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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1864)




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A triptych with title: Furyu nuno zarashi, “Elegant Drying Clothes.” Shows six beauties washing, pounding and fulling cloth in one of the Crystal rivers. A connotation to draw from the six figures would seem to indicate the Six Tama Rivers – a popular subject in Ukiyo-e. The public seemed particularly curious about these beauties who washed clothing in streams, as well as the women and girls, oharame, who went into Kyoto to sell firewood and charcoal, also awabi divers. Nunozarashi was also the name of a dance that involved streamers of cloth being swirled around. There was a history of painting the Tamagawa rivers going back to at least the mid 17th century, and it was also a popular subject for poets. These “crystal” rivers or streams were indeed clear and unpolluted at this time and there would have been an abundance of fish as well. Published by Izumiya Ichibei, c.1811-18. Rare.

 

 

Superb impression, colour and condition. On heavy de-luxe hosho. Signed Kikugawa Eizan hitsu.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Shono, haku-u, “Sudden Shower at Shono” from Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road.” The set published by Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi)/Senkakudo, c. 1833-4. Together with Kambara, one of Hiroshige’s most celebrated designs, discussed and illustrated extensively. This is the very rare first edition: The waves of bamboo beautifully graded and strong woodgrain evident on the house roofs bottom right. See Sebastian Izzard, Hiroshige, The Ukiyo-e Society of America, 1983, nos. 17a-e for illustrations and a description of the various states. Although the area had thick groves of bamboo growing along the Suzuka River, there was nowhere that exactly matches the design.

 

 

Fine impression of the first edition with subtle gradation. Seals and green a little faded, otherwise very good colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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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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Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)




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A pillar print showing a beauty after a bath walking past a pot of morning glory. Published c. 1768. The morning glory is a precursor of hot summer. Some 40 or 50 years later there was a craze for these plants almost akin to Dutch tulip fever. Other (faded) impressions are in MFA, Boston, Spaulding Collection, nr. 21.4552; Honolulu Museum of Art, nr. 06108; and illustrated in Waterhouse, The Harunobu Decade, 20013, nr. 545. Harunobu produced some of the most sublime Ukiyo-e images and he and his publishers were at the forefront of experimentation in the 1760s using multiple blocks, new pigments and combing pigments to create new hues that were not see again in Ukiyo-e. Unfortunately, the pigments – most often of vegetable origin – were very susceptible to fading and most Harunobu prints are ghosts of their former selves. Harunobu was a master of this hashira-e format: Jacob Pins found 111 to illustrate in The Japanese Pillar Print, 1982. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression. Exceptionally good colour. Minor soil but in very good condition for a print in this format and of this period. (These prints were hung in alcoves or on pillars and they consequently often come browned or faded as well as getting creased by being rolled.) Signed Harunobu ga.

 

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Seki and Kameyama from the chuban Muraichi Tokaido. The set of 56 prints published by Muraichi, 1852. Printed two-to-a-sheet uncut and probably from a complete proof set. Double censor’s seals Murata and Kinugasa and date seal 2ic/1852 top right.

 

 

Fine impressions with strong woodgrain showing. Fine colour. Very small binding holes in right border, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga on each print.

 

 

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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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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Yoshiwara, hidari Fuji, “Yoshiwara, Mount Fuji on the left.” Number 14 from the famous Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.” Published by Hoeido, c. 1833-4. Hiroshige travelled the length of the Tokaido as part of an official delegation in 1832 making sketches along the way. On his return he started work on the set eventually producing 55 prints. The first of the designs were published jointly by Hoeido and Senkakudo, but then Hoeido took over the production. After being destroyed by a tidal wave in 1680 Yoshiwara was rebuilt further inland from the sea. This is the rare first edition.

 

 

Fine impression. Slight fading of seals, slight centre fold and minimal soil to left edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing three women washing clothes in a stream from a set Six Tama [Jewel or Crystal] Rivers, this being the Chofu Crystal River (in fact the Tamagawa that flowed into Edo Bay). Musashi no kuni Chofu no Tamagawa. The set published by Sanoya Kihei, c 1847. The complete set is illustrated in The Baur Collection, Matthi Forrer, vol. II, 1994, nos G396-G401 (this being G397).

