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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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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)




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A hosoban of the actor Otani Hiroji III in the role of a samurai, one sword drawn with the scabbard lying at his feet. Published c 1776.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Fine condition. Signed Shunsho ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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Shows a seated lady holding a fan compared to the actor Segawa Senjo ( previously known as Segawa Kikunojo III, inset in fan upper left ). From a series Ukiyo butai-ko Senjo-fu, “Fragrance from the Floating World’s Stage, in the Style of Senjo.” Published by Tsumuraya Saburobei, c 1810.


Fine impression. Light yellow ground. Very good colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga with an unidentified collector’s seal.


Status: Available

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Rantokusai SHUNDO (Active c.1770-1790)



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A hosoban showing the actor Nakamura Sukegoro II as Sasano Sangobei (an otokodate – chivalrous commoner) in part two of the play Iro moyo aoyagi Soga, “Green Willow Soga of Erotic Design.” Performed at the Nakamura Theater 2/1775. Shundo was an early pupil of Shunsho’s and this fine design is comparable to the best that Shunsho produced. The left sheet of a diptych. The complete (faded) design is illustrated in The Actor’s Image, Clark & Ueda, A.I.C., 1994, no. 135, p. 358/9. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Fine, totally unfaded colour. Fine condition. Signed Rantokusai Shundo ga with Hayashi in jar-shaped seal.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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A dai-oban print showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Minister Kibi in the play Kibi Daijin Shina monogatari, “Minister Kibi, Tale of China.” The play centres on the historical minister Kibi no Makibi who joined a mission to the Tang Court in China in 716. He is supposed to have brought back to Japan the game of go, embroidery, and the secrets of the Chinese almanac. Published by Gusokuya Kahai, 1875.

 

Fine impression with gauffrage and extensive burnishing to Kibi’s black garment. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition, untrimmed. Signed Oju Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Attributed to Toyoharu KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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An oban diptych shini-e (memorial portrait) of the famous kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII (1791-1859). Upper right is the date of his burial, Ansei 6 (1859), 3rd month, 24th day. A long inscription at left on his life. The image top right shows his great-great-great grandfather, the first Ichikawa Danjuro (1660-1704). The other image, top left, shows Danjuro VIII (1823-1854), his son, who predeceased him by 4 years. See Waseda University Theatre Museum, acc. Nos. 114-0330 and 114-0332 (attributed to Kunichika).

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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The actor Suketakaya Takasuke IV as Sakuramaru from a fine set of prints showing actors glimpsed through their dressing room sliding doors, prior to going on stage. Their figures partly silhouetted as are their assistants, here aiding the actor with his sword. From a set Gakuya nikai kage no hyoban, “Popularity of the Upstairs Dressing Room.” The set published by Takagawa Fusajiro, 1883.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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The actor Onoe Kikugoro V as Hisayoshi from a fine set of prints showing actors glimpsed through their dressing room sliding doors, prior to going on stage. Their figures partly silhouetted as are their assistants, here aiding the actor with his costume. From a set Gakuya nikai kage no hyoban, “Popularity of the Upstairs Dressing Room.” The set published by Takagawa Fusajiro, 1883.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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The actor Onoe Taganojo II from a fine set of prints showing actors glimpsed through their dressing room sliding doors, prior to going on stage. Their figures partly silhouetted as are their assistants, here aiding the actor with his headpiece. From a set Gakuya nikai kage no hyoban, “Popularity of the Upstairs Dressing Room.” The set published by Takagawa Fusajiro, 1883.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa Toyokuni I (1769-1825)




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A pupil of Toyoharu, he is best known for his fine actor prints at the end of the 18th century. He had many pupils. A koban surimono showing Ichikawa Danjuro VII in Shibaraku with the voluminous costume and chikara gami “strength papers” sticking up at the back of his wig. Issued for the New Year 1810 (confirmed by the characters hatsu-ushi [“the first year of the ox”] in the first line of the left-hand poem). Interestingly, Danjuro did perform Shibaraku in the play Misao no hana toba koizuka at the Ichimura-za theatre just a couple of months before (11th month, 1809). The role name being Kaneomaru.

