Collection: Previous Catalogue

It’s with great excitement and a hint of trepidation that I publish my first catalogue. As a young dealer just starting out, I’ve been bowled over by the support and encouragement I’ve received both from experienced collectors and fellow dealers.

Inrō dominate the catalogue; it’s no coincidence that this is where my own passion lies. I’ve selected each because I believe it offers something interesting, such as the Victory Nuts, a piece which wonderfully demonstrates the combined skill of two masters; or Lobster Upon a Rock, a stunning subject so beautifully rendered. Another favourite is Sarumawashi and Monkey, by Shoami Masatsuna. This little known artist of the Masanari line is mentioned in early Japanese literature; however, my research has uncovered only two works signed in the artist’s name.

My personal favourite, Hotaru, showcases a subtle but interesting combination of techniques. The hotaru dance across the night sky above the beautiful yamimaki-e and brown lacquered floral scene below – a real delight (unless you’re my photographer, who I think is pleased to see the back of it).

Towards the back of the catalogue are a small group of pipecases and netsuke from my own stock, including two contemporary netsuke by the brilliant Adam Bland.

A small number of hardback copies of the catalogue are available upon request. 

Robert Willford


16 products
  • Inrō - Korin, Flowers
  • Inrō - Dragon
  • Inrō – Plum Blossoms
  • Inrō - Incense Burner
  • Inrō - Three Friends of Winter
  • Inrō - Summer Moon
  • Inrō - Mandarin Ducks
  • Inrō - Sarumawashi and Monkey
  • Inrō - Shoki and Oni
  • Tonkotsu and Pipe Case – Grape Vines
  • Musozutsu – Birds Amongst a Spray of Flowers
  • Netsuke – Sansukumi
  • Netsuke – Urashima Taro
  • Netsuke – Courtier
  • Netsuke – Geisha
  • Netsuke – Cicada on a Pile of Leaves