Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Japonisme Q: This dinnerware has been in my family since at least the 1940s. It is marked T. Furnival & Sons and has an English registry mark. Can you give me information about the history of it?

A: The type of design on your dinnerware is known as "Japonisme," a French word meaning "from Japan." The term was first used in 1872 to describe the traditional Japanese designs shown at the Paris Exhibition Universelle in 1867. Japonisme became popular in the United States in the 1880s, after the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. Asymmetrical patterns featuring fans, birds, bamboo, cherry blossoms, and other oriental designs were created. Thomas Furnival & Sons was in business in Cobridge, Staffordshire, England, from 1871 to 1890. The registry mark on your dinnerware indicates the design was registered on June 10, 1879.

1 comment:

Maude said...

The french word "Japonisme" is a term coined in 1876 by French art-critic Philippe Burty to describe the craze for things Japanese. Vincent van Gogh copied Ukiyo-E prints to name one of the most famous examples. The influence of Japanese woodblock art can be seen in "Art Nouveau" with its flowing, organic themes. The french word for "from Japan" is : "japonais" (Japanese).