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More on Tansu

8 Since I got so many letters asking for more information on Japanese cabinetry and tansu in particular, I've kept my eyes open for more striking examples (and good deals!) of such items.

  • Evert Sondergren "is a fourth-generation cabinetmaker who has been refining his skill for over 55 years." This frame/panel tansu is made of Eucalyptus and iroko woods, and goes for $5000. He has made similar designs from maple, koa and other woods.
  • Glenn Richards Asian Furnishings & Antiques sell a number of good looking tansu, some antique and some contemporary. They also offer custom design and build services.
  • This custom home on the Oregon coast is full of some beautiful built-in cabinetry in the style of Japanese tansu, all of which fits in seamlessly with the contemporary design of the house.
  • There are a few striking antique pieces up on Ebay's Live Auction site, all with low starting prices and reasonably estimates. This two-part Paulownia wood tansu has some really nice hardware on it.
  • Ebay also has items for auction, of course, and a few good-looking tansu for sale from individual dealers as well, like this kiri / hinoki / sugi isho tansu for $1195. If you are in southern California, this pick-up only item - a Meiji-era steep step tansu, or kaidan tansu - will go for just under $3000. Hiromitsu Japan sells all sorts of Japanese antiques through their ebay store, including this immaculately-maintained choba (or document / merchant) tansu, at $1750 plus shipping from Sapporo, Japan.
  • We've written once or twice before about Greentea Design, who carry a number of contemporary Japanese tansu (including a range of step tansu), and also do some really amazing custom kitchen cabinets in this style.
  • Should you be in California's East Bay area, you'll certainly want to stop and visit two wonderful shops; while the well-known Berkeley Mills do some spectacular work in the Craftsman / Japanese fusion style, less-known is the terrific Hana Japanese Antiques, just off Solano Avenue near the Solano Tunnel; this tiny shop is always chock-full of great pieces of art and furniture in a wide range of styles and prices, straight from Japan, and the owners are friendly and informative.
  • Jo-Ann Kaiser's article details a 1999 custom kitchen by Peter Cyr based on Japanese tansu designs.

pictured: a Showa-era mizuya tansu from Hana Japanese Antiques