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    

Antique Japanese / Chinese Solid Silver Two Handled Bowl Signed Handmade FlowersAntique Japanese / Chinese Solid Silver Jug. Signed. Handmade. FlowersQuality Japanese Carved Deer Antler Netsuke Boy On Radish Silver Chain Edo 18503x Japanese/chinese Sterling Silver Floral Overlay Large Glass Bottles (and)Antique Fine Quality Japanese Satsuma Vase -gold & Silver On Brown Glaze 10# Old Rare Beautiful Antique Chinese / Japanese Silver Mirror, W. Gold, CarvedExquisite Rare Pair Japanese Origami Sterling Silver Cranes Birds 67 Gr Japan Pair Of Japanese Sterling Silver Garden Lantern Salt & Pepper Shakers, C. 1920's9# Old Rare Antique Japanese Kozuka Silver Knife And Fork Embossed With MotifsVintage Japanese Kokeshi Dolls Salt And Pepper .950 Sterling Silver2 Tiffany & Co. Silver Fluted Shell Spoons Japanese + Audubon Pat. W. Gold Wash Vintage Japanese Sterling 950 Silver Napkin Ring3d Vintage Asian Japanese Usa Sterling Hickok Oni Yokai Mask Tie Clip 13.7gSterling Silver 15.8, 15.2mm Aaaa Japanese Kasumi Pearl Earrings Finest Signed Japanese Two Masted Sterling Silver 960 Model Ship By Seki JapanThe Sailboat Of Silver Of The Most Wonderful Japan. A Japanese Antique. Pilot Namiki Black 18k Gold Silver F Vanishing Point Capless Decimo Fountain PenVintage Japanese Sterling Silver Engraved Temple Cigarette Case Signed C.1940'sRare Antique Japanese Silver Tsuba From Sumurai Sword. SignedVintage Chinese Japanese Sterling Silver Hairpin Hair Pin BarretteJapanese Figural Vintage Sterling Silver Salt Spoon Set Sakai Silver Smiths #2Sterling Silver 18.1, 18mm Aaa+ Japanese Kasumi Pearl Earrings Vintage Japanese Chinese Export Sterling Silver Geisha Figural SpoonMasterly Hand Crafted Vintage Japanese Sterling Silver Model Yacht Ship JapanJapanese Figural Vintage Sterling Silver Salt Spoon Set Sakai Silver Smiths #13 Vintage Japanese Solid Sterling Silver Sake Tea Cups & 1 Bowl 147 Gr 5.2 OzPair Of Japanese Sterling Silver Samisen Salt & Pepper Shakers, C. 1920'sTiffany & Co. Audubon Japanese Sterling Silver Serving Spoon Vintage Japanese Sterling Silver Hammered Finish Tea Pot W. Crysanthemum (leh)Very Ornate Spinned Design Japanese Pure Silver Jug Pitcher & Four Gilt Cups Fine Japanese Hammered Silver Kettle Shaped Tea Pot Rattan HandleE953: Japanese Mino Pottery Five Plates Meimei-zara With Beautiful Silver Glaze.Antique Japanese Chinese Heavy Silver Plate Repousse Dragon Footed Bowl Export925 Silver Aaaa 12.5mm Japanese Kasumi Pearl Bracelets 18cm Japanese 1940s Sterling Silver Lighter Money Clip Cufflinks Key Chain Cased SetE6586: Japanese Silver Shot Glass Sake Cup Sakazuki 6pcs,tokuriki Made M38z870 Japanese Kimono Silk Fukuro Obi Silver 165.4" Fine Victorian Quadruple Silver Plate Japanese Fan Figural Serving Dish BowlPine Of The Pure Silver. Japanese Antique. Kazan Yokokura's Work. Funko Hikari: Masters Of The Universe - Silver Skeletor Japanese Vinyl FigureE6882: Japanese Xf Old Iron Jewel Sculpture Sake Kettle Flower Silver Inlay HandVintage Italian Sterling Silver Miniature Japanese Carp Koi Fish Niello Enamel Vintage Japanese Shamisen Shaped Sterling Silver Demitasse Spoons - Lot Of 55 Piece Japanese Cast Iron Pot Tea 2 Cups Set Black Blue SilverVintage Hand Engraved Japanese Scenes On 950 Silver LighterSterling Silver Scrap Box & Charms Guitar Japanese Shamisen Junk Drawer Lot LqqkPokemon Card*1999 Gold Silver To A New World."pichu+promo File Holo*japaneseAaaa 22mm Japanese Kasumi Pearl Pendant Silver Completed HoleVintage Sterling Silver Three Wise Monkeys Brooch Gfmw Japanese ProverbPocket Monster Silver Gameboy And Color Game Soft Japanese Used Good(3)Whiting Japanese Sterling Silver Sugar Spoon Patent Date 1874E2867: Japanese Oxidized Silver/ibushigin Copper Tea Caddy Chaire ContainerUsaf Missileman Or Missileer Badge ~ Silver Bullion ~ 1960's ~ Japanese Made (5) Japanese Sterling .950 Silver Souvenir Spoons ~ “flowers” Ajman 1971 13th World Jamboree Japanese Art Boy Scouts Silver Unicef Op ImperfsAjman 1971 13th World Jamboree Japanese Art Boy Scouts Silver Unicef Op SetPocket Monsters Silver Gameboy And Color Game Soft Japanese Used Good(5)Pocket Monsters Silver Gameboy And Color Game Soft Japanese Used Good(4)Dragonfly Japanese Katana Sword (silver Damascus Blade) Free Scabbard And Bag(2) Antique Japanese Demitasse Sterling Silver Spoons - Wishing Well & Fan