Shibui: Japanese Antiques

BY Lisa Lindblad

October 7, 2013


Walking along Water Street in Brooklyn I happened across a warehouse space filled to the gills with Asian pieces.  Japanese, it turns out, with just a smattering of Chines architectural elements and screens.  “Just Japanese?” I asked Dane Owen, the owner.  “Yes, these days just Japanese,” he replied.  “There is an integrity to Japanese textiles and furnishings.”  The quantity of chests, baskets and textiles astounded me.  Every drawer of every tonsu contained kimono, indigo panels, firemen jackets, boro and obi and I worried that the older generations were parting, too rapidly, with their treasures.  “Yes,” said Dane, “those who own old country houses need funds to repair leaking roofs.  Often, to save the structure, they have to sell the items within.”  He has been buying in Japan for years and selling, first in Santa Fe and now in Brooklyn.

The pieces are beautiful, particularly the finely embroidered kimono and beautifully woven baskets.  Ceramics are in great supply as well and will be augmented when the next shipment arrives in a month’s time.  For anyone interested in these objects, Shibui is a fine place to start looking. 

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Dustin Yellin’s Passion