Antique Chokin Vases
An antique Chokin vase is a type of vase that utilises the ancient Japanese art of metal engraving, known as Chokin.
History & Description
Chokin has been a Japanese art of metal engraving since the late-twelfth century. On top of etching copper, vases were decorated with precious metals such as twenty-four karat gold and silver.
Chokin engravings were originally produced in order to decorate ancient Japanese shrines, temples and the armament of samurai warriors. As a result, Chokin vases often depict battles scenes or drawings of daily, religious life in ancient Japan.
Guide for collectors
Antique Chokin vases very rarely appear at either national or international auction houses. Collectors are more likely to purchase examples from online bidding sites, such as eBay. However, collectors should proceed with caution when buying any supposed antique item from eBay as the item’s authenticity cannot always be verified. Collectors should always try to obtain as much information as possible from the seller.
The price of an antique Chokin vase is determined by a number of factors. First and foremost is the item’s condition. Any visible scratches or blemishes can severely diminish the item’s price. The most valuable pieces are decorated with precious metals like gold and silver.
Today, the market is awash with contemporary reproductions of Chokin vases and thousands are produced each year to be sold as souvenirs for tourists.
Notable auction sales
On March 18th 2008 at Christie’s in New York, a Showa period Chokin iron-basin vase, made by Kashima Ikkoku in the early-twentieth century, realised a price of $4,375.
On January 9th 2003 at Bonhams, United Kingdom, a collection of early-twentieth century Japanese Chokin vases realised a price of £41.
On February 12th 2012, a Japanese bronze Ikebana Usubata Chokin vase, made in the late-nineteenth century, realised a price of $113.61.