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

 

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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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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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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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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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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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A triptych of the Ink Wars, Bokusen no zu. Evidently a court pastime during the Nara period (710-794) was to stage ink battles. Courtiers are involved in throwing ink and daubing each other with brushes. Published by San, 1843.

 

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

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A night scene illuminated by a band of light from a hand-lantern. Shows Ushiwaka-maru (Yoshitsune) battling with the outlaw priest Kumasada Chohan and his band of thieves who were attempting to rob the inn where Yoshitsune was staying. Published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c. 1839-41. A fine design.

 

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

 

Status: Available

 

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Ittosai MASANOBU (active c1849-1853)




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The actor Kataoka Gado II as Honchomaru Tsunagoro in the play Honcho itoya no musume performed at the Chikugo theatre in 8/1849. From the set: Date kurabe kyokaku den, “A Comparison of the Stylishness of Famous Gallants”.


Fine deluxe surimono-style impression and colour. Margin trimmed to black line at left, otherwise fine condition on deluxe hosho. Signed Kunimasa monjin Masuharu ga ( “Masanobu pupil of Kunimasu” ).



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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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Echikawa from Kisokaido rokujukyutsugi no uchi, “Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaido.” The set of seventy prints was started by Eisen and published by Hoeido in 1835, but in 1837 Hiroshige took over and completed the series with the publisher Iseya Rihei (Kinjudo). Shows the Echi river with a trestle bridge crossing it. In the foreground a laden oxen being led and two peripatetic priests.

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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An extremely rare aiban print showing two kochi , bartail flatheads, (Platycephalus indicus) and an abalone, sea-ear, (Haliotus tuberculate). From a set of eight prints of various fish published c. late 1830s. Another impression is illustrated in Japanese Prints IV – Hiroshige and the Utagawa School, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, 1984, no. 45, p. 35.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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An extremely rare aiban print showing a shimadai, grouper, (probably Chilodactylus zonatus) and an aji, horse-mackerel, (Caranx trachurus). From a set of eight prints of various fish published c. late 1830s.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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2 vols. complete: Kanjaku tsuizen hanashidori, “The Liberated Birds: A Memorial Book for Kanjaku.” A memorial book for the actor Nakamura Utaemon who died in 1852. He had the literary name of Kanjaku, meaning ”playing with sparrows” and the covers and many illustrations allude to this custom of releasing birds at funerals. Vol. 1: 1st preface , 3pp. giving the biography of Utaemon IV; poem 1p. 3 sheets: calligraphy (in ishizuri), 1p.; illustrations in colour, 5pp. signed on first page Toyokuni (III). Sheets 1-8: 2nd preface, 5pp., remaining pp. text, poems and colour illustrations. Sheets 1-75 with 15 single-page and 62 double-page illustrations in sumi and light colour. Inside back cover: colophon dated Kaei 5 (1852). Vol. 2: 110 sheets of text, poems, and illustrations. 38 single-page and 50 double-page illustrations (many in colour and includes a double-page illustration by Kuniyoshi). Last page, colophon, dated Kaei 5 (1852). Original covers with clouds and sparrows. Some soil and minor damage. One title slip missing and other damaged. Contents extremely good.

 

Status: Available

 




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Rantokusai SHUNDO (Active c.1770-1790)



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A hosoban showing the actor Nakamura Sukegoro II as Sasano Sangobei (an otokodate – chivalrous commoner) in part two of the play Iro moyo aoyagi Soga, “Green Willow Soga of Erotic Design.” Performed at the Nakamura Theater 2/1775. Shundo was an early pupil of Shunsho’s and this fine design is comparable to the best that Shunsho produced. The left sheet of a diptych. The complete (faded) design is illustrated in The Actor’s Image, Clark & Ueda, A.I.C., 1994, no. 135, p. 358/9. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Fine, totally unfaded colour. Fine condition. Signed Rantokusai Shundo ga with Hayashi in jar-shaped seal.

 

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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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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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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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 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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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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