A Victorian Lady's adventures in Japan Posted on 07 Aug 14:51
The current front window display of Charlotte Elliott pays homage to our family heritage and the Victorian Lady who created the foundation for our love and appreciation for Japanese Imari pottery.
In 1903 Irene Elliott Belding, my great grandmother, traveled to Japan with her husband, Albert Belding. He had taken a job as an English Language teacher at Kobe College.
They took a train from New York City to Seattle, Washington with their three year old daughter, my great Aunt Alice. From Seattle they embarked on a streamer ship to Tokyo, Japan.
Then they took another train to Kobe and an Ox Cart to their residence. This is according to the family tales. I am still awaiting further details of her life in Kobe. My mother's cousins are sending me some of Irene's journals or letters.
I do know that Irene set up and managed the household while Albert began teaching. And while she was in the market shopping for household goods she became delighted by an orange, blue and red glazed pottery design from the Imari region. She so loved it that she collected great quantities over the next decade. And shipped several crates of it back to New York when they returned in 1912.
Her collection has been divided amongst three more generations of my family. I have continued to collect Imari porcelain. Some pieces are added to Irene's collection but still more is for sale here at the shop.
To Irene, Imari spoke to the elegance of Japan. It is easy to incorporate into any design. It is timeless beauty fits seamlessly into traditional, modern and mid century decor. It can fit into your home as well.