The V&A first acquired Japanese cloisonné enamels from the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1867. Here we present a potted history of the development of this fascinating and beautiful decorative technique in Japan.
History of Cloisonné in Japan
With the exception of an enamelled mirror in the collection of the Shōsōin, the repository of Imperial treasures in Nara, there are few early examples of Japanese enamelling apart from small door fittings with enamelled designs in the Phoenix Hall (1053) of the Byōdōin Temple near Kyoto...
The V&A's collection of Japanese art and design is one of the largest in Britain. It includes ceramics, lacquer, arms and armour, woodwork, metalwork, textiles and dress, prints, paintings and sculpture. An active programme of acquiring modern and contemporary studio crafts has resulted in the V&A having one of the most prestigious holdings of this material outside Japan.