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2018 – Celebrating 50 years dealing in fine Japanese prints, paintings and books

 

Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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An important large brush drawing in red ink showing a full length figure wielding a stave at a cowering adversary. The standing figure has no sword or armour but is obviously a chivalrous man of great probity. The leaning attitude of the upright figure is typical of Hokusai (for example, see Theodore Bowie, Indiana University Press, 1974, The Drawings of Hokusai, no. 108) and gives movement to what otherwise would be a static pose. Red ink was frequently used by Hokusai, not just on the obvious Shoki paintings (see nos. 160-161, pages 254-5, Timothy Clark, Hokusai Beyond The Great Wave, B.M., 2017) but as underdrawing on figures and landscapes (see nos. 178-182, pages 279-283, Timothy Clark, Hokusai Beyond The Great Wave, B.M., 2017). Red ink and wash on thin Japanese paper laid onto european paper, image area 16.5 x 15.5 in; 41.5 x 39.5 cms. An area not pertinent to the design missing top right but otherwise in good condition. Provenance: Ex collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller (inventory number 23.040).

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Torii KIYONAGA (1752-1815)




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A chuban print showing a woman at a washtub watched by a small child. Another woman is hanging a kimono out to dry. Without any series title but with a scalloped cloud above which may have been intended to have a title. Published c. late 1770s. Rare: Not listed in Hirano, Chie Hirano, Kiyonaga, MFAB, 1939.

 

 

Superb impression, colour and condition. Possibly a proof impression. Signed Kiyonaga ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Torii KIYOMASU (FL. c. 1696-1720)




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An overlarge oban, 19.5 x 12.25 in; 49.5 x 31 cms. Coloured by hand with tan and mustard yellow. Shows the emporium of Daikokuten, the God of wealth and one of the Seven Lucky Gods (Shichifukujin). He is shown at the top seated in front of a pair of scales. Seated before him, to the left, is Benzaiten, the Goddess of love and music. On the right is Ebisu, God of fishermen and good luck. Behind him is Fukurokuju, the God of happiness and wealth, using an abacus. On the far right is Jurojin, the God of longevity. Below him, next to the cart, is Bishamonten, the God of war and warriors. At the bottom, stepping from the boat, is Hotei, the God of happiness. All the Gods are helping, together with rats, to unload bales of rice. The earliest depictions of the Seven Gods are in the second half of the 17th century and are amalgams of Indian and Chinese lore. This early rendition still hasn’t the fully developed characteristics of the Gods – especially Hotei – which we see in the 19th century. Published by Komatsuya (who published c. 1707-1734) c. 1710-1715. Little is known of Kiyomasu’s early career. He may have been the brother of Kiyonobu. An important painter and print artist. Of the utmost rarity: probably the only impression extant.

 

 

Very good impression. Some expert edge restoration, otherwise very good colour and condition. Signed Torii shi with Kiyomasu seal.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A design interpreting a poem by the Lady of Ise (c. 875-c. 938) from an unfinished set Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki, “The Hundred Poems [By the Hundred Poets] as Told by the Nurse.” Published 1835-36 by Eijudo with 27 prints known and 67 outstanding drawings for the set. Shows a mother and daughter or lady and servant at a window overlooking Naniwa Inlet with rice fields in the distance and men working on the roof of the building they are in.

 

 

Fine early impression with woodgrain showing on the roof. Fine colour. Small nick out of right edge, otherwise fine condition. Signed Zen Hokusai manji.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Kesai EISEN (1790-1848)




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An aizuri-e vertical oban diptych with touches of red and green. A response to censorship bans which were promulgated to curtail excessive extravagance. (In this case the use of multiple blocks.) The bans were extended to the theatre and other areas that the Shogunate deemed to be susceptible to degeneration. Shows a sumptuously attired courtesan. Published by Sanoya Kihei, c. 1830s.

