Japanese scene with one man ascending with a balloon and another man descending in a parachute


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Gift of the Norfolk Charitable Trust


Print, Woodcut on Paper, Colored


  • 2-D - Unframed (H x W): 36.8 × 24.4cm (14 1/2 × 9 5/8 in.)
  • 2-D - In Frame (H x W x D): 53.3cm × 39.4cm × 3.8cm (21 × 15 1/2 × 1 1/2 in.)

Country of Origin



c. 1870-1910

Physical Description

Japanese woodcut print of a humorous scene with a man ascending with a balloon and throwing pieces of paper on a man on the ground. A man in the background is descending with a parachute. The Japanese text identifies the aeronaut as "Spencer," almost certainly a reference to Percival Spencer (November 11, 1864-April 11, 1913), a British balloonist and parachutist who toured Asia in the late 19th century. Spencer was part of the third generation of a family of professional balloonists. He was the eldest son of Charles Green Spencer (1837–1880), who was the son of Edward Spencer (1799–1849). Edward Spencer, a solicitor, was a friend and trusted assistant of the noted balloonist Charles Green. Charles Spencer founded the balloon manufacturing firm of C. G. Spencer & Sons. Percival's siblings also followed the family profession. He and his brothers Arthur (1866–1940) and Stanley (1868–1906) were considered the leading authorities on ballooning.


ART-Prints, Original

Inventory Number


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