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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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Kikukawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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A triptych showing a street thronged with people in front of the famous department store Iwaki Masuya, giving a good cross-section of the inhabitants of the city at this time. The store specialised in silk and textiles and was one of the most important in Edo having, at one point, 500 employees in its stores. Hiroshige designed another triptych of this subject in c. 1850.

 

Published by Mikawaya Seiemon, c. 1815. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Extremely fine fresh colour. Fine condition. Full size. Signed Kikukawa Eizan fude.

 

Status: Available

 

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Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)



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A fine chuban from a series parodying the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, this being Daikoku, the god of wealth, seen here attempting to stand on one of his straw bales of rice. The famous waitress Kasamori O-sen (1751-1827) stands holding a battledore on New Year’s Day while her companion balances on Daikoku’s shoulders attempting to retrieve the shuttlecock caught in the kado-matsu decorations using her own battledore. The lantern on the right reads Kagi-ya, which was a tea-house located by the Kasamori Inari Shrine in Yanaka, north of Edo, which was owned by O-sen’s father and where she was the waitress. Considered to be one of “The Three Beauties” of her time. (Given the date of the print, she must have been around 18 when shown here.) The Torii gate is seen on the left. The poem above speaks of a New Year’s fresh gem [O-Sen] and how the trees and grasses bend to her. Published c. 1769.

 

Fine impression: As with many Harunobu, the lines are in relief because of the thick hosho. Exceptional colour: Even the vegetable blue used for the paving stones leading to the temple have not turned except at the extreme left and right. This was a colour used frequently by Harunobu to depict water but is almost always faded to a puce colour. Minimal soil, otherwise a fine example from this period. Signed Harunobu ga.

 

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 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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Kikukawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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An original painting by Eizan who was the leading exponent of bijinga in the early 1800s producing many fine oban, triptych and shunga designs. He founded the Kikukawa School. Surprisingly, given his output of prints, his paintings are rare. This beautiful example, full colour on silk, 35 x 14.5 in; 88.9 x 36.8 cms, shows a courtesan reading a letter. Her sumptuous clothes are restrained in pattern and colour before the excesses of later years and other artists. Another example, not as fine as offered here, is in the Tokyo National Museum and is illustrated in their catalogue Ukiyo-e Painting Exhibition, 1993, no. 72, p. 64. The British Museum has a very slight painting of a beauty by Eizan illustrated in Ukiyo-e Paintings in the British Museum, Timothy Clark, Smithsonian Institution, 1992, no. 148, p. 195. One other fine example is illustrated in Masterpieces of ukiyo-e paintings from the Weston collection, various authors, 2015, no. 106, p. 161. Painted c. 1815-25. Signed Kikukawa Eizan hitsu with seals Kikukawa and Toshinobu. In very good condition having been recently remounted.

 

Status: Available

 




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Mori YOSHIYUKI ( 1835-1879 )




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Shows Hido Hachiro holding the decapitated head of an enemy from Honcho buyu kagami, “Mirror of our Country’s Military Elegance.” Yoshiyuki was a pupil of Yoshiume and designed the set A Hundred Views of Osaka. He moved to Tokyo in 1868. Published by Tsutaya, c 1868. Rare: The first time I have catalogued this set.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshiyuki ga.


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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Utagawa KUNISADA (1797-1861)




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A fine and interesting original painting, full colour on silk, 11.25 x 20.25 in; 28.5 x 51.5 cms. Shows a reclining beauty looking up at a cuckoo (hototogisu) flying in clouds. The cuckoo is the harbinger of the summer months. This painting, made c 1830, reflects Kunisada’s study, together with Ikkei, of the work of Hanabusa Itcho (1652-1724). Indeed, Ikkei gave Kunisada the name Hanabusa Ittai and this painting is signed Hanabusa Itcho Kunisada ga with seal Hanabusa Ittai Kunisada no in. To the bottom left is an inscription reading “A disciple of Utagawa Kunisada drawn on request [the cuckoo].” There is a small seal but it is undecipherable.

