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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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Katsukawa SHUNTEI (1770-1820)



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A fabulous and extremely rare triptych showing the ama diver Tamatori-hime escaping from the Dragon King’s Palace with the priceless pearl. The story (with variations) relates how the Dragon King stole the jewel during a storm when it, and two other treasures, were being sent to Japan by the Tang dynasty emperor in memory of his consort’s father, Kamatari. Subsequently, Fujiwara no Fuhito, the son of Kamatari, searches for the pearl; meets the pearl diver Tamatori-hime, falls in love and marries her. She vows to retrieve the pearl which she eventually achieves but is pursued through the ocean by the dragon and a myriad grotesque sea creatures who were guarding it. Published by Kawaguchiya Uhei, c. 1810.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size. Signed Shuntei ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Hishikawa MORONOBU (C. 1618-1694)




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An important figure and pioneer of the ukiyo-e school. He was born into a family of embroiderers and textile dyers at Hota in Awa Province, but departed for Edo, c. 1658, to study painting. A prolific artist, he illustrated a large number of books, as well as being the first to design single-sheet prints. Turned to painting c. 1670. Shows a promenading beauty, knees slightly bent and the long face typical of Moronobu. The delicately painted kimono has serrated roundels with images of Heian court life or abstract patterns interspersed with small gold flower heads.

 

An original painting on silk, image size 23.5 x 10.75 in; 59.75 x 27 cms with an old elaborately embroidered mount. Unsigned, as is often the case with 17th century paintings. In very good condition.

 

Status: Reserved

 




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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)



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Kegon no taki, santaki no sono ikkei, “Kegon Falls, One of the Three Waterfalls” from a set of eight prints Nikkosan meisho no uchi, “Celebrated Views in the Nikko Mountains.” Published by Yamamotoya Heikichi c. 1844. Obviously inspired by Hokusai’s set of waterfalls. See: The Japanese Print: A New Approach, J. Hillier, Bell & Son, 1960, Chapter XVI, where Jack Hillier discusses Eisen and his landscapes and considers this set “… is perhaps the crowning achievement of his career as a designer of landscape-prints.” Extremely rare.

 

Very fine impression. (I have only seen early impressions of this set – perhaps it was not popular at the time.) Fine colour. Extremely slight vertical fold, otherwise fine condition. Signed Keisai Eisen utsusu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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A design from a rare set of ten untitled landscapes showing a poet on the seashore contemplating the view: An aizuri landscape with salt water gatherers and the beams of a setting sun. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, 1832.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight centre fold and backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Gempei Yashima o-kassen, the great battle of Yashima in 1184. Shows Yoshitsune’s famous “eight-boat leap” (centre), Noritsune (left), and Benkei on the large boat (right). Published by Kawaguchiya Uhei, c. 1839-41.

 

Very good impression and colour. Edge repair top left sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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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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 SADAHIDE (1807-1873)



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An exceptionally rare triptych showing the great battle between Takeda Shingen (left) and Uesugi Kenshin (right) during the fourth (of five) Kawanakajima battles. Kenshin lunges with his sword but is parried by Shingen using his iron war fan (gunbai). These skirmishes took place in the mid. 16th century. I can, at the moment, only locate one damaged impression of this fine design. Published 1846 by Tsujiokaya Bunsuke.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Full size. Signed Gyokuransai Sadahide ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Women washing cloth in the Chofu River from a set of six triptychs of the Six Tama (or Jewel, or Crystal) Rivers. Musashi no kuni Chofu Tamagawa, “Chofu Crystal River in Musashi Province.” Published by Sanoya Kihei, 1847-8.

 

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

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA II (1823-1880)



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A snow scene showing Prince Genji and attendants on Sugatami Bridge from a set of twelve months: Junikagetsu Genji no Sugatami. This being the eleventh month. Published by Yamashiroya Jinbei, 1867.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition with extensive splashed gofun. Signed Kochoro Kunisada hitsu

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE II (1829-1869)



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Soshu Shichirigahama, the “Seven Ri Beach” near Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture. From the set Shokoku meisho hyakkei, “The One Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces.” From the beach one gets a clear view of Fuji and Enoshima Island – both framed by a giant wave. The set (of which only 80 are known) was published by Uoya Eikichi, 1859-61 (this being 1859). Hiroshige’s foremost pupil. He was called Shigenobu until assuming the name Hiroshige II on Hiroshige’s death. Married his daughter.

 

Very good impression and colour. Very slight stain in cartouche, otherwise very good condition. Sugned Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Numazu, Hikure, “Yellow Dusk” from Tokaido gojusan tsugi, “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.” The set of fifty-five prints was published jointly by Hoeido and Senkakudo in 1834. Shows travellers about to enter the village of Numazu beneath the huge orb of the moon. On each side are dark pines, and this station is famous for its forest which stretches along the seashore. One of the travellers is carrying a red tengu mask on his back, the mark of a pilgrim to the Shinto shrine of Kompira.

