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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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“Goat” from a set Mitate junishi, “Selection for the Twelve Signs.” Shows the beauty Okoma looking through a curtain. Briefly the story relates how she is to be married off to a rich man by her mother but Okoma is in love with another man called Chushichi. A visiting barber cuts Chushichi’s hair and concocts a scheme with him to have her kidnaped and for Chushichi to rescue her. Published by Kojima c 1845. Robinson S38.8.

 

 

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

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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An original preparatory drawing (hanshita-e) for an unpublished set. Shows a busy street scene with a doctor’s surgery on the right. Probably c early 1870s. Signed on a painter’s palette Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi fude. Two small areas of pentimenti. Sumi on thin Japanese paper, image size 13.5 x 9.25 in; 34.5 x 23.5 cms. In good condition.

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHIKAZU (Active c 1849-1867)




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A five-sheet original drawing (hanshita-e) showing a parade of beauties before a wicker fence and blossom. Bigyoku imayo hanazoroi, “An Assortment of Modern Beautiful Gems as Flowers.” Nice brushwork on the sumptuous kimonos. Sumi with sumi wash and light touches of red on thin Japanese paper laid onto further thin Japanese paper. Each sheet signed Ichikawa Yoshikazu ga. Sold “as is” with all imperfections, but in good condition.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A sheet of original drawings being hanshita-e for an ehon. Shows, above, a seated samurai and a female figure to the right holding a mirror. Below, actors in a garden setting. Sumi with touches of red on thin paper laid onto thicker Japanese paper, 14 x 10 in; 36 x 25 cms. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Yamamoto Kansuke striding through the snow. “Boar” from a set Mitate junishi, “Selection for the Twelve Signs.” Published by Ibaya Kyubei, c 1845. (Kansuke was famous for killing a giant boar in the snow.) Robinson S38.12.

 

 

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

 

 

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Hishikawa MOROSHIGE (FL. 1684-1704)




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An original painting showing a high-ranking samurai household at leisure. Moroshige was the senior pupil of Hishikawa Moronobu, and, it is said, was the father of Furuyama Moromasa. Sumi and full colour with gold additions on paper. 11.5 x 19 in; 29 x 48.25 cms. This is most likely from a handscroll as the height is correct, and the slight vertical striations indicate it has been rolled at some time. Painted c. 1700. Some slight loss of pigments, especially the verdigris and minor marks, but all commensurate with the age of the painting. The details on the costumes of the two main figures are exquisite.

 

 

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Nishiyama KAN’EI (1834-1897)




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A gajo (album) of 21 original paintings by Nishiyama Kan’ei, the son and pupil of Nishiyama Hoen. They both worked in Osaka and Kan’ei carried on the Shijo school tradition. Relatively few paintings and drawings by Kan’ei survive but based on these and his fine Kan’ei gafu, published in 1886, it is evident he was an accomplished artist. The postscript to the album is an authentication by Takebe Hakuoh (1871-1927) stating that they are original works by the master. He studied under Kan’ei. Comes with the original box. The album and box in excellent condition. Sumi and light colour on paper mounted on gold-flecked boards. All paintings sealed Kan’ei.

 

 

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Ittosai MASANOBU (active c1849-1853)




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The actor Kataoka Gado II as Honchomaru Tsunagoro in the play Honcho itoya no musume performed at the Chikugo theatre in 8/1849. From the set: Date kurabe kyokaku den, “A Comparison of the Stylishness of Famous Gallants”.

 

Fine deluxe surimono-style impression and colour. Margin trimmed to black line at left, otherwise fine condition on deluxe hosho. Signed Kunimasa monjin Masuharu ga ( “Masanobu pupil of Kunimasu” ).

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MASUHARU (active c1840-1850)




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The actor Arashi Rikan III as Ukiyo Tohei in the kabuki play Sendai Hagi performed at the Onishi theatre in 3/1848. From the set: Date kurabe kyokaku den, “A Comparison of the Stylishness of Famous Gallants”.

 

Fine deluxe surimono-style impression and colour. Margin trimmed a little at top, otherwise fine condition on deluxe hosho. Signed Kunimasa monjin Masuharu ga ( “Masuharu pupil of Kunimasu” )

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Oho ( Wang P’ou ) visiting his mother’s tomb to comfort her during a thunderstorm. Shows peasants fleeing the zigzag lightning bolts. From a set of fourteen prints: Nijushi-ko doji kagami, “Mirror of the Twenty-Four Paragons of Filial Piety.” Published by Wakasa-ya Yoichi, c 1840. Each print shows an example of a child’s exemplary behaviour in looking after their aged parents There is a strong western influence in this set. Robinson S13.14.

