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Horniman Museum

100 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ

Tel: 020 8699 1872
Fax: 020 8291 5506





The Horniman Museum, opened in 1901, was founded by Victorian tea trader Frederick Horniman, based on his private collections. The original collections consisted of natural history specimens and a range of cultural artefacts including musical instruments.


The Japanese material in the original collection included shrines, porcelain figures, bronze mirrors, vases, incense burners, Buddha images, weapons, ceramics and netsuke. Since that time there have been many further acquisitions so that Horniman's original collections account for only some 10% of the anthropology and musical instrument holdings. Additions include bequests, donations, purchases (including 35 items from the 1910 Anglo-Japanese exhibition in London) and field collection. In 1965 the Museum acquired around 75 items from the Church Missionary Society, chiefly of ethnographic interest.


The Japanese collection today numbers around 2,500 objects although only a small proportion is on display. It covers a wide range of ethnographic material including many objects (such as Nō masks) which some other museums would classify as ��art��.




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