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

 

Choensai EISHIN (Fl. 1795-1817)




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An original painting by a rare pupil of Hosoda Eishi. He designed some fine bijin prints, including rare okubi-e. Shows a beauty in heavy snow with billowing trousers, a heavy straw cape and tall geta elevating her above the snow. She holds a wide-brimmed hat in her right hand to ward off the flakes of snow. Another painting by Eishin of a similar subject is illustrated in Klaus Brandt, Hosoda Eishi, 1977, 569, E22. Sumi and colour on paper with extensive splashed gofun; 10.2 x 39.5 in; 25.5 x 100.5 cms. An interesting aspect of the painting are the stencilled white roundels on the trousers. Newly remounted but retaining the fine old chu-mawashi and ichimonji futai parts of mount which are yuzen dyed fabric from Kyoto. Painted c. 1800.

 

Signed Toyogawa Eishin fude; seal unread. Some careful restoration at base, otherwise in very good condition. Rare.

 

Status: Available

 




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Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)




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An original fan painting of a baby tanuki amongst autumn grasses and beneath a full moon. Sosen was a close observer of nature (even, it is said, living for a while in the woods to closely observe the animals). He is best known for his monkey paintings, of which there are many copies. The tanuki, or Japanese raccoon dog, is frequently depicted in Japanese art and mentioned in the folklore. It was reputed to be a mischievous creature and a master of disguise. Sumi and colour on a gold-flecked paper ground; 8 x 20.5 in; 20.5 x 52 cms. Mounted as a scroll. Old mount and box. An inscription on the inside of the box reads: Kokou Souryo shintei, “Judged by Kokou Souryo.” On the outside the inscription reads: Shunsou-tanuki-senmen, “Autumn grass tanuki fan.”

 

Sosen hitsu. Painted c. 1800. Signed Sosen with seals Shusho. Good overall condition.

 

Status: Available

 




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Hishikawa MOROSHIGE (Fl. 1684-1704)




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An original painting showing a go game being watched by beautifully attired ladies. Moroshige was the senior pupil of Hishikawa Moronobu, and, it is said, was the father of Furuyama Moromasa. Sumi and full colour with extensive gold on silk; 10.75 x 15 in; 27.5 x 38 cms. Newly remounted with futomaki and box. Provenance: Ex William Sturgis Bigelow collection. He was one of the first Americans to live in Japan and much of his extensive collection went to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His original seal has been affixed to the side of the box.

 

Painted c. 1700. In very good condition. Rare: A fine painting and nice subject.

 

Status: Available

 




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Cho GESSHO (1772-1832)




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A large original painting of moored junks caught in a violent squall. A fine painter who studied under Tanke Gessen and Matsumura Goshun in Kyoto before moving to Nagoya in 1798 and becoming Nagasawa Rosetsu’s assistant for a short time. Also illustrated some fine ehon. Sumi and colour on silk with the currents of air painted in gold; 55.25 x 26 in; 140.25 x 66 cms. Painted c. 1810s. Provenance: Two previous owners’ seals on the exterior of mount: The Honda family library and the Ueno family. Old box with inscription which states that Gessho wanted to acquire a painting from the Owari district. Although not intrinsically valuable it was esteemed by the local people. He offered to exchange the painting offered here for their painting. There is a dig here in that the inhabitants of Owari were known to be avaricious. Written by Mizutani Okurei (1848-1926). Presumably based on the accounts of the two previous family owners.

 

Signed Gessho with seal: Yukisada, Genkei, Gessho. Obviously an important painting by Gessho and in very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 




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Yashima GAKUTEI (1786-1868)



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A surimono – one of a series that Gakutei designed in the curved shape of a folding fan. Shows a seated poet before Mt. Fuji holding a fan and dressed in courtly robes with a New Year pattern of pine trees and an eboshi cap. Two others from the set are illustrated in The Art of Surimono, Roger Keyes, Sothebys, 1985, pl. 47, p. 89; and Sammeln Magazin, Nr. 6, Juni 1985, p.15. Issued c. 1821. Provenance: Ex Toni Strauss Negbaur collection, seal au verso.

 

