ŌTAGAKI RENGETSU 大田垣蓮月 (1791-1875): Cherry Tree Painting and Poem, signed
ŌTAGAKI RENGETSU 大田垣蓮月 (1791-1875): Cherry Tree Painting and Poem

Antique Japanese Art

 Welcome to our website for Japanese art. We would like to invite you to discover our collection of fine antique works of art, ranging from screen paintings and hanging scroll to traditional ceramics, elegant lacquer works, exceptional sculptures and intricately woven bamboo flower baskets. All of our objects are unique masterpieces carefully selected by the gallerist and art historian Dr. Fabian Alexander Kommoss for their historical significance and outstanding quality. Galerie Kommoss is a leading gallery for fine Japanese art in Europe.

Why Japanese Art?

Refined elegance and astonishing craftsmanship on one side, and rough, coarse-looking ceramics that seem to have been created by nature itself on the other, the wide spectrum of Japanese art is fascinating and never monotonous. In fact, the opposite is true: Whether you look at the more popular and immediately appealing images of a Hokusai, the serene beauty of Japanese Buddhist sculpture, or the often complex aesthetic programs of traditional tea culture, the deeper you delve into the complex images, often subtly imbued with metaphorical meaning or humor, the more exciting it gets. What makes Japanese art so attractive to us is its pervasive characteristic of understanding the natural world as a source of spiritual insight and an instructive mirror of human emotion.

Special Exhibition "Mizusashi"

A Mizusashi is a traditional, lidded vessel created to contain the fresh, cold water used in the Japanese tea ceremony. A Mizusashi therefore plays a central role by holding one of the two main ingredients used in the preparation of tea. Bringing together a select range of unique Japanese water vessels from the early 17th century to contemporary traditional pieces by some of the greatest pottery masters, Galerie Kommoss' next special exhibition explores the fascinating world of fresh water vessels and their deep connection to the tea ceremony as a source of inspiration and cultural heritage in Japan.

17th Century Tanba Sanshō Jar

Object of the Month

We are pleased to present this month a very rare early Edo period storage jar from Sasayama in present-day Hyōgo Prefecture. With its sharp-edged shoulders, broad flat base, and slightly tapered body, this jar illustrates a Japanese type of storage jar invented by Tanba potters to promote and export one of the local famous goods known as asakura sanshō, or "Japanese pepper." Asakura sanshō (Zanthoxylum piperitum var. inerme) is a local variety of the common Japanese pepper, which is closely related to the Chinese Szechuan pepper.


However, asakura sanshō only grows wild in the mountains of Hyōgo Prefecture and has been popular throughout Japan since the late 16th century for its fresh and bright aroma. The importance of this local product is underscored by the characters engraved on the wall of the pot, which refer to its contents. This shows that the production of the vessel had only one purpose, and it is believed that the jars with the impressed product name were presented to the local daimyō or even the shōgun.

Mochizuki Gyokkei 望月玉渓 (1874-1938): Pair of Six-panel Screens with Cranes, Meiji period, 1906, each H 173,5 x W 366,0 cm
Mochizuki Gyokkei 望月玉渓 (1874-1938): Pair of Six-panel Screens with Cranes, Meiji period, 1906, each H 173,5 x W 366,0 cm