Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)

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Otsu hashirii chamise, “The Running Well Teahouse at Otsu” from the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido. The set published by Hoeido and Senkakudo, c.1833-4. Shows the teahouse with the eponymous well at far left. So-called because of the water that gushed from it. Rice cakes in Otsu borrowed the name and were called Shirii rice cakes. This is the extremely rare first state of the first edition with the mountain in the background ( missing on all later editions ) and gradation on the tea house roofs. Ukiyoe Taikei, vol. 14, no. 54 shows the first edition, but second state without gradation. Other first editions were in the Happer sale, Sothebys, 26/4/1909, lot 141 and Metzger auction, AA Galleries, NY, 13/11/1916, lot 157.

Fine impression with crisp seals and the mountain beautifully graded in grey ( some impressions being in blue ). Probably no other set went into so many reprints and there are a plethora of coarse impressions extant – proof of how popular the designs were with the public. Indeed, it is stated that the first two hundred sets sold out in a matter of hours. Fine colour. Small rubbed area bottom right and trimmed close, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

Status: Sold

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