Fine impression with Mount Fuji blind-printed. Very good colour and condition. Signed Gakutei.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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An original Kuniyoshi drawing, sumi on thin paper, 6.75 x 9.25 in; 17 x 23.5 cms. Shows a fierce battle between two warriors and a band of brigands. Sold “as is” with imperfections.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Spring moon at the shore of Tsukudajima. One of a set of chu-tanzaku prints published by Shogendo, c.1837. Tsukudajima was one of two islands at the mouth of the Sumida River. Originally a sandbar, it was reclaimed with earth and rocks and given its name by the first Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu, who invited thirty-three fishermen to live there in 1613 in order to provide fish for the rapidly expanding city of Edo. The fishermen came from Tsukudama near Osaka. And it was they who became the proprietors of what would become the Tsukiji fish market. It must have been popular during the late Edo period as a place to visit and view the boats from teahouses on the shore because there are many prints depicting the area, especially under a full moon.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Kai Otsuki no hara, “The Otsuki Plain in Kai Province”. A meandering stream with flowers and pampas grass from Fuji sanjurokkei, “Thirty-six Views of Fuji” published by Tsutaya Kichizo, 1858. The set was started 5 months before Hiroshige’s death and early impressions were printed very carefully as a tribute to Hiroshige. One of the six best designs from the set.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Ishiyama no shugetsu, “Autumn Moon at Ishiyama” from a set of prints Omi hakkei no uchi, “Eight Views in Omi Province.” Shows Lake Biwa with Seta Bridge and Mount Hira in the distance. To the left is the temple where Murasaki Shikibu wrote her famous Tales of Genji. Published by Takenouchi, c. 1834-5. A guarantee label and seal au verso from the now deceased dealer M. Nakazawa.

 

Fine impression: There is a curious feature on this print in that the blue sky block is invariably printed short of the mountain, top left, giving a white gap around the mountain. This is one of the few impressions I have seen where it is barely visible. Fine colour. Slight edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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The year-end festival, Toshi-no-ichi, at Asakusa, Edo. This Buddhist temple was dedicated to bodhisattva Kannon. From the set Rokuju yoshu meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces.” Published by Koshimuraya Heisuke between 1853-1856 (this being 1853). Thousands gathered at this time of year to pray one last time and to purchase New Year goods.

 

Extremely fine, early impression. Probably a variant first edition: without bokashi clouds as on Pulverer’s impression, but with the purple block partly printed over the trees left and right which is lacking on Pulverer’s. This maybe the earliest state. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Wakasa, gyosen karei ami, catching flatfish in Wakasa Province. From the set Rokuju yoshu meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces.” Published by Koshimuraya Heisuke between 1853-1856 (this being 1853). This province was famous for its flatfish caught in the offshore waters and was considered a winter delicacy.

 

Fine, early impression. Fine colour and condition.Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Bingo Abumon Kannondo. The temple of Kannon at Abumon, Bingo Province. From the set Rokuju yoshu meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces.” Published by Koshimuraya Heisuke between 1853-1856 (this being 1853).

 

Fine, early impression. The earliest states have a cloud printed top left (as here). Very good colour. Slight centre fold and trimmed close, otherwise good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Mitake from Kisokaido rokujukyu-tsugi no uchi, “Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido.” The set of seventy prints was first published by Hoeido in 1835 with Eisen, but in 1837 Hiroshige took over and completed the series with the publisher Iseya Rihei (Kinjudo). The conjecture is that Hiroshige was the better known and more commercial artist, reinforced by the fact that Eisen’s name was removed from the designs already published. Hence, only the first editions have his signature on those prints. Shows a post station near to the famous Gankoji Temple. The inn and teahouse is advertising lodging.

 

Fine, very early impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Tarui from Kisokaido rokujukyu-tsugi no uchi, “Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido.” The set of seventy prints was first published by Hoeido in 1835 with Eisen, but in 1837 Hiroshige took over and completed the series with the publisher Iseya Rihei (Kinjudo). The conjecture is that Hiroshige was the better known and more commercial artist, reinforced by the fact that Eisen’s name was removed from the designs already published. Hence, only the first editions have his signature on those prints. Shows a daimyo’s cortege entering the station. On either side the villagers can be seen deferentially kneeling. This print is one of the few designs to show prints for sale. In this case on either side of the road, the shops doubling as teashops. The publisher’s mark Kinjudo can be seen on the left-hand shop.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Shiba Akabane no yuki, “Snow falling at Akabane in Shiba.” From a Toto meisho “Famous Sights of the Eastern Capital” set published by Kikakudo (Sanoki), the seal in red in right margin, c. 1832-35. There is confusion over how many prints belong to this series: The original set of twenty-one designs seem to have been extended to fifty-five in c. 1839-42. Shows the Akabane Bridge with the Zojo-ji Temple between trees above. To the right is Chancellor Arima’s mansion and above a tall fire-tower.

 

Fine, early impression. A very difficult design to find in early state. Later editions have the black seal of Sanoki in the right margin. Another first edition is in the Clarence Buckingham collection, The Art Institute of Chicago (1925.3464). A further interesting detail is that a block was specifically chosen with a wavy grain to print the water. Very good colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)



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A poem by Abe no Nakamaro from the unfinished set Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki, “Hundred Poems Explained by the Wet Nurse.” Twenty seven prints known with extant drawings for another sixty two. Published in 1835 by Nishimuraya Yohachi (who issued five) who then sold the blocks to Iseya Sanjiro. Shows the poet on a mount with Chinese soldiers waiting to take him away and imprison him. An unconventional interpretation of the poem which has Nakamaro left in a high pagoda to starve to death for attempting to steal the secrets of the Chinese calendar. He gazes at the moon (seen here reflected in the sea) and asks if it’s the same moon as that rising over his homeland – Japan.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Zen Hokusai with Manji seal. As with others in this set, the signature is near the extreme edge and is often trimmed off.