 

 

Superb impression: The cutting and printed of the block for the costume is of the highest order. Very fine colour and condition. Signed Kesai Eisen ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)




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A triptych showing the interior of a mansion. In the centre the head of the household, a young male, surrounded by his female attendants. This most likely shows the Setsubun – a ritual of bean-throwing to clear out the evil from a house on the day before the beginning of spring which was considered New Year’s eve. There are impressions in the MFA Boston (11.13833-5, 21.7798-800) and MET (JP201). Published by Iwatoya Kisaburo. The MET and MFA give a date as c 1791-4 but the signature better fits a date of c 1800.

 

 

Very good impression. Exceptional colour – better even than the other illustrated examples. Small restoration on last sheet, otherwise very good condition with extra paper around. Signed Toyokuni ga. Rare.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)




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Nikko Shimofuri no taki, “Shimofuri Waterfall in Nikko” from Shokoku meisho hyakkei, the “Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces.” An uncompleted set of 81 prints published by Uoya Eikichi between 1859-1861 (this being 1859).

 

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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Mino Ochiai-bashi. Mino (Noshu) Province from the “Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces.” An uncompleted set of 81 prints published by Uoya Eikichi between 1859 – 1861 (this being 1861). An evening rain scene with figures making their way across the torrential Chitose River, famous for its fishing.

 

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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Kashu Kanazawa Daijo-ji. Kashu (Kaga) Province from the “Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces.” An uncompleted set of 81 prints published by Uoya Eikichi between 1859 – 1861 (this being 1859). Shows the famous Zen temple. The mountains behind shrouded in mist, beautifully conveyed by expert wiping of the blocks in Shijo-style. One of my favourite landscape prints.

 

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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The actor Danjuro VIII as the ghost of Seigen from a set of prints Mitate sanjurokkasen no uchi, “An Imaginary Thirty-six Poets” published by Iseya Kanekichi in 1852. The relevant poet in this case is Ariwara no Narihira. The corrupt priest Seigen broke his vows of chastity when he fell in love with Sakurahime. Danjuro played this role in the play Yami no ume yume no tamakura, in the New Year’s programme at the Kawarazaki theatre, Edo, in 1/1853.

 

 

Very fine early impression with glue applied to the eyes. Fine colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original painting showing the old lighthouse at Tempozan, Osaka. To the left is the mount which was formed by earth dredged from the Ajigawa in 1831 to allow easier access for ships. In the foreground masts of moored vessels. There appear to be few images of this lighthouse. It was replaced by a lighthouse designed by the British engineer Richard Henry Brunton, the “Father of Japanese Lighthouses” in 1872. Sumi and light colour on paper, 12.75 x 20.25 in ; 32.4 x 51.4 cms.

 

 

Signed Hiroshige ga with Ichiryusai seal. Very good condition.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Teisai HOKUBA (1771-1844)




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One of the outstanding pupils of Hokusai, his paintings rated next below the master’s, and also one of the earliest, together with Hokkei and Shinsai. Designed some fine surimono, also kyoka books. But best known for his highly accomplished kakemono of bijin, often set against well known places in Edo. This pair of paintings shows, right, a beauty beneath a cherry tree, Sakura; and, left, a beauty on a small jetty beneath a maple tree, Momiji. Beautifully presented with old mounts and box. Full colour on silk. Image sizes 39.75 x 13.5 in; 101 x 34.5 cms. In extremely good condition with beautiful details on the costumes of the two bijin. Each painting signed Teisai with seals Tei Sai. Probably c 1830’s when his finest work is considered to have been made.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Minamoto no Ushiwakamura battling with Kumasaka Chohan. From the fine set Yoshitoshi mushaburui, “Yoshitoshi’s Courageous Warriors.” Published by Kobayashi, 1883-1886 (this being 1883).

