A student in a sea of silver.
The direct scan of this antique Japanese-French postcard by renown artist Kajita Hanko, late Meiji era, does not capture the full beauty of this color lithograph with the silver metallic pigment.
I have included photos also: two taken under the light of a lamp and one under clouded daylight.
"Student" first came to my attention while reading Leonard Lauder's "The Postcard Age." He donated his collection of Japanese cards to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. As you can imagine a card worthy of the Lauder collection, this one is rare and I do not use that word lightly.
Will I sound shallow if I point out that this card is in even finer condition than the museum's? Convo me and I'll send you the museum's link to the card, which they offer prints of ranging from $75 to $500. If you would like to turn this postcard into a poster print or gallery wrapped canvas, I'd be happy to help you do that. I can make a high-resolution digital and even "clone out" the French writing at the bottom to create a pristine version.
I rather like the French touch myself. Someone scribbled "Etudiant" above the artist's signature. Etudiant is French for student. Otherwise, this card is unused and in near mint condition except for a couple of minute nicks on the right edge.
Verso, you see that this card was produced by Kokokudo Art Publishers in Tokyo, printed to be distributed in France. The undivided back tells us this was printed in 1903 or earlier.
Kajita Hanko (1870–1919) was born in Tokyo in 1870 under the given name of Kajita Jojiro. At the age of eleven he was apprenticed to the Shijo painter, Nabeta Gyokuei. He took the artist name Hanko in 1890. He made his living primarily from illustrations, which he produced for serial novels of the soap opera kind. ... He had established his own private school in Tokyo just before the turn of the century. He trained such artists as Togyo Okumara, Maeda Seison and Kokei Kobayashi. Hanko Kajita died of tuberculosis at the age of 47. (Thanks to the International Fine Print Dealers Association for this biographical information.)
Size: 3.5 by 5.5 inches.