 

Status: Available

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)



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One sheet from a shunga set of 12 prints Ehon tsuhi no hinagata, “Patterns of Loving Couples.” Published 1814. The series title is a play on words. Tsuhi can be read as “couple” or “male and female pairs” or it can be pronounced tsubi, an old term for vulva.

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight soil and the usual slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)



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One sheet from a shunga set of 12 prints Ehon tsuhi no hinagata, “Patterns of Loving Couples.” Published 1814. The series title is a play on words. Tsuhi can be read as “couple” or “male and female pairs” or it can be pronounced tsubi, an old term for vulva.

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight soil and the usual slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA II (1823-1880)



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The actor Segawa Kikunojo V in the role of Ama Myochin, the Cat Witch, from the set Hakkenden inu no soshi no uchi, the Eight Dog Heroes, published by Tsutaya Kichizo, 5/1852. The play was premiered at the Ichimuraza Theatre, 1/1852. This is the highlight of the play: The monstrous cat murders the father of the dog hero Inamura Kakutaro and then assumes his likeness. However, as shown here, its hairy body and giant claws can still be seen behind the bamboo curtain. The best design from the set.

 

Fine impression and colour. Minor trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyosai Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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Shinshu Suwa-ko yatsume akauo wo to (ru). Shinshu (Shinano) 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 1860). A winter scene showing figures catching lampreys, eels and red rockfish in Lake Suwa. The lake was unusual in having warm currents beneath the ice, even in mid winter.

 

Fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour. Very slight edge soil, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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Enshu Akiba enkei Fukuroi tako. Fukuroi, Enshu (Totomi) 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 kite flying with a distant view of Mount Akiba. It has been suggested that the release of confetti was to bring good luck for the forthcoming harvest.

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour. Very slight soil, otherwise fine 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 YOSHITORA (Fl. c. 1850-1880)



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An original hanshita-e triptych drawing for an unpublished print: Okehazama daikassen no zue, “The Great Battle of Okehazama.” Shows Imagawa Yoshimoto being attacked by Hattori Koheita and Mori Shinsuke and killed. The battle was in June 1560. The intended print was to be published by Kiya Sojiro and has the publisher’s mark on the drawing as well as the censor seal for 1866.

 

Sumi on thin paper with extensive pentimenti. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)



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A fine triptych showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX (1838-1903) as the priest Mongaku Shonin. The priest is shown, with Buddhist bell in hand, beneath the freezing waters of the Nachi Waterfall doing penance for inadvertently killing his cousin and lover, Kesa Gozen. Eventually the deity Fudo Myo-o takes pity on him and helps him through the ordeal. Danjuro also played the role of Fudo Myo-o in this performance of the play Hashi kuyo bonji no Mongaku, “The Austerities of Mongaku” at the Ichimuraza Theatre, May 1883. The Danjuro family worshipped the deity Fudo Myo-o. Published by Morimoto Junzaburo, 1883. This must have been a particularly successful performance as there are a number of prints commemorating it and it is listed as one of the great roles of his canon.

 

Fine impression and colour. One careful area of restoration, otherwise very good condition. Signed Yoshu Chikanobu fude.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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An original drawing by the first Toyokuni. An hanshita-e diptych for a published set of triptychs with title: Yakusha juni tsuki, “Actors in the Twelve Months.” Shows the actors (from the left) Bando Mitsugoro III holding a pipe; Iwai Hanshiro V with an open book; Nakamura Utaemon III about to write a poem; and Segawa Roko IV with another pipe. They are compared to the months of the year, in this case July, the month of the Bon Odori festival and are also a parody of the Six Immortal Poets. The print published by Yamashiroya Toemon (active c. 1801-1817). In fact this set was published Spring, Bunka 6 (1809). Sumi on thin paper laid around edges onto another sheet. Some pentimenti and also shows the initial hurried under-drawing and with annotations for the finished print. Sold together with the two published sheets which shows the lanterns removed at top, the brazier bottom centre and other minor changes. In indifferent condition. An illustrated example of this complete triptych is in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts.

 

The print signed Toyokuni ga. Original hanshita-e by Toyokuni I are extremely rare. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.


 

Status: Available

 

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Keisai MASAYOSHI (1764-1824)




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One volume complete Gyokai ryakugashiki, “Fishes and Shells in the Abbreviated Style of Drawing.” Published in Osaka by Fukusada Tobei, 1813. Originally published in 1802 with alternative title and poems by Ichiyosei Sogai and others. 31 sheets numbered 1-31. Initial page with title and illustrator Kuwagata Keisai (Kitao Masayoshi). Colophon with date Bunka 10 (1813), engravers and publisher.

 

Some minor soil and damage to covers, otherwise good condition. Extensive use of mica on various pages.

 

Status: Available

 




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