Japanese Scroll Painting

Vintage Japanese Hanging Scroll entitled, “Crane on the Rock” | Kakejiku Ink Wash Signed by Bansui | 1913


Age:1900-1940

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 80”l x 25”w

Being offered is a beautifully detailed hanging Scroll illustrating an adroit red-crowned crane standing alone on one leg as if stalking fish for its mate by the seashore. This artistic hand-painted drawing is on silk, in Kakejiju form, and dates to the 1900s, early Showa era. It graphically underscores its significance that the crane holds in Japan and who is said to return to Japan at New Years'. Crane is always an emblem of good fortune and purity in their association with this period of the year. Although this shows a single crane, they are known as monogamous and seen as reflecting the integrity and values of the family organization in Japan. 

The piece is executed with ink wash on paper and captures a single crane in action at the seashore with waves crashing upon the rocks in a beautifully detailed presentation. A poem focused on nature is incorporated into the piece and sets the mood of this wonderfully executed rendition. The sides of the scroll incorporate wave-patterned blue-grey brocade silk, (this narrow strip of brocade silk known as “ichimonji”, are often placed as “trim” surrounding the artwork.) The scroll is finished with simple wood rollers. The artist's seal, (Bansui), is incorporated into the face of the scroll, and exterior of the Kirkwood box with a paper identification label on the end panel. 

A significant factor that can make the acquisition of a hanging scroll, perhaps even more compelling than that of a Japanese woodblock, is their UNIQUENESS. After all, the artwork seen on nearly all Japanese hanging scrolls is indeed a true one-of-a-kind piece of art. Individually and painstakingly hand-drawn, thusly, not even two "similar-appearing" pieces are alike.

Vintage Condition: Great to excellent. “As is”, and retains the original craft/workmanship and fully intact, no tears, fading, or missing elements. Any discoloration, surface wear, or structural damage has been noted. 

NOTE: In the Japanese home, often a series of hanging scrolls would be rotated one-by-one in a central display alcove known as the “tokonoma.” Many such scrolls were considered to be “seasonal,” while others might relate to specific holidays or special occasions. When not on display, scrolls would be carefully rolled, placed inside their protective “paulownia wood” storage boxes, then typically stored in a drawer of a nearby “tansu”. At other times, a household’s cherished collection of scrolls might be stored even more safely and securely, protected away from the risk of fire in the home called a “kura” (a windowless, fire-safe storage room or out-building).