Japanese Panel Screen, ca. 1920

Value (2006) | $7,000 Auction$10,000

GUEST:
Well, it came from my parents. And, uh, I'm 62, and I can remember this as long as I live, so... I've always wanted it. (chuckles) When, uh, my parents passed away, my brother had custody of it for a little while, and I demanded it.

APPRAISER:
Ah, okay. Well, it's a wonderful, large-format painted screen. What do you know about it?

GUEST:
Um, first of all, it's signed "Yoshihiko," but I couldn't find anything about this person.

APPRAISER:
Mm-hmm.

GUEST:
The only other thing, my limited knowledge of Japan, looks like, uh, two courtesans with an attending child.

APPRAISER:
Right.

GUEST:
Uh, probably, late Edo period or maybe even Meiji period.

APPRAISER:
Well, it's a little later than that. I think it's probably Taisho period. The Taisho era follows the Meiji period. Meiji period was from 1868 to 1912.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And the Taisho period was from 1912 to 1926. At a time where they were really interested in large-scale figures and designs, which actually showed the interaction between Western art and Japanese art, the influence of art deco on large-scale decoration. It looks like it's been a little bit faded. Did you have something done to it?

GUEST:
Well, when my mother had it, it was kept in a dark place. But when I acquired it, it was in pretty bad shape, so some cleaning was done. And then it hanged underneath a skylight. I don't know if that has anything to do with it. So it's been faded a bit, yes. I believe it did, mm-hmm, slightly.

APPRAISER:
So you had it restored, then?

GUEST:
Repaired, more likely.

APPRAISER:
I see, I see. Tell me, what did you pay for the restoration?

GUEST:
2,500 bucks.

APPRAISER:
Well, let me tell you, that was a very good investment. (chuckles) It's done by Yoshihiko, who was a Taisho artist. And Taisho is a very, very hot commodity, this period between 1912 and 1926. I believe the Honolulu Academy of Art recently had an exhibition called "Taisho Chic."

GUEST:
That's what I've been told, yes.

APPRAISER:
Right, exactly. So even though the two-panel "byobu"-- or screen, as it's called-- is faded and has had some restoration, it still, on the auction market, would be estimated at about... $7,000 to $10,000. So it was a great investment for you to take good care of it and have it restored.

GUEST:
I'm glad I brought this here.

APPRAISER:
Thank you very much for bringing it in to us.

GUEST:
Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Bonhams, San Francisco
San Francisco, California
Appraised value (2006)
$7,000 Auction$10,000
Event
Honolulu, HI (August 26, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Form
Panel
Material
Silk

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