The serne collections of info

The Serné Collection of 86 Inro

Max Rutherston and Dickie Zebregs are pleased to present a collection of 86 inro. Half the collection has been sold, but the remainder is available for inspection at Zebregs & Röell, Keizersgracht 543, Amsterdam.

The inro came to us too late to be able to have them professionally photographed. The descriptions are by Max Rutherston and the catalogue has been put together hurriedly by Dickie Zebregs in order to publish concurrently with the opening of the Paris event.

Enquiries can be made to either Max Rutherston, using the Contact tab in the toolbar, or to Dickie Zebregs (+31 6 2074 3671,

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Kitsuengu - antique japanese pipe cases

Kitsuengu – In memoriam Jacques H.C. Carré (1927 – 2015)

The present publication gives me the opportunity to honour the memory of my
late father.
Although Jacques pursued the public aspect of his life with a dynamic and
sometimes provocative punchiness, in his private life he demanded privacy. He
charged his family with ensuring that he departed this life in peace and without
fanfare, much like Sanfushi Sennin on his upturned umbrella (Japanese Netsuke
from the Carré collection, Eskenazi, 1993, no. 16). It seems therefore fitting to
celebrate his memory through this collection of Kiseruzutsu presently curated
by his friend and mine, Max Rutherston.      Christophe Carré – England, 2018

Price: £20, including postage worldwide

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The beauty of wood - japanese art

The Beauty of Wood

What is clear is that one group of objects, the majority, and particularly the trompe-l’oeil baskets with their wilful defects, are made with the intention of instilling in us a poetic sense of transience. In that regard I particularly like the fact that the large kidney shaped tray (no. 7) does have an old, blackened crack. My restorer and I had no hesitation in leaving it there, finding it wholly in tune with the aesthetic. 

Other pieces in this group are not man-made artefacts at all, but found ones, which have been adopted for the pleasing qualities which they possess naturally. They betray little or no intervention by man, apart perhaps from lacquering or polishing. Yet it seems entirely appropriate that both the crafted and the found pieces should have been gathered together under the same collector’s roof. 

Price: £20, including postage worldwide.

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Inro - japanese antiques


When 18 inro fell into my hands from Arlette Katchen’s collection a short while ago, it seemed logical to present them in a catalogue, the first that I have dedicated entirely to the subject, filled out with some sagemono of my own. I would not pretend that these are the finest to be found in the market, but I hope that each will be appreciated for its subject matter, or as interesting for the techniques employed. My own predilection for early inro, and for inlaid inro in general, will surely be self-evident, as will Arlette Katchen’s taste for marine life. Enough said.

Price: £20, including postage worldwide.

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Japanese lacquer antiques catalogue


It will not have escaped the notice of all that there is herein an implicit celebration of the taste of certain collectors. Only one of the pieces is without provenance, and it is included only because it seems to me to earn its place by its rarity. Am
I alone in not having seen one before? And I remain entirely non-plussed by
the converted kogo, which thus far has been unloved by all but that excellent
connoisseur Soame Jenyns.
Another way in which this catalogue differs from the publications of my competitors is in the rapidity of its germination and preparation. The idea was
conceived in August, when Roger Weston offered me his boxes, the descriptions written within a week, design finished in the same time, and it looks as if we will complete the journey from first instructions to the designer to print in about 14
days. Howzat?

Price: £20, including postage worldwide.

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Sumo - netsuke and okinomo

SUMO – Netsuke and Okimono

58 page catalogue of netsuke and okimono from the collection of Karl-Ludwig Kley.

Karl-Ludwig Kley first got hooked on the sport of sumo back in 1987 while on a five-year assignment to Japan, buying his first netsuke of the subject two years later, a contemporary piece by the respected carver, Hodo. Little did he realise that a delightful miniature carving was to start a lifelong passion.

Now 25 years later, he has developed a keen eye and fine understanding of the art form. Conscious of the ever burgeoning size of his collection he has decided to sell a few pieces, which we are delighted to present here in this online catalogue. Many appeared in the book of his collection, Tiny Titans, published in 2006.

Available to view online only

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Japanese noh masks

Japanese Masks


An Exhibition of Noh, Kyôgen and Kagura Masks, 14 May – June 2012

Introduction by Max Rutherston, with 20 illustrated catalogue entries and essay by Stephen E. Marvin

Paperback, £20, including postage worldwide, Published by Rutherston & Bandini: London

An exhibition catalogue of Noh, Kyôgen and Kagura masks. At the core of the exhibition is a private German collection of masks, at least some of which are believed to have come from the Toyama daimyō family and passed briefly through the hands of Tadamasa Hayashi (1853-1906), the legendary Japanese dealer based in Paris, as well as through the Berlin Asian Art Museum over 100 years ago. These have been supplemented by the same number of masks from other collections, some with known Japanese provenance.

The masks in the exhibition form a good representative selection of types (whether fiercely demonic, melancholic, serene or jocund) and have been chosen for their quality of execution and for condition. The masks range in date from around 1500 to 1850.


Albert Rutherston by Max Rutherston

Albert Rutherston (1881-1953) by Max Rutherston, 1988

Exhibition: Tuesday 17th May until Friday 17th June 1988 at 180 New Bond Street. An appreciation of my grandfather’s life written on the occasion of an exhibition of his work, including 18 plates illustrating 24 works, selected bibliography, and essay by Dr. Ian Rogerson.

Published by Max Rutherston: London

Paperback, £20, including postage worldwide

We share more on our Japanese art and antiques blog or see a video of a lecture