Japanese Art Auction at Bonham’s, New Bond St

Kitaoji Rosanjin - Sakura

This week I’m living in the lap of luxury, thanks to Asian Art Week. No more obscure East End galleries you can only get to on the Overground – nowadays it’s Bond St all the way. Elegant premises and top of the range art. Nowhere more so than at Bonham’s, whose brand new £30 million headquarters building at 101 New Bond Street was officially opened  just two weeks ago by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London. And they’ve got not just one but two auctions of Japanese art this week. Talk about spoilt for choice! Continue reading

Japanese armour in Kensington

Usagi Juku armourI expect your idea of armour is the kind of solid, clanking metal suit you might find nowadays standing in the hall at a stately home. Effective, but heavy and unwieldy. Or maybe lighter, more flexible chain mail – a great step forward. But in Japan they went further. To enable samurai to ride, shoot arrows and use a sword, they developed a lightweight armour in which metal or leather scales were bound together with string. Doesn’t sound too effective? You’d be surprised. Continue reading