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Japanned spill vases


Pair of Spill Vases 1880-1890, decorated with Japanese figures

Although these vases may look Japanese, they were actually made in Wolverhampton.  They are the product of a Japanned ware industry that thrived in the town during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Japanned ware developed as an imitation of lacquered goods imported from Japan, China and India, although over time, the Midlands industry developed it’s own styles and processes.

These vases are transfer printed and decorated with various coloured metals.

The patterns that decorate them tell us more about the ‘exotic East’ of European imagination than life in late nineteenth-century Japan: the traditional view of Japanese society depicted was already out of date when they were made.

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