 

Minor marks but in generally very good condition. Touches of gold and the gofun on the face well retained. Newly mounted with new box.

 

Status: Available

 




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Kitagawa TSUKIMARO (Active c 1804-1836)




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An original painting, full colour on dark silk, 33.5 x 11.5 in; 85 x 29 cms. Shows a Chinese beauty – possibly Yang Guikei – collecting medicinal leaves from a Japanese spice bush. An intriguing painting with Ukiyo-e elements fused with both Chinese and Western styles. Tsukimaro was Utamaro’s best pupil and his paintings are rare. Painted c 1818.

 

Some loss of gofun but generally good condition. Newly mounted with new box. Signed Bokutei Tsukimaro hitsu with two unidentified seals.

 

Status: Available

 




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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A triptych showing a scene during the siege of Nagashino Castle by Takeda Katsuyori. Torii Suneemon Katsutaka was sent to get help and managed to evade the guards. He insists on returning to his comrades but meanwhile Takeda has fastened bells to the cables on the castle’s exit which gave the alarm and frightens a flock of herons. Katsutaka was captured and died a samurai’s death shouting hold fast to his comrades. Takeda’s troops were subsequently massacred. Published by Kinseido, 1868. From a series Bidan musha hakkei, “Eight Views from Fine Tales of Warriors.”

 

Very fine impression, the rain beautifully burnished; blind-printing and mica applied. Fine colour and condition. Full size. A fine copy. Signed Tsukioka Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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A dai-oban print showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Minister Kibi in the play Kibi Daijin Shina monogatari, “Minister Kibi, Tale of China.” The play centres on the historical minister Kibi no Makibi who joined a mission to the Tang Court in China in 716. He is supposed to have brought back to Japan the game of go, embroidery, and the secrets of the Chinese almanac. Published by Gusokuya Kahai, 1875.

 

Fine impression with gauffrage and extensive burnishing to Kibi’s black garment. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition, untrimmed. Signed Oju Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Katsukawa SHUNTEI (1770-1820)



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Yamamoto Kansuke (Haruyuki) (1501-1561) overpowering a gigantic boar. Takeda Shingen’s most valuable general and one of the Takeda nijushi-sho, “Takeda’s Twenty-four [most trusted] Generals.” Kansuke was involved in a lengthy feud with Kenshin Tora and is killed in one of their skirmishes at Kawanakajima on 12 Oct. 1561.

 

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

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)



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A beauty climbing stairs, the ninth month from a set of twelve. Published c 1813 by Nishimuraya Yohachi. Beauties ascending stairs was a stock subject for ukiyo-e artists. I’m not sure why.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Seki and Kameyama from the chuban Muraichi Tokaido. The set of 56 prints published by Muraichi, 1852. Printed two-to-a-sheet uncut and probably from a complete proof set. Double censor’s seals Murata and Kinugasa and date seal 2ic/1852 top right.

 

Fine impressions with strong woodgrain showing. Fine colour. Very small binding holes in right border, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga on each print.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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Yoroi no watashi, “Yoroi Ferry” from the set Toto sanjurokkei, “Thirty-six Views of Edo.” Published by Ai-To, 1862. Shows the laden ferry crossing in heavy snow. The Koami-cho warehouses on the right.

 

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

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Taira no Tadamori (1096-1153) grappling with the oil thief from a set: Honcho komei kagami, “A Mirror of our Country’s Renowned Heroes.” Published by Joshuya Kinzi, c 1835. The story relates how the Emperor Shirakawa was perturbed by a monster in the precincts of the Mido Temple at night. The samurai Taira no Tadamori was ordered to kill the beast only to discover a harmless old monk who steals a little oil from the stone lanterns. Kunisada designed a number of sets like this around this date.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very slightly trimmed, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada 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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