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Chinese Scrolls

Chinese scrolls come in two varieties: hanging scrolls, and handscrolls. The most predominant variety of scroll is the handscroll, which was typically used to depict a narrative. The scroll, usually kept in a wooden box, is rolled up when not being viewed, with all images obscured.

The physical act of receiving the scroll, untying it, holding it, and then unfurling the scroll from left to right renders the reveal of image and text an intimate and even eventful act. Images within the scroll are often paired with enhancing poems or other texts. They often include additional dialogue by others who have also witnessed the contents. The experience, therefore, of unfurling the scroll is just as important as its artistry.

Chinese hanging scrolls, typically much wider and shorter than the traditional Chinese handscroll, are often used to display calligraphy and paintings. While handscrolls were typically only paper, hanging scrolls were either paper or silk.


Quick Facts

  • When created, hanging scrolls were not made for permanent display. Typically, they were only displayed for short periods of time, and then later tied and stored
  • The first examples of hanging scrolls were silk banners, often displayed at a site of burial. The first hanging scroll banners were dated back to 206-220 B.C.
  • During the Han Dynasty, handscrolls were all-text documents. It wasn’t until the 220-280 A.D. that handscrolls became a standard medium for producing artwork

Recommended Items at Auction

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A Chinese hanging scroll painting of figure, Zhang Daqian mark
Mar 04, 8:00 AM EST
A Chinese hanging scroll painting of figure, Zhang Daqian mark
by Hotspot Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$2001 Bid
A Chinese silk hanging scroll painting of figure, Tangyin mark,Ming Dynasty,China
Mar 04, 8:00 AM EST
A Chinese silk hanging scroll painting of figure, Tangyin mark,Ming Dynasty,China
by Hotspot Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$2001 Bid
A Chinese hanging scroll painting of lotus, Zhang Daqian mark
Mar 04, 8:00 AM EST
A Chinese hanging scroll painting of lotus, Zhang Daqian mark
by Hotspot Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$2001 Bid
A Chinese hanging scroll painting of Guanyin, Zhang Daqian mark
Mar 04, 8:00 AM EST
A Chinese hanging scroll painting of Guanyin, Zhang Daqian mark
by Hotspot Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$2001 Bid
A Chinese central scroll, Qigong mark
Mar 04, 8:00 AM EST
A Chinese central scroll, Qigong mark
by Hotspot Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$2001 Bid
A Chinese hanging scroll calligraphy, Xie Wuliang mark
Mar 04, 8:00 AM EST
A Chinese hanging scroll calligraphy, Xie Wuliang mark
by Hotspot Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$2001 Bid
Xu Beihong's Bamboo Forest Ladies Paper Scroll
Feb 26, 7:00 PM EST
Xu Beihong's Bamboo Forest Ladies Paper Scroll
by Yakon Auctions
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$3001 Bid
Xu Beihong's Liu Hai Opera with Golden Toad Paper Scroll
Feb 26, 7:00 PM EST
Xu Beihong's Liu Hai Opera with Golden Toad Paper Scroll
by Yakon Auctions
Est: $1,000- $3,000
$3001 Bid
Xu Beihong's Steed Drawing Axis
Feb 26, 7:00 PM EST
Xu Beihong's Steed Drawing Axis
by Yakon Auctions
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$3001 Bid
SIGNED LI XIONGCAI (1910-2001). A INK AND COLOR ON PAPER HANGING SCROLL PAINTING. H275.
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
SIGNED LI XIONGCAI (1910-2001). A INK AND COLOR ON PAPER HANGING SCROLL PAINTING. H275.
by Metropolitan Auction of Art Inc.
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$9501 Bid
(4) ATTRIBUTED AND SIGNED GAO JIANFU (1879-1951). A
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
(4) ATTRIBUTED AND SIGNED GAO JIANFU (1879-1951). A
by Metropolitan Auction of Art Inc.
Est: $35,000- $50,000
$7,5001 Bid
SIGNED GAO JIANFU (1879-1951). A INK AND COLOR ON PAPER HANGING SCROLL PAINTING.H512.
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
SIGNED GAO JIANFU (1879-1951). A INK AND COLOR ON PAPER HANGING SCROLL PAINTING.H512.
by Metropolitan Auction of Art Inc.
Est: $9,000- $15,000
$3,5001 Bid
ATTRIBUTED AND SIGNED YIN ZIXIANG (1909-1984). CHINESE INK AND COLOR ON PAPER HANGING SCROLL PAINTING. FRAMED. H579.
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
ATTRIBUTED AND SIGNED YIN ZIXIANG (1909-1984). CHINESE INK AND COLOR ON PAPER HANGING SCROLL PAINTING. FRAMED. H579.
by Metropolitan Auction of Art Inc.
Est: $5,000- $8,000
$1,5001 Bid
Buddhist Thangka, Chinese Watercolor and Chinese Scroll
Feb 27, 10:00 AM EST
Buddhist Thangka, Chinese Watercolor and Chinese Scroll
by Weschler's
Est: $30- $50
$151 Bid
After Wu Daozi Immortals Scroll Painting
Mar 17, 12:00 PM EDT
After Wu Daozi Immortals Scroll Painting
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$1001 Bid
ANTIQUE CHINESE PAINTED SCROLL.
Mar 06, 10:00 AM EST
ANTIQUE CHINESE PAINTED SCROLL.
by William Smith Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
Asian Painted 4 Warriors Legend Scroll With Marks
Feb 27, 9:00 PM EST
Asian Painted 4 Warriors Legend Scroll With Marks
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $150- $250
$750 Bids
Asian Painted 4 Warriors Legend Scroll With Marks
Feb 27, 9:00 PM EST
Asian Painted 4 Warriors Legend Scroll With Marks
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $150- $250
$750 Bids
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Chinese Scroll Painting Signed by Ya Ming
Mar 09, 1:30 PM EST
Chinese Scroll Painting Signed by Ya Ming
by Wensly Auctions
Est: $1,500- $3,000
$6000 Bids
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Horizontal Long Scrolled Painting By Qi Bai Shi
Mar 09, 1:30 PM EST
Horizontal Long Scrolled Painting By Qi Bai Shi
by Wensly Auctions
Est: $10,000- $20,000
$1,0000 Bids
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ScrollPainting by Li Ke Ran
Mar 09, 1:30 PM EST
ScrollPainting by Li Ke Ran
by Wensly Auctions
Est: $3,000- $6,000
$6000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Scrolls


Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc

Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc

Mega International Auction

Mega International Auction

Metropolitan Auction of Art Inc.

Metropolitan Auction of Art Inc.

Annabel's Galleries Inc.

Annabel's Galleries Inc.