 

Very good impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold and minor repaired wormage on bottom margin, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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The warrior Ritchitaisai Genshoji in a boat attacked by grappling-hooks thrown by his adversaries. A design from the set Tsuzoku Suikoden goketsu hyaku-hachi-nin no hitori, “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One.” Based on the Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan, attributed to Shi’Nai’an, which tells of a band of 108 brigands who operated from Liangshan Marsh. Published by Kagaya Kichiyemon, 1827-30. Robinson S2.53.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size (unusual as these prints are overlarge obans and often trimmed). Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Niai-so: Koka nenkan kuruwa no geisha fuzoku, “Looking suitable: the appearance of a brothel geisha of the Koka era” (1844-1848). From the set Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. Shows the beauty dressed as a fashionable young man.

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Very fine colour with blind-printing and burnishing. Gold (brass powder) applied to the peacock design on the costume. This particular design from the set is notorious for having the brass degrade the paper and these areas fall out as well as offsetting onto the opposite print in album sets. Very fine condition. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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The ghost of Genta Yoshihira, having been executed by Taira no Kiyomori, springs into the air causing a thunderstorm and exacting revenge. The best design from Shingata sanjurokkaisen, “New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts.” Published 1889 by Sasaki.

 

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

 

Status: Available

 

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Katsukawa SHUN’EI (1762-1819)



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A parading courtesan with her two kamuro. Published c. late 1790s by Murataya Jirobei (Eiyudo). Unsigned, but the manner of drawing the courtesan’s face is typical of Shun’ei. Interestingly, another unsigned print (with spurious Shunsho signature) but by Shun’ei is illustrated in The Actor’s Image, Clark & Ueda, A.I.C., 1994, no. 130, p. 346, and has the same publisher.

 

Very good impression and colour. Some small expertly restored wormage at left edge, otherwise very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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A one third block (10 x 4.75 in; 25.3 x 12.1 cms) panel showing an oriole – probably a black-naped oriole – on a branch of a flowering apple tree. Published c. early 1830s.

 

Good impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

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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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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Takehisa YUMEJI (1884-1934)




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One volume complete Sakura-saku shima : Haru no kawatare. Title page: Within purple borders, the subtitle and Yumeji-saku in reddish brown. Frontispiece: colour woodcut across two pages entitled TUMABIKI, “Finger-plucking” in roman letters, with decorative seal. One page introduction by Yumeji. The remaining 50 pages (unnumbered) with poems by Yumeji and ten double-page and four single-page b/w woodcuts, all dealing with emotions associated with springtime. Colophon dated Meiji 45 (1912), first printing. Artist/author: Takehisa Yumeji. Publisher Kawamoto Kamenosuke. Publishing house Rakuyodo. One page ad for the four books then planned but only this and the following Sakura-saku shima: Mi shiranu sekai were produced. Original pale blue covers with original title slip. In very good condition. Wonderful early designs before becoming overly cloying.

 

Sold together with: Sakura-saku shima: Mi shiranu sekai. Title page: Within black borders, the subtitle and Yumeji-saku in black, flanked by images of two demons, one red, the other green. Frontispiece: colour woodcut across two pages entitled UNKNOWN WORLD in roman letters, with decorative seal. The remaining 46 pages (unnumbered) with poems by Yumeji and ten double-page b/w woodcuts dealing with family relations and images of souls in hell. Colophon dated Meiji 45 (1912), first printing. Artist/author: Takehisa Yumeji. Publisher: Kawamoto Kamenosuke. Publishing house: Rakuyodo. Original yellow covers with title slip. In very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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Moon from a set Furyu settsugekka, “A Fashionable Snow, Moon, Flower.” An uncut fan print showing the actor Iwai Kumesaburo III as Shirai Gonpachi. Kumesaburo last played this role in the play Kakitsubata tamuke no harakawado performed at the Kawarasaki-za theatre in 3/1850. Published by Kojima Jubei (who specialised in fans) in 3/1853.

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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An exceedingly rare fan print showing a bust portrait of Ichikawa Danjuro VII as Soga no Goro wearing the iconic kuruma bun wig. 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 called 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. Published c.1827 by Maru-Mata, a publisher who seems to have only produced fan prints for a few years. Possibly Kunisada’s finest actor design in this format. A design I have never seen and probably unique.

 

Very good impression. Good colour. Dismounted from a fan and sold “as is” with all imperfections. Signed Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)



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Jakko Nunobiki no taki, “Jakko [Temple] Nunobiki Waterfall” from a set of eight prints Nikkosan meisho no uchi, “Celebrated Views in the Nikko Mountains.” Published by Yamamotoya Heikichi c. 1844. Obviously inspired by Hokusai’s set of waterfalls. See: The Japanese Print: A New Approach, J. Hillier, Bell & Son, 1960, Chapter XVI, where Jack Hillier discusses Eisen and his landscapes and considers this set “… is perhaps the crowning achievement of his career as a designer of landscape-prints.” Extremely rare.