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Light toning, otherwise fine condition. This is the first edition. There are a number of later states and the set was republished by Tsunajima in 1886.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Shoki appearing in the Chinese emperor Ming Huang’s dream and cleansing him of a fever demon. From the set Shinkei sanjurokkaisen, “New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts.” The set published by Sasaki Toyokichi, 1889 – 1892 (this being 1890).

 

 

Very fine first edition, fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Kobayakawa Takakage debating with the tengu on mount Hiko from Shinkei sanjurokkaisen, “New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts.”The set published by Sasaki Toyokichi, 1889-1892 (this being 1892).

 

 

Very fine first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A complete Tokaido set of 56 prints printed four-to-a-sheet on fourteen sheets, uncut. Each sheet has an indication of where it is to be cut. Published by Aritaya Seiemon, 1845. Extremely rare complete.

 

 

Fine impressions and colour. Centre folds and some soil at bottom on some sheets. One sheet restored, but overall in good condition. Each design signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A sheet of original drawings being hanshita-e for an ehon. Shows, above, a seated samurai and a female figure to the right holding a mirror. Below, actors in a garden setting. Sumi with touches of red on thin paper laid onto thicker Japanese paper, 14 x 10 in; 36 x 25 cms. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Abe no Hirafu fighting a giant bear in the snow from a set of 51 prints Dai Nippon meisho kagami, “A Mirror of Famous Commanders of Great Japan.” The set was published by Ebisuya Shoshichi (the first 11 prints) and Funazu Chujiro between 1878-1882. Hirafu was a general for the Empress Saimei. On his return from a mission to the Emishi in northeastern Japan, where he signed a peace agreement , he presented the Empress with two live bears and seventy bear hides. Published by Funazu Chujiro in 1880.

 

 

Fine, early impression with splashed gofun (only on the earliest states). Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Yatsunada attacking Saohime’s brother’s castle from a set of 51 prints Dai Nippon meisho kagami, “A Mirror of Famous Commanders of Great Japan.” The set was published by Ebisuya Shoshichi (the first 11 prints) and Funazu Chujiro between 1878-1882. Saohime had conspired with her elder brother Saohikoto to murder the emperor but she abandoned their plan at the last moment. She is seen escaping the conflagration. Published by Funazu Chujiro in 1880.

 

 

Fine, early impression. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The fifteen year old Otani Furuinosuke killing a giant boar with his bare hands. From a set Honcho Suikoden goyu happyakunin no hitori, “One of the Eight Hundred Heroes of the Water Margin of Japan.” Published by Kagaya Kichiemon c 1831. This is the first edition: It was republished by Ibaya Sensaburo in 1845. Robinson S4a.14.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming at left, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Yamamoto Kansuke striding through the snow. “Boar” from a set Mitate junishi, “Selection for the Twelve Signs.” Published by Ibaya Kyubei, c 1845. (Kansuke was famous for killing a giant boar in the snow.) Robinson S38.12.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa SADAFUSA (Active 1830s – 1840s)




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An original sumi woodblock for two chuban prints from a Kanadehon Chushingura set. The upper design being Act VII, the tea-house Ichiriki, Kyoto with Yuranosuke; the lower showing Act VIII, the bridal journey with Konami and her daughter Tonase on the Tokaido Road. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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A triptych from a set Buyu setsugekka, “Heroes for the Snow, Moon and Flowers,” this being Gojo no tsuki, “Moon Over Gojo [Bridge].” Published by Isaya Kanekichi c 1867. A popular subject for artists it tells of the battle between the young Yoshitsune and the warrior monk Benkei who had secured the bridge and fought each samurai wanting to cross in order to steal their sword. The 1000th was Yoshitsune who defeats Benkei and secures his loyalty for the ensuing years. Yoshitsune was taught martial arts by tengu in the forests outside Kyoto as a child and they are seen here aiding and abetting him in his duel.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size with added mica at top. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing three women washing clothes in a stream from a set Six Tama [Jewel or Crystal] Rivers, this being the Chofu Crystal River (in fact the Tamagawa that flowed into Edo Bay). Musashi no kuni Chofu no Tamagawa. The set published by Sanoya Kihei, c 1847. The complete set is illustrated in The Baur Collection, Matthi Forrer, vol. II, 1994, nos G396-G401 (this being G397).