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor toning, otherwise very good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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Matsumoto Koshiro V as the evil retainer Nikki Danjo who plots to overthrow his lord in the play Meiboku sendai hagi, “Precious Incense and the Bush Clover of Sendai.” From the last great actor set which was planned as a monument to his career and only used the most expensive materials. An untitled set with seventy-two prints completed on his death. ( One hundred and fifty were intended and some are in fact by Yoshitora. ) This is one of the best designs from the set showing a fine profile of an actor who was nicknamed Hanataka Koshiro, “Big-nosed Koshiro.” He made this role very much his own and to this day many actors still wear a mole on their foreheads in his honour. Published 1863 by Kinshodo.


Very fine impression. Fine colour with extensive burnishing to the hair. On thick hosho and with the extra large margins of the first issues before being bound into albums. Slight soil at edge of margins, top and bottom, otherwise very good condition. Signed Nanajuhassai ( “At the age of seventy-eight” ) Toyokuni ga.



Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Flowers from a set of three triptychs showing half-length portraits of actors based on the Snow, Moon, Flowers theme. Shows the actor Ichikawa Sadanji as Gosho no Gorozo, the main character in the play Soga moyo tateshi no goshozome, “The Story of Gorozo, the Chivalrous Commoner.” A complex story which ends with Gorozo killing his old master’s lover, the courtesan Oshu. Published by Akiyama Buemon, 1890.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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The actor Nakamura Shikan IV as Daizen from a fine set of prints showing actors glimpsed through their dressing room sliding doors, prior to going on stage. Their figures partly silhouetted as are their assistants, here aiding the actor with his headpiece. From a set Gakuya nikai kage no hyoban, “Popularity of the Upstairs Dressing Room.” The set published by Takagawa Fusajiro, 1883.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1729-1792)




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A hosoban showing the actor Arashi Sangoro II in the role of Ito Kuro disguised as Banta in the play Izu-goyomi shibai no ganjitsu performed at the Morita Theatre, 11/1772. He holds a brazier aloft and stands in deep snow.

 

Fine impression. Pristine colour. Small thinned area at top, otherwise fine condition. Full size. Signed Shunsho ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An untrimmed aiban fan print showing the actor Nakamura Shikan II on an outing to view the summer fireflies. Ukiyo hotarugari, “Firefly Viewing in the Floating World.” Published by Ibaya Kyubei, 1831.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)




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A print from the series Mitate Kofukujin, “ A Parody of Children’s Gods.” Featured are two of the seven gods of good fortune compared to famous heroes. Top left: Bishamonten no mitate, Tawara Toda Hidesato (Tawara Toda Hidesato defeating the giant centipede, compared to the god Bishamon). Bottom right: Daikoku no mitate, Otokonosuke, Hakuen (Ichikawa Hakuen I in the role of Arajishi Otokonosuke, compared to the god Daikoku). Hakuen (formerly Danjuro V) had already retired by this date so this does not depict an actual performance. However, the hero Otokonosuke is famous from the play Meiboku Sendai Hagi. Published 1804 by Nishimuraya Yohachi.

