Kyoto Art and Antiques Warehouse Sale

Kyoto Art and Antiques Warehouse Sale

Open only twice a year for 10 days each time, walking into the warehouse of Kyoto Art and Antiques feels like stumbling into the past — namely, the storerooms of an early 20th century trader with Japan.

Tansu, lacquerware, stone lanterns, shoji; not much is newer than 100 years old, but in beautiful condition, piled to the rafters and priced comparatively less than, say, vintage Danish pieces — we thought we had won the lottery when we visited last night.

A few of the many, many tansu (chests of drawers) were made so tightly and well that closing one drawer displaced air to gently push out another — most priced under $1,000. We picked up a couple of antique, hand-carved manju (baked bean cake) molds from an overflowing basket of them, for $5 each.

It's not all old though; the current sale features an exhibition by Georgetown (Seattle) based artist and lighting designer Yuri Kinoshita. Her billowy, soft paper lamps are designed to evoke the feeling and comfort of light glowing through paper shoji screens.

It's almost a shame to let the cat out of the bag on such a well-kept secret, but it's really too amazing not to share. The sale runs through May 11 — we wouldn't miss it!

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