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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An important large brush drawing in red ink showing a full length figure wielding a stave at a cowering adversary. The standing figure has no sword or armour but is obviously a chivalrous man of great probity. The leaning attitude of the upright figure is typical of Hokusai (for example, see Theodore Bowie, Indiana University Press, 1974, The Drawings of Hokusai, no. 108) and gives movement to what otherwise would be a static pose. Red ink was frequently used by Hokusai, not just on the obvious Shoki paintings (see nos. 160-161, pages 254-5, Timothy Clark, Hokusai Beyond The Great Wave, B.M., 2017) but as underdrawing on figures and landscapes (see nos. 178-182, pages 279-283, Timothy Clark, Hokusai Beyond The Great Wave, B.M., 2017). Red ink and wash on thin Japanese paper laid onto european paper, image area 16.5 x 15.5 in; 41.5 x 39.5 cms. An area not pertinent to the design missing top right but otherwise in good condition. Provenance: Ex collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller (inventory number 23.040).

 

 

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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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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Ichieisai YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)




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Oeyama Shuten doji. Shows Minamoto no Raiko and his four retainers, from left to right: Sakata no Kintoki, Usui no Sadamitsu, Watanabe no Tsuna and Urabe no Suyetake on Oyeyama, “Devil’s Mountain.” In the year 995 the Emperor commanded Raiko to kill the beast who had been kidnapping and eating young maidens around Kyoto. They accomplished this by dressing as priests and getting Shuten-doji incapacitated with alcohol. Raiko has just decapitated the giant head of the demon which then descends on his helmet which saves him. Published 1855 by Kiya Sojiro . A fine design.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Expert edge repair at top right edge of first sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The fifteen year old Otani Furuinosuke killing a giant boar with his bare hands. From a set Honcho Suikoden goyu happyakunin no hitori, “One of the Eight Hundred Heroes of the Water Margin of Japan.” Published by Kagaya Kichiemon c 1831. This is the first edition: It was republished by Ibaya Sensaburo in 1845. Robinson S4a.14.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming at left, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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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.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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A scene in the licensed quarter: Tora no koku, “Hour of the Tiger [4am]” from a set Seiro juni toki tsuzuki, “Series: The Twelve Hours in Yoshiwara.” Shows two courtesans chatting and seated before a brazier. Until 1873, the day was divided into twelve equal intervals (of 120 minutes), so ushi no tora was from 3am to 5am. Published by Tsutaya Juzaburo, c. 1794. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression. Very good colour; yellow ground. Loss of brass filings, otherwise very good condition. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

 

Status: Reserved

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Takahashi CHIHARU (1777-1859)




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A surimono in Yamato-e style showing Otohime and Tawara Toda on the long bridge at Seta. There are different versions of this popular legend. One has it that Otohime, the Dragon Princess, had an enemy in the form of a giant centipede that lived and poisoned Lake Biwa. It had also killed two of her sons. She begs Tawara Toda Hidesato, a famed archer, to kill it. This he does and she rewards him in the Dragon Palace with silk, a sword and armour, a temple bell, and a bag of rice. The silk and rice are to last forever, however much is used. Hence his name Tawara Toda, “Rice-bag Toda.” Probably issued for Dragon year 1832.

 

 

Fine impression, very good colour and condition. Signed Chiharu.

