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

 

Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A design interpreting a poem by the Lady of Ise (c. 875-c. 938) from an unfinished set Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki, “The Hundred Poems [By the Hundred Poets] as Told by the Nurse.” Published 1835-36 by Eijudo with 27 prints known and 67 outstanding drawings for the set. Shows a mother and daughter or lady and servant at a window overlooking Naniwa Inlet with rice fields in the distance and men working on the roof of the building they are in.

 

 

Fine early impression with woodgrain showing on the roof. Fine colour. Small nick out of right edge, otherwise fine condition. Signed Zen Hokusai manji.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original fan painting mounted as a scroll. Shows a gorge with the fast flowing Nagatoro River in Musashi Province. (An area in western Saitama Prefecture northwest of Tokyo.) Sumi and light blue on paper, 7 x 20.5 in; 17.75 x 52 cms. Comes with a certificate from Aoki Shinzaburo (who had a large collection of Hiroshige drawings and paintings). In good condition. Signed Hiroshige with Ryusai seal.

 

 

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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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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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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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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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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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The battle of Fujikawa from a set of triptychs Toyotomi Shoshinroku published by Yorozumago, c 1869. The set relates Hideyoshi’s (1537-1598) exploits. From humble origins he became the second unifier of Japan who, after 100 years of war, brought stability and peace.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size with extra paper all around. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

 

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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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Minamoto no Ushiwakamura battling with Kumasaka Chohan. From the fine set Yoshitoshi mushaburui, “Yoshitoshi’s Courageous Warriors.” Published by Kobayashi, 1883-1886 (this being 1883).

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Light toning, otherwise fine condition. This is the first edition. There are a number of later states and the set was republished by Tsunajima in 1886.

 

 

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Nishiyama KAN’EI (1834-1897)




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A gajo (album) of 21 original paintings by Nishiyama Kan’ei, the son and pupil of Nishiyama Hoen. They both worked in Osaka and Kan’ei carried on the Shijo school tradition. Relatively few paintings and drawings by Kan’ei survive but based on these and his fine Kan’ei gafu, published in 1886, it is evident he was an accomplished artist. The postscript to the album is an authentication by Takebe Hakuoh (1871-1927) stating that they are original works by the master. He studied under Kan’ei. Comes with the original box. The album and box in excellent condition. Sumi and light colour on paper mounted on gold-flecked boards. All paintings sealed Kan’ei.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Hishikawa MOROSHIGE (FL. 1684-1704)




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An original painting showing a high-ranking samurai household at leisure. Moroshige was the senior pupil of Hishikawa Moronobu, and, it is said, was the father of Furuyama Moromasa. Sumi and full colour with gold additions on paper. 11.5 x 19 in; 29 x 48.25 cms. This is most likely from a handscroll as the height is correct, and the slight vertical striations indicate it has been rolled at some time. Painted c. 1700. Some slight loss of pigments, especially the verdigris and minor marks, but all commensurate with the age of the painting. The details on the costumes of the two main figures are exquisite.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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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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Torii KIYONAGA (1752-1815)




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A chuban print showing a woman at a washtub watched by a small child. Another woman is hanging a kimono out to dry. Without any series title but with a scalloped cloud above which may have been intended to have a title. Published c. late 1770s. Rare: Not listed in Hirano, Chie Hirano, Kiyonaga, MFAB, 1939.

 

 

Superb impression, colour and condition. Possibly a proof impression. Signed Kiyonaga ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Okumura MASANOBU (1686-1764)




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An hashira-e showing Shoki, the Chinese demon queller, Chung Kwei, about to plunge a sword into an oni. Another pillar print showing Shoki from the same period is illustrated in The Clarence Buckingham Collection of Japanese Prints, The Primitives, Helen C. Gunsaulus, AIC, 1955, no. 103, p. 166. Published c. 1745. Rare.

 

 

Very good impression. A sumi-e, printed in sumi with washes of sumi applied by hand. Slight toning, otherwise very good condition.Pillar prints are often toned because they were hung and, of course, this is especially true of the earlier examples, as here. Signed Hogetsudo
Tanchosai Okumura Bunkaku Masanobu Baio ga with seal Tanchosai.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A vertical diptych showing the actor Onoe Baiko III in the role of the vengeful and disfigured spirit of Kasane above Sawamura Tossho I as her husband Kinoshitagawa Yoemon. From the play Kuruwa kruwa date no ooyose performed at the Ichimura-za theatre 1836. Published by Kawaguchiya Chozo, 1836. Extremely rare.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada 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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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 HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original painting in sumi with touches of green and pale blue. Image size 50 x 17 in; 127 x 43.2 cms on paper. Shows the Mount Haruna area which also has Mount Myogi and Mount Akagi. Depicts the strange peaks surrounded by swirling mist and cloud. The region was formed more than 300,000 years ago in Gunma, eastern Honshu. Hiroshige designed a snow scene of the same area for the print set Sixty-odd Provinces of Japan published in 1853. Recently remounted and in very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga with Ichiryusai seal.

 

 

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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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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” ).

