The historical challenge of working with silver in Japan has always been the precious metal’s scarcity. In ancient times, silver was extracted from local lead, a wasteful and toxic undertaking. More recently, in the past 250 or so years, Japanese metalsmiths devised ways to squeeze silver from copper ore.

Perhaps because of its rareness, silver is used sparingly in Japan. For example, it is often threaded between fields of enamel in cloisonné, or used to make small, personal accessories. Unlike Chinese silver pieces of the last several hundred years, Japanese decorative objects made of silver tend to cater less to Western tastes. And, ironically, Japanese alloys generally have higher silver contents than those produced in China.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Chicago Silver

Chicago Silver

Paul Somerson's incredible reference on handwrought metalwork from the American Arts and Crafts movement of the ear… [read review or visit site]

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum

You can get happily lost searching through the 10,000 or so objects on the Asian Art Museum's website. For example,… [read review or visit site]

Silver Marks Encyclopedia

Silver Marks Encyclopedia

An extensive reference guide to silver marks, hallmarks, trademarks and maker's marks found on antique and vintage … [read review or visit site]

Gotheborg.com

Gotheborg.com

Jan-Erik Nilsson's extensive reference on antique Chinese porcelain. Jam-packed with information (e.g. on porcelain… [read review or visit site]

Silver at the Victoria and Albert

Silver at the Victoria and Albert

This is a great reference site on silver, courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum. You can view silver items acc… [read review or visit site]

The Gilbert Collection

The Gilbert Collection

The late Sir Arthur Gilbert's collection of European silver, gold, enamel, and other items is now housed at the Vic… [read review or visit site]

Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj

Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj

“Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj” was the title of a 2008 exhibition at Columbia University’s Mi… [read review or visit site]

TheStieffCompany.com

TheStieffCompany.com

Scott Perkins is an enthusiastic evangelist for The Stieff Company, a significant Baltimore silversmith and maker o… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare Vintage Signed Japanese Solid Sterling Silver 950 Cigarette Card Case JapanAntique Artist Signed Japanese 950 Silver Cigarette Case, Exc Cond, Flyg FalconAntique Chinese / Japanese Bronze Censer With Silver InlayFine Vintage Japanese Signed .950 Sterling Silver Damascene Compact.Antique Japanese Silver Ojime Beads 81 Total Corneleon Coral Glass Pekin GlassVery Fine Antique Japanese Sterling Silver Daikoku God Of Wealth Figurine StatueLovely Antique Signed Japanese Silver Toothpick Tooth Pick Trinket Coffin Box Exquisite Rare Vinatge Pair Of Japanese Origami Sterling Silver Crane FigurinesJapanese Sterling Tea Set 1920 Okubo, Imperial Hotel TokyoVictorian Rogers & Smith Silver Plate Japanese Revival East Lake Tea Caddy SugarPair Exquisite Rare Art Deco Japanese Solid Sterling Silver Goblets Cups JapanPair Exquisite Antique Japanese Solid Sterling Silver Sake Tea Cups 54 GramsAntique Scenic Chinese Japanese Silver Metal And Wood Hinged Box Dragon Motif Exquisite Vintage Japanese Solid Sterling Silver Bonbonniere Snuff Box JapanFinest Vintage H-chased Japanese Solid Sterling Silver Bonbonniere Box JapanVintage Japanese Sterling Silver Mixed Metals Mt Fuji Damascene Perfume BottleWw2 Japanese Order Of 7th Class The Rising Sun Silver Navy Army F/s Ww2 Three Chinese Silver Cups Qingdao Japanese Occupation F326: Japanese Signed Blue Porcelain Incense Burner With Pure Silver Lid Solid Silver Bat Menuki Gilt Eyes Japanese Samurai Sword Tsuba Kashira Teeth !!!Silver950 Dish Ball. #134g/ 4.72oz. Made By Kuyeda. Japanese Antique. Dragonfly Japanese Katana Sword (silver Damascus Blade) Free Scabbard And BagExcellent Japanese Sterling Cigarette Case W/ City Hand Embossed On Lid 4.5 OzVintage Japanese Silver 950 Cigarette Case - Etched Mount Fuji And Harbor SceneJapanese Antique Vintage Silver Golf Trophy, # 56g/1.97ozA Ten-thousand Yen Bill Of The Japanese Silver. # 52g/ 1.83oz. Japanese Antique H3913:japanese Oxidized Silver/ibushigin Copper Teapot Sencha,ginsendo MadeB7957: Japanese Silver Kiseru Smoking Pipe, Tabacco, Smoking ToolSteampunk Oil Lighter Japanese S.f.r. Japan Antique Wild Brass & Sterling Antique Japanese Meiji Pure Silver Mounted And Basket Weave TrinketB8252:japanese Oxidized Silver/ibushigin Copper Seikai Plate/dish 5pcs,sone MadeTwo Japanese Sterling Silver Condiment Caddies Glass Lined Salt Cellar No PepperThe Sailboat Of Silver Of The Most Wonderful Japan. #59g/ 2.08.japanese Antique Vintage Japan Japanese Green Jade Jadeite & Sterling Silver Floral Pin BroochJapanese Antique Vintage Pure Silver Sake Cup Two Pieces Sakazuki, # 34g/1.20ozThe Sailboat Of Silver Of Japan. #104g/ 3.66oz. A Japanese Antique. Japanese Antique Vintage Pure Silver Sake Cup Two Pieces Sakazuki, # 39g/1.37oz2 Vintage Japanese Solid Sterling Silver Sake Cups Bowls W Box 91 Grams 3.2 OzVintage Lang Sterling Silver 925 Japanese Woman Geisha Pin Brooch A387: Japanese Popular Karaki Wooden Decorative Stand With Silver Inlay Work F470: Japanese Pure Silver Ware Sake Cup Of Jun-gin. 21g Japanese Hanging Scroll "shoki" @b925Japanese Fern *silver Falls* Arching Intense Silver With Maroon Veins!Antique Asian Sterling Silver Salt Shaker Japanese House Design Pagoda 35 GramsJapanese Antique Kanzashi Hair Piece Silver Butterfly Antique Six Cased Wwii Japanese Ornate Decorated 5 1/2" Silver Spoons - Exc CondVintage Antique Signed Sterling Silver Souvenir Spoon Japanese Buddha E25Y91 I Yu-gi-oh Leonardo's Silver Skyship Ep15-jp079 Extra Secret Rare Japanese8, 7.6mm Japanese Akoya Pearls Earrings 925 Silver 3 Vintage Porcelain Toby Jugs Inc Sterling Japanese & Ridgeway - Hand Painted Finest H-crafted Japanese Solid Sterling Silver 2 Masted Ship Boat Yacht JapanExquisite Vintage Signed Antique Japanese Sterling Silver Bascket Dish JapanFinest Antique Japanese Sterling Silver Ebisu God Of Fortune Patron Of Laborers