 

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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Volume 11 from the Manga. Front cover with original pink title slip: (Denshin kaishu) Hokusai manga juichihen, (“Transmitted from the Gods.”) “Hokusai’s Sketches, Vol. 11.” Original grey covers with burnished wave and diamond pattern. Inside front cover catalogue of newly published books; 2 pages preface and 29 numbered pages comprising 56 illustrations , 36 single page and 10 double page. 2 pages block-holders catalogue and inside back cover catalogue of newly published books. The extremely rare first edition published by Eirakuya Toshiro, Nagoya, c. 1834. The Manga was eventually completed in 15 volumes (the last two posthumously). The first 10 volumes published by Kadomaruya Jinsuke, Edo and Eirakuya Toshiro, Nagoya, 1814-1819; vols. 11 and 12 by Eirakuya only, c. 1834; vol. 13 by Eirakuya only, c. 1849; vol. 14 by Eirakuya only, c. 1850s; vol. 15 by Eirakuya only, 1878. Initially based on sketches produced on a visit to his friend and pupil Maki Bokusen in Nagoya in 1812. These sketches were collated by Bokusen and Katsushika Hoku’un and published in 1814. Other pupils collected sketches and so the set expanded. The books were enormously influential and popular, not just in Japan, but in the West and were endlessly reprinted giving rise to a plethora of late editions. In 1831, the German Phillip Franz von Siebold, reproduced images from the Manga in lithograph in his Archiv zur Beschreibung von Japon. They were also highly admired by the Impressionists, especially Manet and Bracquemond.

 

 

Fine impressions of the first edition. Some minor defects but otherwise in very good condition.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa KUNITORA (Active early 19th c.)




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An aiban yoko-e print from an extremely rare and fine set of prints published 1810s by Yamasho. Kunitora’s finest set. Hira bosetsu, “Evening Snow at Mount Hira” from a set Omi hakkei, “Eight Views of Omi.” The set employs strong Western elements with hatching and sinuous hills and houses. Four designs from the set are illustrated in The Western-Style Colour-Prints In Japan, Usaburo Toyama, 1936, nos. 180-183 (this design being 182). A wonderful design.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Oxidation on the title label. Signed Kunitora ga.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Ishiyakushi from an aiban set Tokaido gojusantsugi no uchi, commonly called the Gyosho Tokaido because of the cursive script on title. Shows travellers entering and leaving the village in heavy snow. Published by Ezakiya Kichibei/Yamadaya, c. 1841-2. There are variant states: later editions lack the gradation on the horizon. The first state may have a Hiroshige seal after the signature.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The best design from a set of half-length otokodate figures: Kuniyoshi moyo shofuda tsuketari genkin otoko, “Men of Ready Money with True Labels Attached, Kuniyoshi Fashion.” Here showing Danshichi Kurobei emptying a bucket of water over himself. Danshichi was a fishmonger in the city of Sakai who murdered somebody in the mid-winterof 1697, the body only being discovered when the snow melted. He is often depicted pouring water over his head, although there are also versions where he commits the crime in a swamp. Published by Ibaya Kyubedi, 1845. Poem by Hoshitei.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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Shunchosai HOKUSHU (Active 1822-32)




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Onoe Kikugoro III as the ghost of Oiwa in Irohagana yotsuya kaidan, “Ghost Story of Yotsuya.” Performed at the Kado Theatre, 1/1826. Probably the best known Japanese ghost story and has been made into a number of films. Tamiya Iemon, a masterless samurai, murders the wife he has disfigured who comes back to haunt him until he is driven mad and subsequently killed by Oiwa’s brother. Evidently, Kikugoro’s performance was something of a sensation at the time as he gave a bravura performance playing both the ghost of Oiwa and Koheiji who were nailed on opposite sides of a panel dropped into the river. There are at least five states of this print. The first appears to be that illustrated in Roger Keyes, The Theatrical World Of Osaka Prints, Philadelphia Museum Of Art, 1973, no. 34, p. 108 with the engraver and two printers and the writing printed in silver. The example offered here appears to be a second state without the engraver and printers’ seal but with the writing still printed in silver. Other impressions with different seals and lacking the first three lines of writing and the silver are known. See The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University catalogue, Kamigata Prints in the former period: part 1, nos. 279 and 280. Also BM impression 1962,0210,0.2 which may be the last state.

 

 

Fine impression and colour with calligraphy in silver. Very good condition; full size. Signed Shunchosai Hokushu ga.

