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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)



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The Aoigaoka [waterfall] in Edo: Toto Aoigaoka no taki from a set of eight prints with title, Shokoku taki meguri, “A Journey to the Waterfalls of All the Provinces.” A majestic set with a mostly beautiful unifying colour scheme: There is probably no other Hokusai set that has the same impact when viewed complete. Amongst Hokusai’s finest work and much sought after. There are numerous Hiroshige designs based on the same location but they are prosaic in comparison. Eisen, inspired by Hokusai, also produced a set of waterfalls in 1847 which are themselves fine and rare. This particular fall is in fact a spillway for the Tameike reservoir seen above. Aoi Hill near Toranomon Gate to the left. The set published by Eijudo, c. 1832. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Fine, unfaded colour. Minimal soil and slight trimming on left: These designs are martyrs to trimming and many illustrated examples are trimmed, otherwise very good condition. (This raises an interesting problem because most Hokusai landscapes do not have a black border – contrary to Hiroshige’s – which do, making it easy to judge the trimming on the latter.) Signed Zen Hokusai Iitsu hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)



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A benigirai-e (red-avoiding) triptych showing from right to left: A young nobleman with a falcon, a beauty beside him holding his sword and another seated smoking a pipe; the centre panel shows two women and a child holding a small falcon; while the last sheet has two women selecting eggplants from the baskets of an eggplant seller. The backdrop for the whole scene is a majestic Mt. Fuji. The combination of Fuji, falcon and eggplant is known as Ichi-Fuji, Ni-Taka, San-Nasubi (1-Fuji, 2-Falcon, 3-Eggplant) and it is supposed to be good luck to dream of these three in the first dream of the New Year (or, in fact, on the second night, the first being sleepless. The following day is known as hatsuyume). Extremely rare: the only impression I can find is illustrated in Kiyoshi Shibui, Ukiyoe zuten, No. 13, Utamaro, p. 37. (The date given here is 1801, although the late 1790s might be more appropriate as the vogue for benigirai-e [probably as a response to sumptuary edicts] was prevalent around the 1790s.) Published by Murataya Jirobei of Eiyudo. Another triptych by Utamaro of this subject is illustrated in Yoshida, Utamaro zenshu, p. 156. A very fine design.

 

Fine impression. Extremely good colour: these pigments are very susceptible to any light or moisture. Extremely good condition.Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)




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A triptych representing Matsukaze, “The Wind in the Pines,” Chapter XVIII, from a set of triptychs Furyu yatsushi Genji, “Genji in Modern Dress.” Brandt, Hosoda Eishi, Stuttgart, 1977, lists nine from the series (this being no. 58, p. 116, illustrated p. 16). Based on the famous early 11th century novel Genji Monogatari written by Murasaki Shikibu. Shows court ladies, one playing a koto on the engawa far right, others welcoming the arrival of Prince Genji, far left. Published by Senichi, c. 1792. Provenance: Ex Worcester Art Museum and Louis W. Black collections, sold Sothebys N.Y., 4/3/1976, lot 122.

 

Extremely fine impression and perfect unfaded colours. Album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Eishi ga (with a small sumi insertion to read Eisui).

 

Status: Available

 

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Shirai TOSHINOBU II (1866-1903)



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A triptych showing Nitta no Shiro Tadatsune encountering the Goddess of Mount Fuji and her dragon in a cave on Mt. Fuji. (Bodhisattva Kannon [Buddhist]; spirit of Mt. Fuji [Shinto].) Tadatsune’s comrades were afraid to enter the cave and the Goddess commends him on his bravery. Published by Inoue Mohei, 1885. A little known pupil of Yoshitoshi who recognised him as a pupil and named him Toshinobu, which he kept until he died. A wonderful design.

 

Fine impression and colour. Minor pin holes at corners and slight centre folds, but otherwise very good condition. Signed Utagawa Kuniume aratame Shusai Kuni… (?) changing his name to a Kuni but unread. This must have been a short-lived change as the name is not recorded.

 

Status: Available

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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An original painting showing the back view of a courtesan and her assistant. The poem is by Shokusanjin:
It is all because of you who is blooming,
flowers and the moon in this quarter seem prosperous
Shokusanjin

This appears to have been painted during his Sori period at a banquet held by the geisha house that Hokusai and Shokusanjin attended. In good condition having been recently remounted. Sumi and light colour on paper, 15.25 x 21.5 in; 38.7 x 54.6 cms. Signed Hokusai sekijyo, “Hokusai on this occasion.”

 

Seal unread: This is a seal used by Hokusai during this period as well as in his later years, but has not been deciphered.

 

Status: Available

 




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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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The priest Mongaku Shonin doing thirty-seven days penance under the freezing Nachi waterfall near Kyoto. He is helped by Fudo Myo-o’s two attendants Seitaka and Kongara seen here top right. This act of self-mortification is because he accidentally killed his beloved cousin Kesa. Published by Uoya Eikichi, 1860. A fine design.

