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

 

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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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 KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A triptych showing two beauties and a maidservant lighting their way with a lantern and carrying a shamisen box. The beam of light from the lantern illuminates the foreground figures and the leaping dog but leaves the background figures in silhouette. A lovely design. Another impression is illustrated in The Baur Collection, Matthi Forrer, 1994, volume 1, G266. Published by Mikawaya Seiemon, c. mid 1820s.

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Yashima GAKUTEI (1786?-1868)



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A sailing junk caught in stormy seas, driving rain, and under a threatening sky. The masterpiece from a set of six prints issued in album form with title Naniwa meisho, Tempozan shokei ichiran, “A Famous Place in Osaka, Selected Views of Mount Tempo.” Published in Osaka, 1834, by Shioya Kisuke. In the circular cartouche: Osaka Tempozan yudachi no kei, “View of a Storm at Tempozan, Osaka.”Gakutei is best known for his many surimono. He was also a kyoka poet and painter. Unfortunately he produced few landscapes. Other impressions illustrated in Michener, Japanese Prints, no. 198; Mellor sale catalogue, Sotheby, July 1963, pl. XXXI; and Grabhorn, Landscape Prints of Old Japan, pl. 30. SC I/344. One of the great 19th century landscapes.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Slight trimming at bottom and backed centre fold (as usual as it was published in folding album form), otherwise good condition. Signed Gogaku with seal Go.

 

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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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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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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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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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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MASUHARU (active c1840-1850)




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The actor Arashi Rikan III as Ukiyo Tohei in the kabuki play Sendai Hagi performed at the Onishi theatre in 3/1848. From the set: Date kurabe kyokaku den, “A Comparison of the Stylishness of Famous Gallants”.


Fine deluxe surimono-style impression and colour. Margin trimmed a little at top, otherwise fine condition on deluxe hosho. Signed Kunimasa monjin Masuharu ga ( “Masuharu pupil of Kunimasu” )



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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Kaneko Kugutsune (aka Okane, Kane-jo, and Omi no Okane) from the set Chuko meiyo kijin den, “Stories of Remarkable Persons of Loyalty and High Reputation.” Published by Iseya Ichiemon or Enshuya Matabei (this design) 1845. Robinson S35.5. Known as the Strong Woman of Omi, she is credited with subduing a runaway horse by holding its rein down with her geta. She is shown here with her washtub, the wild horse in the background.

 

Superb impression and colour. Very slight crinkling , trimmed close and some small wormage, otherwise fine condition. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Miyamoto Musashi fencing with Tsukahara Bokuden from the set Chuko meiyo kijin den, “Stories of Remarkable Persons of Loyalty and High Reputation.” Published by Iseya Ichiemon (this design) or Enshuya Matabei 1845. Robinson S35.8. Tsukahara Bokuden was a famous swordsman (1489-1571). He is shown here parrying Musashi’s wooden swords with pot lids. Actually, Bokuden died 13 years before Musashi was born, so this is anecdotal.

 

Superb impression and colour. Very slight crinkling and trimmed close, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Shows Abe no Hirafu, a governor of Koshi, killing a giant bear in heavy snow. From a set: Dai Nippon meisho kagami, “Mirror of Famous Leaders of Great Japan.” Published by Funazu Chujiro, 1880.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

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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A rare ko-tanzaku design, Tsukudajima natsu no kei, “Summer View of Tsukudajima Island.” From a Toto meisho set published by Shogendo, c. 1837-8. Shows a large fishing boat beneath a bursting rocket; Tsukudajima in the background. There is another version of this design with a halo of light falling from the bursting rocket. This impression is so fine, I am surmising this is the earliest state.

 

Very fine early impression with strong woodgrain visible. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

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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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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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 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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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An uncut fan print showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro VIII in the role of Hanakawado no Sukeroku from a set: Mitate gonin otoko go-hiiki omoizashi, “A Parody of the Five Chivalrous Commoners, a Cup of Sake from their Fans.” Shows the actor holding a number of pipes; a shakuhachi protruding from his back. Published by Yama-Ta, 2ic/1852.