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHIKAZU (Active c 1849-1867)




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Kato Kiyomasa (aka Masakiyo, 1562-1611) hunting man-eating tigers with his cohorts in Korea. Masakiyo ko toragari no zu. Kiyomasa had two expeditions to Korea in 1592 and 1597. Published by Hiranoya Shinzo, 1861.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichikawa Yoshikazu ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych of the night attack on Yoshitsune’s palace on the Hirikawa, Kyoto -hence called the Horikawa Palace – by the troops of Yoshitsune’s brother (Yoritomo) led by Tosaba Shoshun in 1185. Horikawa yo-uchi no zue. Yoshitsune is seen on the raised wooden platform with Benkei. Below is his mistress, Lady Shizuka, with a halberd. Yoshitsune’s brother’s mind was poisoned against him and he was thought of as a threat. Published by Sanoya Kihei, 1851.

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)




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A triptych showing Minamoto no Yorimitsu (aka Raiko, 948-1021) trying to capture the notorious thief Hakamadare Yasusuke. Kijutsu Hakamadare o karamen to su. Yorimitsu is seen with his cohorts Urabe Suetake, Hirai Yasumasa, and Watanabe Tsuna. On the right Hakamadare attempts to evade capture by magically conjuring up a battle between a giant snake and a bear. Published 1858 by Tsutaya Kichizo.

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA II (1823-1880)




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A triptych showing Prince Genji in a boat with attendant page and a lady watching female awabi (abalone) divers called ama. These women were a great curiosity for the public and seen as rather risqué characters. Prince Genji was the protagonist of Murasaki Shikibu’s Heian-era novel The Tale of Genji. He was the second son of the emperor, and relegated to civilian life. Published 1865 by Maruya Kyushiro.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kunisada hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing a figure in the centre painting Otsu-e pictures which float up and materialise as the actual characters. Toki ni Otsu-e kitai no maremono, “Popular Otsu-e Paintings for the Times: A long-awaited Rarity.” In fact, this is a self-portrait of Kuniyoshi. He is shown with one of his many cats watching him and his kiri seal fan to his left. Tantalizingly, Kuniyoshi partially covers his face with a painting. There are few images of Kuniyoshi. Published by Minatoya Kohei, c 1848.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight crinckling of paper, otherwise very good condition. Signed ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHIKAZU (Active c 1849-1867)




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A five-sheet original drawing (hanshita-e) showing a parade of beauties before a wicker fence and blossom. Bigyoku imayo hanazoroi, “An Assortment of Modern Beautiful Gems as Flowers.” Nice brushwork on the sumptuous kimonos. Sumi with sumi wash and light touches of red on thin Japanese paper laid onto further thin Japanese paper. Each sheet signed Ichikawa Yoshikazu ga. Sold “as is” with all imperfections, but in good condition.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Shimadai, grouper (probably Chilodactylus zonatus) and ainame, greenling (Hexagrammus otakii) together with red-berried nanten. Poem by Kanshunro Nushibito. Probably the first edition (Kruml 18a). From the second series of fish published by Yamasho c. 1840-42.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIMARU (1794-1829)



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An uncut fan print showing a beauty looking into a lacquered hand mirror which she has withdrawn from a lacquered cabinet. Kunimaru produced some exceptional fans, of which this is one. However, his work in other fields is not noteworthy and it does pose the question if there were two artists with the same name ? Published 1827. Of particular interest is the design on the under-garment she is holding which has a Dutch motif of cherubs. Rare.

 

 

Very fine impression with strong burnishing on the mirror case, cabinet and her hair. Fine colour. Small repaired binding holes, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kunimaru hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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