Very good impression and color. Small corner repair and slight edge soil, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyosai Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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A fine set of prints showing actors preparing backstage for their performances. Haiyu gakuya no omokage, “Images of Actors in the Green Rooms.” Here Ichikawa Danjuro IX is shown in dressing gown being fanned by an attendant (off picture). Published 1888 by Sasaki Toyokichi.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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A fine set of prints showing actors preparing backstage for their performances. Haiyu gakuya no omokage , “Images of Actors in the Green Rooms.” Here Nakamura Fukusuke IV is shown preparing to put on makeup while an attendant (off picture) holds up what is presumably a supporter’s banner. Published 1888 by Sasaki Toyokichi.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Anonymous



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An early Osaka kappazuri-e hosoban diptych (printed with woodblock outline and stencilled colours) showing, on the left sheet, Ichikawa Danzo V in the role of Genta Kagesue, and on the right sheet Arashi Kitsusaburo II in the role of Kajiwara Heiji Kagetaka in the “Genta Kando” act of Hirakana seisuiki, performed at the Kitagawa no Shibai, Osaka, 7/1827. Unidentified publisher’s seal. Complete diptychs are very rare.

 

Fine impression: Beautifully printed for a kappazuri print. Fine colour and condition.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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A triptych of the famous scene from Meiboku Sendai hagi “The Disputed Succession” showing Kawarasaki Gonjuro I as Arajishi Otokonosuke and Onoe Kikugoro V as Yoshio. The rat with the scroll of conspirators is attacked, escapes, and reappears through a trapdoor in its true guise as the evil Nikki Danjo. Published by Tsujiokaya Bunsuke, 1869.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An original woodblock for printing the centre sheet of a triptych showing Ame no Tajikarao pulling the giant stone away from the Ama-no-Iwato cave where Amaterasu (the Sun Goddess) had ensconced herself thereby depriving the world of light. The block cut by the publisher Moriya Jihei, 6/1857. The block in very good condition. On the reverse side is the yellow block. Sold with a modern pull from the block. Signed Toyokuni ga.


 

Status: Sold

 




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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)



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An exceptional hosoban showing the actor Nakamura Tomijuro I in the role of a courtesan. Published c. 1771 and the influence of Harunobu can be seen. Probably the centre panel of a triptych.

 

Superb impression on thick hosho with the outlines of the figure in relief, similar to the best Harunobu prints of a few years earlier. Very fine unfaded colour. Fine condition. Signed Miyagawa Shunsho. (A signature I have not seen before: He did study under Miyagawa Shunsui early on.)

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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A vertical diptych showing the actor Onoe Kikugoro V in the role of Komamonoya Saijiro, “Saijiro of the haberdashery store,” fighting a giant serpent in the play Inaba Kozo ame no yobanashi performed at the Nakamura-za theatre in 11/1887. Published by Fukuda Kumajiro, 1887. Evidently the actor was swallowed whole during this scene ! An extremely rare print.

 

Fine impression and colour. Extensive mica on the serpent’s head and body. Fine condition with the publication details intact on the left margin. Ample room for joining the two sheets. Signed Oju Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A dai-oban print showing the actor Kawarazaki Gonjuro I (Ichikawa Danjuro IX) in the role of Hanakawado no Sukeroku, an otokodate (chivalrous commoner) in the play Sukeroku yukari no Edo zakura, “Sukeroku, the Flower of Edo.” This play was performed at the Ichimura Theatre, Edo in 3/1862 and this print was published by Ebisuya Shoshichi the previous month to advertise the play. The storyline is based after the exploits of Soga no Goro and was one of the Kabuki juhachiban compiled by Ichikawa Danjuro VII for the family repertoire.

 

Fine impression with burnishing on the costume. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Untrimmed. Signed Ki-o Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsukawa SHUNKO (1743-1812)