 

Very fine impression. (I have only seen early impressions of this set – perhaps it was not popular at the time.) Fine colour. Extremely slight vertical fold, otherwise fine condition. Signed Keisai Eisen utsusu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Kameido Tenmangu keidai no yuki, “The Compound of the Tenman Shrine at Kameido in Snow.” From a set of twenty-one prints Toto meisho, “Famous Views in the Eastern Capital” published by Sanoya Kihei, c. 1834-5. The series was extended to fifty-five in c.1839-42. One of the most famous places in Edo. Known for its pergola, two drum bridges, koi ponds and the wisteria which flowered in the fifth month. The main shrine is dedicated to the memory of Sugawara no Michizane (Tenjin), the father of Japanese learning and built in 1662. The design comes in various states: Late editions have a black sky and the red publisher’s seal on right margin, is replaced with an abbreviated Sanoki seal in black. Even later editions show a slipping plug becoming evident on the edge of the water, centre left.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Kozuke, Harunasan setchu, “Kozuke [Province], Mount Haruna Under Snow.” From the set of sixty-nine prints, Rokuju-yoshu meisho zue, “Views of Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces.” Published 1856 by Koshihei, although sealed between 1853-56 (this being 1853). A red bridge spans a gorge with precipitous cliffs and a fast flowing river. Fantastic crags point upwards into the sky. In the distance is Mount Haruna, a sleeping volcano.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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MADOYA (Active c. 1830s)



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A surimono by an Osaka artist from a series with title Hasoku shunsho juhachi-ban no uchi,”Eighteen Pieces Praising Spring Near the Water.” Sub-title: Tenpozan (the name of the new port in Osaka Bay). Shows a girl in a boat beside the prow of a larger vessel. The Osaka port sign is seen in the background. Three poems above. Rare.

 

Fine impression and colour with touches of gold and silver. Very slightly trimmed left, otherwise fine condition. Signed Oju Madoya hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Totoya HOKKEI (1780-1850)



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Hokkei, a pupil of Hokusai, is best known for his fine surimono. This rather enigmatic example shows an ox being led by a farmer and his son. There appears to be a festival element in the headgear. Presumably issued for the Ox year (1829). The poetry club logo, top left, is in the form of an ox. Another impression is in Harvard, 1933.4.1981, and another example is in the MFA, Boston, 11.20608. Interestingly, this example lacks the aforementioned ox seal: Possibly there was a commercial printing of the surimono.Two poems above. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Fine colour with extensive silver. Fine condition. Signed Hokkei.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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One volume complete Fujimi hyakuza, the “One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji.” Two prefaces on four pages signed Ryuryusenka and Ryusai (Hiroshige) and dated Ansei 6 (1859). Next 21 sheets full colour illustrations of Mount Fuji. Published by Eirakuya Toshiro.

 

Signed on last sheet Hiroshige hitsu. Light yellow covers with hand-written title slip. Good condition.

 

Status: Sold

 




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Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)



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A wonderful chuban shunga print showing a young suitor leaning across an engawa and interrupting a beauty playing a shamisen by partially lifting her robe. They are surrounded by flowering bushes and a meandering stream. A rare design I cannot, at the moment, locate being illustrated. Published c. late 1760s.

 

Very fine impression on thick hosho. Extremely fine colour. Slight oxidation, otherwise fine condition.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)



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An exceptional hosoban showing the actor Nakamura Tomijuro I in the role of a courtesan. Published c. 1771 and the influence of Harunobu can be seen. Probably the centre panel of a triptych.

 

Superb impression on thick hosho with the outlines of the figure in relief, similar to the best Harunobu prints of a few years earlier. Very fine unfaded colour. Fine condition. Signed Miyagawa Shunsho. (A signature I have not seen before: He did study under Miyagawa Shunsui early on.)

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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A vertical diptych showing the actor Onoe Kikugoro V in the role of Komamonoya Saijiro, “Saijiro of the haberdashery store,” fighting a giant serpent in the play Inaba Kozo ame no yobanashi performed at the Nakamura-za theatre in 11/1887. Published by Fukuda Kumajiro, 1887. Evidently the actor was swallowed whole during this scene ! An extremely rare print.

 

Fine impression and colour. Extensive mica on the serpent’s head and body. Fine condition with the publication details intact on the left margin. Ample room for joining the two sheets. Signed Oju Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Spring from a set of triptychs Zensei shiki, “The Four Seasons at their Height.” (Actually, only three designs known.) Shows beauties enjoying an outing at the Risshun Plum Garden on the first day of spring at Hara village in the Ebara District. Published by Akiyama Buemon, 3/1884.

 

Superb impression of the first edition with de-luxe pigments; the red double-printed (lacking on later editions), blind-printing, burnishing, and beautiful bokashi. Fine colour and condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Shows a beauty composing a letter from a set of ten prints Fukutoku gane no narikei, “Virtuous Women and the Money Tree.” Published by Aritaya Kiyoemon, c. 1847-50. The money tree branches make up the kanji characters of the sub-title, in this case Shuseki, the tree of good writing.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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