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)




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One of the Eight Dog Heroes, Satomi Yoshizane, seated surrounded by a dragon, thunderbolts and waves. From a set Dai Nippon goketsu Suikoden, “Great Japanese Heroes of the Popular Suikoden.” The set (?) published by Shimizuya Tsuejiro, c. 1843-5.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A pheasant on a snow-covered pine. Published by Kawaguchi Shozo, c. 1830s (seal top left).

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Minimal trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Hakone, kosui, “Hakone, the Lake” from Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road.” The set published by Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi)/Senkakudo, c. 1833-4. A line of travellers – presumably the deputation of the Edo Shogunate going to Kyoto – making its way down a precipitous path on the right in this mountainous region. This is the very rare first edition: An extremely difficult design to find in early impression as the jigsaw of colours on the mountains need to be perfectly keyed to work.

 

 

Fine impression. The red a little faded, otherwise very good colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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Uba Shizu of Nabeshima praying under a waterfall from a set Zen’aku sanuroku bijin, “Thirty-six Good and Evil Beauties.” The set published by Sawamuraya Seikichi, 1876.

 

 

Very fine impression and colour with splashed gofun. Very good condition. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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A cho-oban (20 x 6.75 inches) print showing beauties fishing. The top figure has caught a crayfish. Each design interprets a haiku poem in red, top right. A set of 6 prints published by Matsui Eikichi, 1893. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight creasing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A mitate (imaginary) triptych showing, from left to right: Onoe Kikugoro III as Takehara Genpachi; Ichikawa Ebizo V as Omura Gengo; Iwai Tojaku as Fujinami. The actors surrounding a handscroll that is emitting strong bands of light. Published by Edoya Matsugoro, c. late 1830s.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Album backing and joined sheets, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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“Hare” from a set Mitate junishi, “Selection for the Twelve Signs.” Shows Yama-uba with a rattle and a dancing white hare on Mount Ashigora. She is famous for bringing up Kintaro who played with the mountain animals. Published by Yenshuya Matabei, c 1845. Robinson S38.4.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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A vertican oban diptych showing a courtesan holding a letter between her teeth. This, and biting a towel, were considered highly erotic and the prelude to intimate relations. Her obi, which has a design of a dragon amongst clouds, is printed with extensive mica added to the grey ground.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Minor marks, otherwise fine condition. Signed Kikugawa Eizan hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An original hanshita-e (preparatory drawing) for a triptych showing, from the left, Nakamura Kamenojo I as the geisha Azuma standing above Kawarasaki Gonjuro I as Yamazakiya Yogoro, Bando Kamezo I as Settanaoshi Chogoro standing above Onoe Kikugoro IV as Kumasaka Ocho, and Onoe Kikugoro IV as Akogi Gennojo standing above Onoe Kikujiro II as Onnadayu Okoyo. The play was Yume musubu cho ni torioi performed at the Ichimura-za theatre 3/1856. These first drafts by the artist themselves survive because a more detailed drawing was needed by the blockcutter, and this was normally given to an assistant to execute. Or the drawing was never taken up by the publisher, for whatever reason. Sumi and touches of red with some pentimenti. (This was also most likely a published print by Sanoki as it is from the same group as others offered here.) Signed on two sheets Toyoukuni ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An original hanshita-e (preparatory drawing) for a triptych showing, from the left, the actor Bando Takesaburo I as Nagoya Sanza, Ichimura Uzaemon XIII as the Shinzo (“courtesan’s apprentice”), and Nakamura Fukusuke I as Fuwa Banzaemon. This is actually from the dance Sanpukutsui Kabuki no irodori performed at the Ichimura-za theatre, 5/1855. The publisher was Sanoki. These first drafts by the artist themselves survive because a more detailed drawing was needed by the blockcutter, and this was normally given to an assistant to execute. Or the drawing was never taken up by the publisher, for whatever reason. Sumi and touches of red with some pentimenti. Signed Toyokuni ga on the three sheets. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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A rare ko-tanzaku design, Tsukudajima natsu no kei, “Summer View of Tsukudajima Island.” From a Toto meisho set published by Shogendo, c. 1837-8. Shows a large fishing boat beneath a bursting rocket; Tsukudajima in the background. There is another version of this design with a halo of light falling from the bursting rocket. This impression is so fine, I am surmising this is the earliest state.

