Arthur Lasenby Liberty initially worked at Farmer & Rogers, where he became manager of their "Oriental Warehouse" in 1864. Farmer & Rogers purchased a large portion of the Japanese exhibits at the end of the 1862 London International Exhibition. Their warehouses became a meeting place for artists and followers of the Aesthetic Movement.

In 1875 Liberty opened his own store, in Regent Street, London. This page from the 1994 Liberty catalog features imported hand-held paddle fans. Fans were one of the earliest imports from Japan following the opening of trade relations in the 1850s and were a popular decorative item epitomizing Japanese style for more than two decades.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Hand Screens - China, India, Persia, Japan
Liberty's of London Catalogue of Eastern and other Art Objects
Made in
United Kingdom
V&A Picture Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, London