, i...
Category

19th Century Japanese Antique Meiji Antiquities

Materials

Earthenware

Meiji antiquities for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a broad range of unique Meiji antiquities for sale on 1stDibs. Many of these items were first offered in the Mid-20th Century, but contemporary artisans have continued to produce works inspired by this style. If you’re looking to add vintage antiquities created in this style to your space, the works available on 1stDibs include asian art and furniture, decorative objects, case pieces and storage cabinets and other home furnishings, frequently crafted with wood, metal and other materials. If you’re shopping for used Meiji antiquities made in a specific country, there are Asia, East Asia, and Japan pieces for sale on 1stDibs. While there are many designers and brands associated with original antiquities, popular names associated with this style include Andrianna Shamaris, and Vintage Japanese Monochrome. It’s true that these talented designers have at times inspired knockoffs, but our experienced specialists have partnered with only top vetted sellers to offer authentic pieces that come with a buyer protection guarantee. Prices for antiquities differ depending upon multiple factors, including designer, materials, construction methods, condition and provenance. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $250 and tops out at $85,000 while the average work can sell for $1,764.

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