 

 

Very fine early impression with strong woodgrain visible. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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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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 KUNISADA II (1823-1880)




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A triptych showing Prince Genji in a boat with attendant page and a lady watching female awabi (abalone) divers called ama. These women were a great curiosity for the public and seen as rather risqué characters. Prince Genji was the protagonist of Murasaki Shikibu’s Heian-era novel The Tale of Genji. He was the second son of the emperor, and relegated to civilian life. Published 1865 by Maruya Kyushiro.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kunisada hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)



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Kusunoki Masatsura killing the magical tanuki from a set of 50 prints Azuma nishiki chuya kurabe, “Edo Embroidery Pictures.” The set published by Kobayashi Tetsujiro, 1886.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshu Chikanobu hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Miya, Atsuta shinji, “Miya, Festival of the Atsuta Shrine.” Number 41 from the famous Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.” Published by Hoeido, c. 1833-4. Hiroshige travelled the length of the Tokaido as part of an official delegation in 1832 making sketches along the way. On his return he started work on the set eventually producing 55 prints. The first of the designs were published jointly by Hoeido and Senkakudo, but then Hoeido took over the production. Miya was the largest station on the Tokaido. There were many inns catering for the pilgrims going to Ise and daimyo travelling to Edo. Shows the horse-driving festival held at the Shinto Atsuta Shrine, the Hama Gateway to the right. This is the rare first edition.

 

 

Fine impression. Slight fading of seals, slight centre fold and minimal soil to left edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Shotei HOKUJU (1763-1825)




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Shimosa Choshi no ura katsuo tsuribune, “Fishing for Bonito in Choshi Bay in Shimosa Province.” Hokuju, a pupil of Hokusai, produced a number of these fine “westernized” landscapes designed with stylised clouds, cubistic mountains and shadows cast by figures. This is one of the best. Bonito is a favourite fish in Japan where it is in the markets from around May each year. Choshin Bay has always produced the largest seafood catch in Japan. Hokuju produced a substantial body of work in this vein. However, he was not the only one. Okyo, Toyoharu, Hokusai, Kunitora, Kuninao and Shinsai also designed prints in this genre, as well as other artists producing examples. Interestingly, Hiroshige, the pre-eminent landscape artist, designed nothing like this. Indeed, the influences flowed the other way before too long, Hiroshige being a favourite of the Impressionists. This is the rare first edition published by Eijudo, c. 1820. His landscapes were republished by Yamamoto. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition. Full size. Signed Shotei Hokuju ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)




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A triptych showing the interior of a mansion. In the centre the head of the household, a young male, surrounded by his female attendants. This most likely shows the Setsubun – a ritual of bean-throwing to clear out the evil from a house on the day before the beginning of spring which was considered New Year’s eve. There are impressions in the MFA Boston (11.13833-5, 21.7798-800) and MET (JP201). Published by Iwatoya Kisaburo. The MET and MFA give a date as c 1791-4 but the signature better fits a date of c 1800.

 

 

Very good impression. Exceptional colour – better even than the other illustrated examples. Small restoration on last sheet, otherwise very good condition with extra paper around. Signed Toyokuni ga. Rare.

 

 

Status: Reserved

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIMARU (1794-1829)



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An uncut fan print showing a beauty looking into a lacquered hand mirror which she has withdrawn from a lacquered cabinet. Kunimaru produced some exceptional fans, of which this is one. However, his work in other fields is not noteworthy and it does pose the question if there were two artists with the same name ? Published 1827. Of particular interest is the design on the under-garment she is holding which has a Dutch motif of cherubs. Rare.

 

 

Very fine impression with strong burnishing on the mirror case, cabinet and her hair. Fine colour. Small repaired binding holes, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kunimaru hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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