The East Asian collections are primarily comprised of Japanese and Chinese artefacts and are the oldest in the museum. The Chinese collection, which is mainly one art collector’s collection, consists of around 1400 artefacts. Notable among these are two Ming lions in marble, a Pu-tai sculpture in lacquer/wood and four cast iron lohans from the 1400s, as well as a representative selection of Chinese snuff bottles. The Chinese collection is one of the oldest museum collections in Europe, reflecting the increased interest in Chinese history and culture in the early twentieth century, and is thus of great historic value. The Japanese collection consists of about 1500 artefacts, including netsukes (buttons shaped like small sculptures), tsubas (protective hand guards for swords) and wood cuttings that represent work by about 50 artists. The Japanese collection has a number of valuable and representative artefacts, as well as some objects that are of extremely high quality. The collection’s high level of historic worth is linked to the West’s enthusiasm at the start of the 1900s for Japan and Japanism.
The East Asian Collections on the third floor is temporarily closed
Due to extensive renovation and refurbishment of the museum several of the museum’s premises will be kept closed. As of January 12, 2014 the East Asian Collections on the third floor is closed due to security and update work. Many of the museum objects are available in our web catalog Search the collection.