 

Superb impression of the first state with splashed gofun over Mongaku’s head. Fine colour. Lightly backed and imperceptible centrefold, otherwise fine condition. Signed Chooro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toensai KANSHI (Fl. mid-18th century)




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A rare, highly talented and enigmatic painter who produced only a few masterpieces. There is some confusion over his active working life with differing dates from 1748 to 1780, but he was certainly painting in the 1760s. This unusual composition shows a beauty adjusting her hair by obliquely looking in a mirror held by her maid who stares unnervingly straight at the viewer. This painting is well known and is illustrated in Nikuhitsu Ukiyoe, Collection of Ukiyo-e Paintings Classified by Artist and Schools, Vol. 4 (of 10): Katsukawa school, Suzuki Harunobu and Isoda Koryusai, pl. 83, edited and published by Shueisha, 1982. It is also mentioned on page 113 in Ukiyo-e Large Encyclopaedia, Vol. 2, edited by Japan Ukiyo-e Society, published by Taishukan, 1982. Another Kanshi painting showing a beauty collecting bamboo shoots in the snow was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, in 2014, in an exhibition: The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection.

 

Full colour on paper with mica on the mirror, image size 14.5 x 20 in; 37 x 51 cms. In extremely good condition with double box. Painted c 1765.


 

Status: Available

 




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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A Java sparrow on a clematis vine. A sanchogake format (three designs printed on a horizontal sheet and intended to be separated). Published c 1835-9. Rare.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu. (There is an impression with a cube-shaped red Hiroshige seal which is the first state.)

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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Winter from a set of the four seasons showing Prince Genji and attendants in the snow-covered grounds of a palace. Published by Enshuya Hikobei, c 1849-50.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Yamamoto SHOUN (1870-1965)




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A large original painting , full colour with gold on silk, image size 50.5 x 19.75 in; 128.25 x 50 cms. Shows Shoki, the Demon Quellor, with sword drawn watching an oni escaping on a cloud, upper left. Various Chinese legends exist regarding the origins of Shoki but the gist of them all is that Emperor Xuanzong canonized Shoki, a physician, and in gratitude Shoki vowed to protect the ruler and his heirs from demons and illness. Shoun is best known for his series of woodblocks of beautiful women, Ima Sugata, published 1906-9.

 

In fine condition. Signed Shoun hitsu with two seals, one reading Shoun.

 

Status: Available

 




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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)



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The courtesan Biso of the Ogi House holding a brush up to a snow sculpture of Daruma. Snow from a Snow, Moon, Flowers set: Seiro bijin setsugekka. Published by Kawaguchiya Uhei, c late 1810s.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Fine condition: Full size with extra paper. Signed Eizan hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)



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Winter from a set Furyu bijin kodakara awase, “Elegant Beauties and Precious Children.” Shows a beauty carrying one child and looking down at another with a large snowball. Published by Matsumura Yahei, c late 1810s.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Fine condition: Full size with extra paper. Signed Eizan hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa YOSHIIKU (1833-1904)



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An Ichikawa Danjuro memorial portrait showing Kawarazaki Gonjuro I (Danjuro IX, 1838-1903) in the Shibaraku role looking up at his father, Danjuro babaa (Ichikawa Danjuro VII [1791-1859]) who had died the previous year. It was some years before Gonjuro finally adopted the Danjuro name in 1874. Published by Ebisuya, 1860.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshiiku ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Oiso no Maihime telling the Soga brothers the whereabouts of Suketsune. From a set Soga monogatari zue, “The Revenge of the Soga Brothers.” A set of 30 prints published by Ibaya Senzaburo, 1848. This famous story has many versions but basically it tells how Kawazu Sukeyasu was murdered by his cousin Kudo Suketsune. Sukeyasu left two sons and his widow remarried a man named Soga. He adopted the two children and they waited patiently for an opportunity to kill Suketsune which came when he was hunting near Mt Fuji. They killed him but were themselves slain in the ensuing battle. This is the first edition, it was republished in 1858 by Yamaguchiya Tobei.

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Kewaizaka no Shosho cuts her hair to become a nun. From a set Soga monogatari zue, “The Revenge of the Soga Brothers.” A set of 30 prints published by Ibaya Senzaburo, 1848. This famous story has many versions but basically it tells how Kawazu Sukeyasu was murdered by his cousin Kudo Suketsune. Sukeyasu left two sons and his widow remarried a man named Soga. He adopted the two children and they waited patiently for an opportunity to kill Suketsune which came when he was hunting near Mt Fuji. They killed him but were themselves slain in the ensuing battle. This is the first edition, it was republished in 1858 by Yamaguchiya Tobei.

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Soga no Juro on a horse lower left bids farewell to his lover, Tora Gozen. From a set Soga monogatari zue, “The Revenge of the Soga Brothers.” A set of 30 prints published by Ibaya Senzaburo, 1848. This famous story has many versions but basically it tells how Kawazu Sukeyasu was murdered by his cousin Kudo Suketsune. Sukeyasu left two sons and his widow remarried a man named Soga. He adopted the two children and they waited patiently for an opportunity to kill Suketsune which came when he was hunting near Mt Fuji. They killed him but were themselves slain in the ensuing battle. This is the first edition. It was republished in 1858 by Yamaguchiya Tobei.

