by Henri L. Joly & Kumasaku Tomita

Affectionately known by everyone connected with Japanese art as the "RED CROSS" Catalogue, this was an astonishing book to appear originally in 1915. The exhibition that gave rise to it was both imaginative and purposeful, and deserved a catalogue that was more than a simple list of exhibits. It follows that the illustrations and entries to the various sections of the catalogue vary in interest and importance today. The prints include some specimens that are acknowledged masterpieces; several of the netsuke and inro have changed hands in the auction rooms at prices their original owners' would have derided as unbelievable: but above all, the "Red Cross" is outstanding for its presentation of a selection of magnificent sword-furniture, especially tsuba and fushi-kashira, which makes the volume indispensable to any serious collector in that field. Joly, in his preface to Part II of the catalogue, which is wholly devoted to Metalwork, brought, almost for the first time in our literature, some kind of scientific order to the classification of tsuba and other sword-furniture, and perfected a model and a vocabulary for cataloguing that has been widely adopted by most of his successors.


Main Library or Japanese Art Library