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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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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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An original painting showing the back view of a courtesan and her assistant. The poem is by Shokusanjin:
It is all because of you who is blooming,
flowers and the moon in this quarter seem prosperous
Shokusanjin

This appears to have been painted during his Sori period at a banquet held by the geisha house that Hokusai and Shokusanjin attended. In good condition having been recently remounted. Sumi and light colour on paper, 15.25 x 21.5 in; 38.7 x 54.6 cms. Signed Hokusai sekijyo, “Hokusai on this occasion.”

 

 

Seal unread: This is a seal used by Hokusai during this period as well as in his later years, but has not been deciphered.

 

 

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 KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Oho ( Wang P’ou ) visiting his mother’s tomb to comfort her during a thunderstorm. Shows peasants fleeing the zigzag lightning bolts. From a set of fourteen prints: Nijushi-ko doji kagami, “Mirror of the Twenty-Four Paragons of Filial Piety.” Published by Wakasa-ya Yoichi, c 1840. Each print shows an example of a child’s exemplary behaviour in looking after their aged parents There is a strong western influence in this set. Robinson S13.14.

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise 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 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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Cho GESSHO (1772-1832) and Kazaore YUJO (fl. c. 1790-1800)




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5 vols. complete: Zoku Koya Bunko, “The Sequel to Koya Library.” Vol. 1: 52 sheets; 48 illus. Vol. 2: 49 sheets; 48 illus. Vol. 3: 53 sheets; 51 illus. Vol. 4: 53 sheets; 52 illus. Vol. 5: 56 sheets; 54 illus. Preface, 5 pp. by Kogetsutei, dated Kansai 9 (1797). Artists: Kazaore Yujo and Cho Gessho. Published by Fugetsu Magosuke, Nagoya, Kansai 10 (1798), together with other publishers in Edo, Osaka and Kyoto. The greatest anthology of printed haiga (haiku poems accompanied by illustrations based on simple, yet often profound, observations of everyday life). The anthology was started by Yujo but taken over by Gessho on his death. Most of the work is Gessho’s. This is one of the few books where the block-cutter and printer must take pride of place beside the artist. The most striking effects were achieved by these artisans by imaginative working of the block surface and wiping of the blocks to produce distinctive variations in texture and formless adumbrations of trees, plants and landscapes, all in sumi. Other examples: Duret 464 (5 vols. 1799); Gonse (III), 438 (4 vols., 1798); Holloway 18; Ryerson, pl. XI. Original covers and title slips. Some slight damage to covers and slight restored wormage at bottom of first sheets of vol. 1. But otherwise an exceptionally fine and clean copy with hardly any thumbing on corners. A lovely and rare set.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Kobayakawa Takakage debating with the tengu on mount Hiko from Shinkei sanjurokkaisen, “New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts.”The set published by Sasaki Toyokichi, 1889-1892 (this being 1892).

 

 

Very fine first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

 

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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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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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839 – 1892)




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Watanabe no Tsuna on horseback in the rain. One of the finest designs from Wakan hyaku monogatari. Published by Daikin, 1865/2.

 

Fine impression and colour. Minor wormage otherwise very good condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A view of the beautiful peninsula of Izu, Izu no sanchu, “In the Mountains of Izu Province” from Fuji sanjurokkei, the “Thirty-six Views of Fuji.” The set published by Tsutaya Kichizo, 1858. This area is about 100 km southwest of Tokyo and a popular place to visit.

 

Very fine impression and colour. Trimmed close bottom left, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Sukiya embankment in snow, Toto Sukiya-gashi, from Fuji sanjurokkei, the “Thirty-six Views of Fuji.” The set published by Tsutaya Kichizo, 1858. The rampart on the inner side of the moat of Edo Castle on the right. Figures cross a bridge leading to Sukiya Gate. In the distance the long outer walls of the main residence of the Nabeshima Clan of Saga. Fuji on the horizon.

 

Very fine impression and colour. A very small repaired wormhole in top right margin, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Men punting rafts on the Sagami River from Fuji sanjurokkei, the “Thirty-six Views of Fuji.” The set published by Tsutaya Kichizo, 1858.This print was included in the background of the famous 1887 portrait of Pere Tanguy by Vincent Van Gogh. The river was sometimes referred to as the Ayu River because of the (then) abundance of sweetwater fish (ayu).

 

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

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Shimadai, grouper (probably Chilodactylus zonatus) and ainame, greenling (Hexagrammus otakii) together with red-berried nanten. Poem by Kanshunro Nushibito. Probably the first edition (Kruml 18a). From the second series of fish published by Yamasho c. 1840-42.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)




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Nikko Shimofuri no taki, “Shimofuri Waterfall in Nikko” from Shokoku meisho hyakkei, 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).

 

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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Gathering iwatake, rock tripe or rock mushrooms in Kii Province. The common name for various edible lichens that grow on cliffs. The gatherers used precarious baskets that were hauled up and down the cliff face to collect them. Kishu Kumano iwatake tori from Shokoku meisho hyakkei. “Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces.” Published by Uoyei 1859-1861 (this being 1860).

 

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

 

Status: Available

 

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