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Soga no Juro and Soga no Goro attack Suketsune in the snow. From a set Soga monogatari zue, “The Revenge of the Soga Brothers.” A set of 30 prints published by Ibaya Senzaburo, 1848. This famous story has many versions but basically it tells how Kawazu Sukeyasu was murdered by his cousin Kudo Suketsune. Sukeyasu left two sons and his widow remarried a man named Soga. He adopted the two children and they waited patiently for an opportunity to kill Suketsune which came when he was hunting near Mt Fuji. They killed him but were themselves slain in the ensuing battle. This is the first edition , it was republished in 1858 by Yamaguchiya Tobei.

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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The Soga brothers bidding farewell to the summer foliage. From a set Soga monogatari zue, “The Revenge of the Soga Brothers.” A set of 30 prints published by Ibaya Senzaburo, 1848. This famous story has many versions but basically it tells how Kawazu Sukeyasu was murdered by his cousin Kudo Suketsune. Sukeyasu left two sons and his widow remarried a man named Soga. He adopted the two children and they waited patiently for an opportunity to kill Suketsune which came when he was hunting near Mt Fuji. They killed him but were themselves slain in the ensuing battle. This is the first edition, it was republished in 1858 by Yamaguchiya Tobei.

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)



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A fine design showing the outlaw Yasusuke Hakamadare surrounded by a giant snake amidst falling leaves. He was able to disguise himself using the skins of animals and this translated into the notion that he could transform himself into these creatures or conjure them up as in the case of the battle between Raiko and Hakamadare where he invocates a giant snake. (The subject of another triptych design by Yoshitsuya.) From a rare set: Dai Nihon jutsu zukushi, “An Assortment of Magic in Great Japan.” This talented pupil of Kuniyoshi had a penchant for snakes, and produced some striking prints. Published 1861.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Full size with extra paper around. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Tadasugawara no yudachi, “Evening Shower on the bank of the Tadasu River” from the early set Kyoto meisho no uchi, “Famous Views of Kyoto.” The set of ten masterpieces was published by Eisendo, c 1834. Shows figures running in the rain to get to the tea-houses which lined the banks here where the Kamo River and Takamo River joined.

 

Very good impression. The extremely rare first state of this print has the publisher’s seal in red in the upper left margin. This early state has the kiwame seal in left margin. This was removed on later editions and the seal after Hiroshige’s signature has the characters reversed white on red. Very good colour. Imperceptible centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Attributed to Toyoharu KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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An oban diptych shini-e (memorial portrait) of the famous kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII (1791-1859). Upper right is the date of his burial, Ansei 6 (1859), 3rd month, 24th day. A long inscription at left on his life. The image top right shows his great-great-great grandfather, the first Ichikawa Danjuro (1660-1704). The other image, top left, shows Danjuro VIII (1823-1854), his son, who predeceased him by 4 years. See Waseda University Theatre Museum, acc. Nos. 114-0330 and 114-0332 (attributed to Kunichika).

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa YOSHIKAZU (Fl. 1850-1870)



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A triptych showing the battle of Shijo Nawate at Yoshino, Nara. Shows Kusunoki Masatsura of the Southern army in the centre amidst a hail of arrows battling the Northern armies in 1348. He was killed in this fight at the age of 22. Published by Sanoya Tomigoro, 1862.

 

Very good impression and colour. Very slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichikawa Yoshikazu ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Yamauba and Kintoki from a set of thirteen prints Ikkai zuihitsu, “A Miscellany by Ikkai,” this being an early name of Yoshitoshi’s. A strange print in more ways than one: Not only is this his most “Westernized” design, but the impression is a puzzle. There is a thought that the design is based on Raphael’s Santa Familia but it could as easily be a Botticelli. Certainly it looks to be after Madonna and child images he has seen. Also, this set has numerous variations in seals. Basically, it seems those with red or black seals in the margin are the earliest. However, this is a fine impression and has no seals. Published by Masadaya Heikichi, 1872.

 

Fine impression and colour (with Kintoki a deeper red than on other impressions). Very good condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An uncut fan print showing the actor Sawamura Chojuro V as Ono no Tofu (aka Ono no Michikaze) in the play Ono no Tofu aoyagi suzuri performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre, 3/1850. Shows the character holding a large umbrella. Published by Ibaya Senzaburo, 1850 (who seems to have specialised in fans).

 

Extremely fine impression and colour with extensive burnishing. Minimal soil at bottom, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An uncut fan print showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro VIII in the role of Hanakawado no Sukeroku from a set: Mitate gonin otoko go-hiiki omoizashi, “A Parody of the Five Chivalrous Commoners, a Cup of Sake from their Fans.” Shows the actor holding a number of pipes; a shakuhachi protruding from his back. Published by Yama-Ta, 2ic/1852.

 

Extremely fine impression and colour. Minimal soil at bottom, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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