This is a wonderful Japanese-produced album of the type greatly prized by German sailors, soldiers, etc., who passed through Japan while serving in China. Albums such as these also might have been purchased by German sailors in the merchant marine. These albums were beautifully hand produced, using rich, lacquered wood and the best of other materials to complete them. This example has black lacquered covers. The front cover sports a silver oriental dragon in its center. The image is trimmed in a thin, upraised, silver frame. Working outward from the thin silver frame, we find a larger, brown-lacquered, wooden frame. On that is an ornate silver series of designs. The back cover is unadorned black lacquer.
Inside the album is the front and back covers richly hand painted on silk. The front cover features three birds on the ground (some sort of cranes, I believe). The back cover features a small Japanese village on the water. Structures appear on both sides of the water. What appear to be sails are in the distance, perhaps those of fishing boats.
Inside the album, we see nine double-sided pages. Each page has a silk surface that displays colorfully painted scenes of Japan. Each side of the page has two cutout areas where photos or even postcards can be inserted. Directly below each of these cutouts, we see a smaller box where the subject can be described, if so desired. With the double sided pages, a total of thirty-six open spaces are available for photographs or postcards.
The two wooden covers and the nine double-sided pages are attached to a leatherette spine. The album measures 14″ x 11″ x 2 ½.” The spine has partially separated from the front cover. Proper care should be exhibited when handing the album.
The album has a lot of potential to hold your prized photographs, cabinet photographs, CdV’s or postcards. Whether you are going to use it for colonial material or other Imperial German images, it will result in an attractive display. For that matter, the album would be superb for a scrap booker!