The Art of Japanese Screens and Furnishings

Milan, via G.B. Morone, 6

View the screens >>

The cosmopolitan love of three well-established galleries in London and Milan for the superb quality of antique furnishings is giving the city of Milan the chance to see around forty Japanese screens of exceptional refinement. This is a unique opportunity for collectors, designers and interior decorators to acquire surprising and yet unseen pieces of decoration.

The gallery Mazzoleni Arte, directed by Valeria Mazzoleni, the gallery Old English Furniture, belonging to Pier Giorgio and Luca Gracis, and the London gallery Gregg Baker Asian Art, have created and supported this ambitious initiative in order to offer the Italian public at large the opportunity to enjoy a range of antiques that differ greatly from the more common ethnic variety since they are pieces of antique furnishing which possess a more universal style - the very taste which influenced Art Nouveau, Art Déco and the flowery styles of the 1970s.

The exhibition is being hosted in Valeria Mazzoleni's gallery - a space that has already hosted exhibitions of art from outside the boundaries of the European continent. The exhibition is the idea of Luca Gracis who works in London and Milan in the field of English furniture and who has chosen Gregg Baker for his specialization in Japanese art as the most suitable approach to the refined tastes of Italian collectors.

There are around forty pieces in the exhibition in a variety of sizes that are suited to all living spaces and fit all furnishing styles (from 65 x 90 cm to 170 x 376 cm).

The pieces on offer are mainly from the Edo Period (1615-1868) from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. They are all decorated in a profusion of gold-leaf with animals, branches and coloured flowers. There are, however, also pieces from the Meiji-Taisho and Taisho-Showa Period of the 20th century with sparse decorations of butterflies and green shoots on long white backgrounds.

In particular, a pair of panels in the exhibition is of notable historic importance in that it is linked to the Shogunate of Tokugawa who was the first military governor of Japan at the beginning of the 17th century. Finally, there are some statues and vases in bronze and wood in the shape of plants, animals, frogs and turtles as well as pieces of furniture such as a red-lacquered coffee table.

Screens are an ancient form of furnishing which have enjoyed consistent and continuous popularity all over the world as well as in Italy.

However, we have most probably not seen such precious screens, in such good condition, in our galleries in Italy for some time.

The decoration on these imported items is without doubt what has been missing in our homes - that element which has universal taste and appeal yet remains both exotic and refined. They are incluttered and easy to manage, their images emanate a sense of tranquillity and elegance and their colours are immediately appealing. The pieces range from a cost of 15.000 to 20.000 euro, with some items as low as 5.000 euro and some peaking at 90.000 euro.


Mazzoleni Arte
Via G.B. Morone, 6
20121 Milan Italy
Tel. +39 02 795 026
Fax. +39 02 780 348

Old English Furniture Antiques
di Pier Giorgio & Luca Gracis
Via San Simpliciano, 6
20121 Milan Italy
Tel. +39 02 877 807
Fax. +39 02 878 353


The Exhibition: