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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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VERY RARE KESI WOVEN HANDSCROLL OF IMPERIAL CALLIGRAPHY
Oct 31, 6:00 AM PDT
VERY RARE KESI WOVEN HANDSCROLL OF IMPERIAL CALLIGRAPHY
by East West Auctions
Est: $60,000- $80,000
$8,0002 Bids
CHINESE HANGING SCROLL PAINTING
Nov 06, 12:00 PM PDT
CHINESE HANGING SCROLL PAINTING
by Jumbo Auction House
Est: $1,800- $2,200
$3002 Bids
CHINESE HANGING SCROLL PAINTING
Nov 06, 12:00 PM PDT
CHINESE HANGING SCROLL PAINTING
by Jumbo Auction House
Est: $1,800- $2,200
$3002 Bids
CHINESE HANGING SCROLL PAINTING
Nov 06, 12:00 PM PDT
CHINESE HANGING SCROLL PAINTING
by Jumbo Auction House
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$5002 Bids
Song Huizong, Chinese Figure Painting Silk Hand Scroll
Nov 05, 3:00 PM PDT
Song Huizong, Chinese Figure Painting Silk Hand Scroll
by China Arts Auction
Est: $1,500- $1,800
$5001 Bid
Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll
Nov 06, 12:00 PM PDT
Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll
by Jumbo Auction House
Est: $1,500- $3,500
$2001 Bid
Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll
Nov 06, 12:00 PM PDT
Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll
by Jumbo Auction House
Est: $1,500- $3,500
$2001 Bid
Longscroll Painting by Xu Beihong
Nov 02, 9:00 AM EDT
Longscroll Painting by Xu Beihong
by Yakon Auctions
Est: $4,500- $7,500
$5001 Bid
A Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll, Fu Baoshi Mark
Nov 01, 3:30 PM PDT
A Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll, Fu Baoshi Mark
by Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc
Est: $1,000- $1,200
$1001 Bid
A Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll, Badashanren Mark
Nov 01, 3:30 PM PDT
A Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll, Badashanren Mark
by Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc
Est: $800- $1,000
$1001 Bid
A Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll, Lu Yanshao Mark
Nov 01, 3:30 PM PDT
A Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll, Lu Yanshao Mark
by Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc
Est: $800- $1,000
$1001 Bid
A Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll, Lu Yanshao Mark
Nov 01, 3:30 PM PDT
A Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll, Lu Yanshao Mark
by Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc
Est: $1,000- $1,200
$1001 Bid
A Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll, Li Keran Mark
Nov 01, 3:30 PM PDT
A Chinese Landscape Painting Paper Scroll, Li Keran Mark
by Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc
Est: $1,000- $1,200
$1001 Bid
CHINESE HANGING SCROLL PAINTING
Nov 06, 12:00 PM PDT
CHINESE HANGING SCROLL PAINTING
by Jumbo Auction House
Est: $1,800- $2,200
$3001 Bid
YANG SHANSHEN (1913-2004) Roosters
Oct 30, 9:30 AM EDT
YANG SHANSHEN (1913-2004) Roosters
by Luban Antique
Est: $1,000- $5,000
$5000 Bids
ITALIAN IRON UMBRELLA STAND HAND WROUGHT SCROLL
Oct 28, 11:00 AM EDT
ITALIAN IRON UMBRELLA STAND HAND WROUGHT SCROLL
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $700- $900
$6500 Bids
PLUM TREE SCROLL
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
PLUM TREE SCROLL
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,4000 Bids
BIRDS FLOWERS SCROLL
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
BIRDS FLOWERS SCROLL
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,3000 Bids
LANDSCAPE SCROLL
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
LANDSCAPE SCROLL
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids
BIRDS FLOWERS SCROLL
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
BIRDS FLOWERS SCROLL
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$8000 Bids
PRETTY LADY SCROLL
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
PRETTY LADY SCROLL
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids
BIRDS FLOWERS SCROLL
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
BIRDS FLOWERS SCROLL
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$8000 Bids
SWANS SCROLL
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
SWANS SCROLL
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$9000 Bids
BIRDS FLOWERS SCROLL
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
BIRDS FLOWERS SCROLL
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Scrolls


Ander's Auction

Ander's Auction

Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc

Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc

China Arts Auction

China Arts Auction

Mega International Auction Inc.

Mega International Auction Inc.