Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Japan-o-Files: Thrifting for Japanese Design

It's obvious from past posts and my art style that I have a fascination with Japanese Design.

Vintage Japanese Lamp

My latest find from Japan is this beautiful lamp. Assembled in Japan, likely in the 1960s, it's filled with subtle details.

Vintage Japanese Lamp
The scene from Mt. Fuji is hand-painted on glass for the background. Soft light emanates from the etched glass of the sides. The light bulb sits within the screened section. In the center is a beautiful golden pagoda, and beside it, a chrysanthemum.

Vintage Japanese Lamp
The lamp really warms up the room. I added my thrifted 1975 Barry Ross Screen print of Japanese maidens in the garden and my small collection of kokeshi dolls to the mix for a bed-side Japanese still life.

Vintage Japanese Lamp
When I prowl thrift stores I instinctively zero-in on the object from Japan, it's like I have a built in homing devise. It might not look Japanese, but I'll examine the object and note the "Made in Japan" stamp or etching every time.

I've decided to periodically post on my Japanese finds. I can't be the only Japanophile thrifaholic out there! Who else collects Japanese designs from the thrift stores? What do you hunt for?

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  1. oh wow i love japanese design and fashion :) it is hard to find stuff like tht here in the uk. i did find a lovely oil painting of a geisha tho :)

  2. What a great find. In thrift stores and garage sales I normally search for milk glass.

  3. That lamp is fabulous. It reminds me of a little souvenir mirrored shadow box I got in San Francisco when I was a little girl. Glass with a mirrored back, it had a painted scene and little figures inside. I loved it, and it must have gotten broken or something - otherwise, I think I would still have it. I have NEVER seen or found anything like it - and I can't figure out why that is!
    I don't even collect that type of thing - but I would have purchased that lamp you have, too!
    Very nice, and I love your little vignette.

  4. Heidi: I suspected this lamp was a souvenir and your post seems to confirm this. It has Japanese icons like the maiden in kimono, the golden pagoda, and the emperor's flower, the chrysanthemum.

    Little scenes in glass always fascinated me a child. Their delicate transient nature makes them that much more enchanting.

  5. I collect Japanese food from Asian markets, lol... I also have a sweet Japanese teapot that a friend thrifted and gave me as a graduation present :)

  6. really nice...New follower.. and looking forward to you swinging by....

  7. That lamp is too cool! (that's another of your lamps I'm lusting after - I want/love your coelacanth lamp too.) I love Japanese design.

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