Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

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A chutanzaku print showing a tortoise, crab and dandelions from an untitled series of ten prints showing water creatures originally published two-to-a-sheet. Of the utmost rarity: Arguably the most difficult Kuniyoshi set to find. It appears there are only three other impressions known of this design: The Bidwell Collection, Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, illustrated in their catalogue, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1980, no 72 (60.D05.197); The Japan Ukiyoe Museum, uncut sheet with lobster and small fish, illustrated in Utagawa Kuniyoshi Exhibition Catalogue, 1996, p. 154, no. 208; and Kuniyoshi, Iwakiri Yuriko, Hotei publishing, 2013, p. 135, no. 109 (possibly from a French collection). This actual impression (making the fourth impression known) is illustrated in Kuniyoshi, Juzo Suzuki, 1992, no. 445. Ex collections J. Schedel (seal next to signature) and Sawai Suzuichi. This impression has no publisher’s seal nor does another design of a carp from the set illustrated in Heroes & Ghosts, Robert Schaap, Hotei publishing, 1998, p. 213, no 240. That is a very fine impression (as is this) and possibly they are proof impressions. Published by Tsujiokaya Bunsuke (Kinshodo), c 1837. For the full set illustrated see the Springfield catalogue mentioned above. Excessively rare.


Very fine impression with woodgrain showing on all blocks. Fine colour. Centre fold (evident if held to light), otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga with Yutaka seal.


Status: Sold


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