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2020-09-14 03:06:05
Perry Japan Expedition]: [Black Ship Scroll]
[N.p., but probably Tokyo, 1856. Ink and watercolor on twenty-five linen-mounted rice paper panels joined into a scroll, measuring approximately 10 1/2 inches x 29 1/2 feet. Mounted on a wooden roller with silk tie, housed in a custom balsa wood box. Intermittent creasing, fairly regular small chips to bottom edge, sometimes costing a bit of the image area. Very good. An incredible, informative, and beautifully rendered "Black Ship Scroll," giving a thirty-foot long visual account of the visit of Commodore Perry's U.S. naval squadron to Shimoda in the wake of the signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa. It is an awe-inspiring artifact of a momentous event in American and Japanese history, and a brilliant work of art. Perry's 1854 arrival in the remote port of Shimoda aroused great curiosity and was recorded both by anonymous artisans as well as real artists, the latter being the case for the present scroll. One of Perry's interpreters, S. Wells Williams, reported seeing similar scrolls depicting the naval visit just a few weeks after they anchored. He wrote in his account of the visit: "A pictorial representation of our squadron and description annexed, and an account of the war between England and China, were seen today by officers." Williams goes on the remark that it was forbidden to sell these scrolls to Americans, and in fact being a non-trading closed society, Japanese officials discouraged personal purchases of any kind by U.S. personnel. Evident in the present scroll is the Japanese fascination with American military technology. Perry's official account made note of the J … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana [New Haven, CT, U.S.A.]
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