 

Extremely fine impression and colour. Minimal soil at bottom, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa YOSHIIKU (1833-1904)



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An Ichikawa Danjuro memorial portrait showing Kawarazaki Gonjuro I (Danjuro IX, 1838-1903) in the Shibaraku role looking up at his father, Danjuro babaa (Ichikawa Danjuro VII [1791-1859]) who had died the previous year. It was some years before Gonjuro finally adopted the Danjuro name in 1874. Published by Ebisuya, 1860.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshiiku ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNINAO (1793-1854)




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A pair of original paintings: One showing a beauty being followed by her servant down a jetty into a waiting boat. He protects her with an umbrella in one hand and carries food on a tray with the other. The whole scene under heavy snow. The other painting shows a beauty composing a poem. Above a wild goose flies before a full moon. Probably originally two of three setsu-getsu-ka, “Snow, Moon, Flowers.” A theme popular with ukiyo-e artists and originally derived from China. Kuninao studied under Toyokuni and then Hokusai and is also known for many illustrated books. His paintings now rare. Each painting full colour on silk, image size 36.5 x 12.75 in; 92.5 x 32.5 cms. In excellent condition. Beautifully presented with new mounts. One painting signed Kohsoen hitsu with seal Shohzan.

 

Status: Available

 




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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1826-1869)




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A pair of original kakejiku with two paintings on each. Possibly from the front and back cover pages of a first edition “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” set. Sumi and colour, image size of each painting 13.5 x 8.75 in; 34.25 x 22 cms. Shows top left a bowl with – possibly – turnips and a poem. Below a wicker basket and bowl with a miniature plum tree and an adonis plant (the most popular plants for the New Year). On the right, at the top are two chidori with poem and below a sake barrel and a plum branch. The bottom two paintings are signed Hiroshige with Ichiryusai seal. In fact, there is another version of the chidori painting associated with a painting of a kago and lantern illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, Hiroshige – A Poetic Ukiyo-e Artist, Fukushima Minpo, 1971, no. 16. These are also possibly from the ends of a first edition set of prints. Hiroshige and Hiroshige II were known to make these paintings, presumably for special clients. Provenance: Ex Takeoka Toyota collection (1844-1931). The box dated (Taisho 11, 1922) and guaranteed by him. He was a famous collector from the Meiji to early Showa era. Paintings and mounts in very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 




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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A small original painting of an old sage (possibly the poet Saigyo Hoshi [1118-1190]) seated, holding a bamboo pole and with a large hat on his back. He looks up wistfully at a mountain range with what appears to be a hanging bridge over a gorge. Light colour on silk; predominantly the pink, brown and sumi tints he was fond of. Image size 7.5 x 5.75 in; 19 x 14.5 cms. Provenance: From the estate of Jeanne Nicole Ledoux, daughter of Jean Pierre Ledoux, who was the son of the famous ukiyo-e collector Louis V. Ledoux. Mounted as a kakemono. In good condition. Signed Hachijukyusai Manji hitsu, “Brush of old man Manji, aged eighty-nine years.” And with seal Hyaku (“Hundred”). A fan painting in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, acc. No. 11.7470, has the same seal and signature.

 

Status: Available

 




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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Nihonbashi no hakuu, “Light Rain on Nihon Bridge.” From a Toto meisho set of 21 designs published between c. 1832 and 1839 by Kikakudo. The set was subsequently enlarged. Shows figures crossing Nihonbashi in rain, one figure carries an umbrella with the publisher’s name. Warehouses in the background and a distant view of Fuji. A beautiful print and very difficult to find in early impression: The title cartouche had a plug inserted beside the bottom three characters of the title on the left. This damage seems to have occurred when the block was cut and over time the spigot gradually slipped out leaving an unprinted area (which is sometimes painted in). In the earliest impressions the plug is hardly visible (as here). Also, the publisher’s seal at the bottom right should be in red, later editions having it in black. There was also an early variant edition with a yellow sky.

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold, also near the right edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

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 TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)



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The elongated figure of the famous oiran Marino Yoyoharu parading with her kamuro Ikeno Yoyoume. Above, on a banner hanging from a tree, is the name and address of the courtesan’s location in the Yoshiwara: Sumimachi, Matsubaya uchi. Published by Tsuraya Juzaburo, c. 1796, Toyokuni’s best period. This courtesan was also depicted by Eisui and Utamaro and others around this date.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming and edge soil, otherwise good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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