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An hosoban showing the actors Ichikawa Danzo IV as Doi no Yataro (above) and Ichikawa Raizo II as Kojiro Masahira (below) in the play Kaomise Ama no Iwato, performed at the Nakamura-za theatre 11/1774. A fine design.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Shunko ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A diptych showing the actors Bando Shuka (left) as O-kaji, wife of Danshichi, with sword drawn attacking Seki Sanjuro III as the old hag, wife of Giheiji of Mikawa-cho in pouring rain. From the play Shinzo Tsurifune kidan performed at the Ichimura theatre, 5/1852. Published by Kakumotoya Kinjiro. Kuniyoshi designed another version of this play in the same year for another publisher.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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A triptych showing the actor Ichikawa Sandanji I as Akiyama Kiimori amidst an intense conflagration started in an attempt to capture him, Yakuchi no ba. From the series Meiijiza shinkyogen, “New Plays from the Meiji Theatre.” Published by Akiyama Buemon , 1894.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. The sheets joined. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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The actor Onoe Kikugoro V as Aoyagi Harunosuke from a fine and rare set of 14 actor prints: Seiu kandankei, “A Barometer of Emotions.” This being Full Tide. The set published by Okura Magobei, 1877. Presumably showing Kikugoro in the play Shianui Monogatari written by Ryukatei Tanekazu; Ryutei Tanehiko II; and Ryusuitei Tanekiyo. The actor was a great friend of Yoshitoshi.

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight soil and creasing, otherwise good condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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A full-on image of the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Kamakura Gongoro Kagemasa in the Shibaraku play with the voluminous costume associated with the role. Title: Kabuki juhachiban no uchi/Shibaraku, “The Eighteen Famous Kabuki Plays:Shibaraku.” Kunichika made a number of prints, single, diptych and triptych, of this subject but this particular design is rare. Published by Mizuno Asajiro, c. 1895.

 

Very good impression and colour. Background partly blind-printed. Slight trimming losing publishing information on left edge of last sheet and slight soil. Otherwise good condition. Signed Oju Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsukawa SHUN’EI (1762-1819)




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A hosoban diptych complete showing Ichikawa Monnosuke II ( left sheet ) as Soga no Goro and Sawamura Sojuro III ( right sheet ) as Soga no Juro in the play Shunshoku Edo-e Soga performed at the Ichimura-ya in the first month of 1791. Published by Harimaya Shinshichi. Most hosoban multiples have become separated over time.


Very good impression, colour and condition. Completely untrimmed. Signed Shun’ei ga.


Status: Sold

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Kitao SHIGEMASA (1739-1820)



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A hosoban showing the actors Ichikawa Komazo II (above right) in the role of Honcho Tsunagoro and Otani Hiroemon II (below) as Hantoki Kuroemon. The play was the second item (nibanme) on the programme which came after the first play Hatsuakinai omise Soga performed at the Nakamura-za Theatre, Spring 1767. The shop sign behind the actors reads Kinoeneya. Published by Miyaji, 1767.

 

Fine impression. Slight fading, otherwise very good colour and condition. Signed Kitao Shigemasa ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)



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An actor portrait showing Matsumoto Koshiro V (standing) in the role of Banzui Chobei and Bando Mitsugoro III as Shira Gonpachi next to a kago in Sakurada Jisuke I’s play Banzuin Chobei shojin manaita. Performed at the Nakamura-za 7/8/1803. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi.

 

Very good impression and condition. Grey ground. Almost perfect colour. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ippitsusai BUNCHO (1763-1840)




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Ichikawa Danjuro V probably as Watanabe Kiou Takiguchi in the play Nue no mori ichiyou no matsu performed at the Nakamura-za in the 11th month of 1770. It was in this month that Koshiro III took the name of Danjuro V. Shows Danjuro in the iconic costume of the Shibaraku scene with the giant mon. Buncho was a connoisseur of paintings ( he wrote Buncho gadan [ Treatise on Painting ] ), and was one of the most important painters and print designers of this period. A fine design and extremely rare.


Fine impression. The background probably “turned” from a pale blue ( as usual ). Trimmed into signature at left, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ippitsusai Buncho ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)





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A rare 6-sheet design: Odori keiyo gakuya no zu, Odori keiyo nikai-iri no zu, “View of the Backstage and Dressing Rooms, Backstage at a Newly Opened Theatre.” The 1855 earthquake and resulting fire destroyed the Edo theatre district. Only five months later the first theatre – the Ichimura Theatre – was reopened. This print, issued the previous month, was an advertisement for the opening. A number of actors are recognisable by their mons. Published by Izumiya Ichibei, 1856, 2nd month.

