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The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin with the continued support of The Sumitomo Foundation in Tokyo, have now commissioned Restorient to conserve three more of their most treasured Japanese paintings. Dating from the early 17th century this set of hand scrolls chart the epic tale of "Hunting the Ogres" It will be possible to follow the conservation of these magnificent hand scrolls here on this blog. We at Restorient are delighted to have the opportunity to share this remarkable project, and to offer some insights into this type of specialist conservation.

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Wednesday, 23 February 2011


the 'gampi' bush

Native to mountainous areas of Japan and resisting attempts to cultivate it, the 'gampi' bush is called the 'king of washi'; it remains the rarest and most expensive provider of 'washi' (traditional handmade paper) fiber. It was paper made from gampi fibre which was often used for handscrolls and the 'Tale of the Bamboo cutter' scrolls proved no exception.

In removing the smooth, ivory coloured outer paper linings of the handscrolls we found it was indeed a clay loaded maniai-shi paper made from gampi fibre from Najio, Hyogo Prefecture.  

                              rolling creases at the end of scroll A

The choice of paper used for the last lining of the handscrolls seems to have been rather thick and inflexible. This has meant that towards the roller end of each scroll there have been more and more rolling creases which developed as it  followed the narrow roller. Not only will the new linings be thinner, we will also be using a roller clamp to increase the diameter of the scroll to ease the stress on the paper and pigment.


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