Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)

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An extremely rare and unusual e-goyomi surimono for the year of the Horse, 1822, the long and short months running along the top of the theatre curtain. The surimono shows the Ichimura Theatre in Edo. The theatre curtain over the stage is a flap that hinges up to reveal the actors within. The characters on the curtain in pink and gold read: Shinjo hiiki renchu, “An offering from the [associated] patronage clubs.” (In fact, three fan clubs plus a daimyo, Mori Narimoto, whose poem top left is signed with his art name Ryuotei Edo No Hananari.) The three actors revealed are, from left to right, Seki Sanjuro II, Onoe Kikugoro V, and Ichikawa Danjuro VII in the play Three Famed Warriors Crossing Paths. However, they are not shown in character but dressed casually. Their emblems appear on the curtain: the waterfall-ascending carp for Danjuro; the chrysanthemum for Kikugoro; and the crosshatch for Sanjuro. Another impression is illustrated in The Private World Of Surimono, Sadako Ohki and Adam Haliburton, Yale University Press, 2020, no 59, p. 213. An impression missing the flap is illustrated in Surimono: Prints By Elbow, Edythe Polster and Alfred H. Marks, Lovejoy Press, 1980, F-D 1933-4-898, p. 441 and 437. Provenance: Ex H. Beres collection, sold Sothebys, Paris, 27/11/2002, lot 85. Seal on reverse.



Very good impression and colour with gold and silver. Very good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.



Status: Sold



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