 

Very good impression and colour. Some trimming, otherwise very good condition. This design is invariably trimmed as the designs that have survived are from albums where the top triptych had to fold down into the album. Signed Toyokuni ga.


 

Status: Sold

 

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Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)



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The actor Segawa Kikunojo II as the Tennin (a devine being that is able to fly by means of a feathered kimono) from the play Hagoromo, “The Feathered Mantle.” She stands on Miho Beach, the feathered kimono caught in the tree behind her. The story relates how fishermen find the boa but will only return it if she performs a dance. Published c early 1760s.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour: Benizuri-e with beni, green and blue. Some light toning and soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kiyomitsu ga with kiyomitsu seal.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Snow from the set Setsugekka no uchi, “Snow, Moon and Flowers” published by Akiyama Buemon, 1890. Shows half-length portraits of famous actors, in this case Onoe Baiko V ( Onoe Kikugoro V, 1844-1903 ) as the priest Iwakura Sogen. Various versions of the story and play exist concerning Sogen’s infatuation with Irokotohime. First edition ( the second state titled “Iwakura Sogen in the Hermitage Scene from Hanafubuki” ). And with variegated cartouche.


Fine impression and colour. Very small corner repair, otherwise very good condition. Ample room for joining of sheets. Signed Yoshitoshi.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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A preparatory drawing sold together with the published print showing the actor Sawamura Sojuro III as Oboshi Yuranosuke from the play Kanadehon Chushingura. [Yakusha mitate] Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi: Nihonbashi Shinagawa no aide, Takanawa, Yuranosuke, “Actors at the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido: Takanawa between Nihonbashi and Shinagawa, Yuranosuke.” The drawing is from a group of 43 that were sold by a Milanese gallery in 1981. The set was published by Takadaya Takezo in 1852. Seal bottom right of the collector Kaoen. Three other drawings from this group are illustrated in Kunisada, Robert Schaap, Hotei Publishing, 2016, nos 103-105.

 

The drawing is laid down (as all were), sumi with light red and blue to the face. There are numerous annotations indicating the colours to be used. There are some differences between the drawing and the published print, mainly in the background landscape. The print is in good condition. The drawing is signed Toyokuni ga.


 

Status: Sold

 




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Natori SHUNSEN (1886-1960)




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An original watercolour on cartridge paper of the actor Onoe Kikugoro VI as Tomomori. Shunsen is famous for his print series of actors published by Watanabe from 1916 until 1954. 39.2 x 28.5 cms; 15.5 x 11.25 inches. Signed and sealed Shunsen. Minor foxing, otherwise good condition.



Status: Sold

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Yurakusai NAGAHIDE (fl. c. 1804-1848)




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A hosoban kappazuri print (stencil print) showing the actors Ichikawa Danzo IV, Yoshizawa Iroha I, and Arashi Kichisaburo II as Shurinosuke, his wife, and Toshihiro. Exceptionally rare: Seemingly the only other impression known is illustrated in 200 Years of Kamigata Ukiyo-e, 1975, no. 39. Published 1803. Publisher unread.

 

Very good impression. Fine colour. Very good condition. Signed Nagahide.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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A very fine portrait of the actor Ichikawa Danjuro VI in kumadori make-up and assuming an aragoto stance. The quality, date, style and publisher are the same as for his finest set of Portraits of Actors on Stage published 1794 – 6 although this design appears not to be from the set and I cannot locate another impression. There is a bust of Danjuro, probably in the same role, by Toyokuni in the same year – 1796 in the Achenbach, San Francisco. Published by Senichi.


Extremely fine impression and colour. Grey ground. A seal at bottom which appears on many Toyokuni I and Toyoshige prints and is probably a book and/or print seller ( it gives an address ). Very small binding holes at left edge. Full size. Fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.



Status: Sold

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