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839 – 1892)




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Watanabe no Tsuna on horseback in the rain. One of the finest designs from Wakan hyaku monogatari. Published by Daikin, 1865/2.

 

Fine impression and colour. Minor wormage otherwise very good condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)




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Gathering iwatake, rock tripe or rock mushrooms in Kii Province. The common name for various edible lichens that grow on cliffs. The gatherers used precarious baskets that were hauled up and down the cliff face to collect them. Kishu Kumano iwatake tori from Shokoku meisho hyakkei. “Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces.” Published by Uoyei 1859-1861 (this being 1860).

 

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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BUNSEI (Active c. 1830 -1844)




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A complete set of Eight Views of Xiaoxiang, modern Hunan Province, China. These eight views were taken up by Japanese artists such as Hiroshige and transposed to Japan becoming sets like the Eight Views of Omi, etc. Bunsei was a pupil of Tani Buncho. He seems to have made a speciality of this subject and there is a slightly larger version set of the same subject. Published c. 1830s. Provenance: Ex Hayashi with his seal on most of the designs. Rare complete.

 

 

Very good impressions and colour. Minor edge wormage, othwerwise very good condition. Each signed Bunsei.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa KUNITERU (Fl. mid-19th c.)




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An original hanshita-e (preparatory drawing) for a triptych showing the ground floor interior of a brothel in the Yoshiwara with courtesans and their assistants. 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. He was a pupil of Kunisada, originally calling himself Sadashige, and becoming Kuniteru when Kunisada became Toyokuni III. Sumi and touches of red. Extensive pentimenti. Sold “as is” with all imperfections. Signed on two sheets Kuniteru ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An original hanshita-e (preparatory drawing) for a published diptych showing, on the left, the actor Onoe Kikujiro II as Tatsuhime – in reality Yawata, the younger sister of Kotoda. On the right is Iwai Kumesaburo III as Kudo Kanaishimaru. The play is Matsu icho Tsurukame Soga performed at the Nakamura-ya theatre, 1/1854. The publisher of the print 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. Signed Toyokuni ga on both sheets. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

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Kawabata GYOKUSHO (1842-1913)




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An original painted fan. On one side a bird amongst flowers and the reverse also with flowers. A leading figure in Tokyo art circles and the last great representative of the Shijo school. In exceptional condition with extensive gold leaf. Signed Gyokusho with seals Shibun on both sides.

 

 

Full colour on silk, each panel 39.75 x 25 in; 101 x 63.5 cms. Extremely good condition. Signed Kinzaburo Yoshitoshi ga with blurred seal but reading Go Kaisai. Extremely rare.

 

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI II ( TOYOSHIGE ) (1777-1835)




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A courtesan with a toothpick and playing with a cat compared to the actor Iwai Hanshiro V ( inset in a sake cup top right ). From a series Imayo bijin awase, shinsei sugatami sakazuki, “A Comparison of Modern Beauties – A New Mirror of Sake Cups.” Published by Imariya Ushizo, c 1820-24.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Extensive mica added to the coat of the courtesan. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

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Cho GESSHO (1772-1832)




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A large original painting of moored junks caught in a violent squall. A fine painter who studied under Tanke Gessen and Matsumura Goshun in Kyoto before moving to Nagoya in 1798 and becoming Nagasawa Rosetsu’s assistant for a short time. Also illustrated some fine ehon. Sumi and colour on silk with the currents of air painted in gold; 55.25 x 26 in; 140.25 x 66 cms. Painted c. 1810s. Provenance: Two previous owners’ seals on the exterior of mount: The Honda family library and the Ueno family. Old box with inscription which states that Gessho wanted to acquire a painting from the Owari district. Although not intrinsically valuable it was esteemed by the local people. He offered to exchange the painting offered here for their painting. There is a dig here in that the inhabitants of Owari were known to be avaricious. Written by Mizutani Okurei (1848-1926). Presumably based on the accounts of the two previous family owners.

 

Signed Gessho with seal: Yukisada, Genkei, Gessho. Obviously an important painting by Gessho and in very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 




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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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An original drawing by the first Toyokuni. An hanshita-e diptych for a published set of triptychs with title: Yakusha juni tsuki, “Actors in the Twelve Months.” Shows the actors (from the left) Bando Mitsugoro III holding a pipe; Iwai Hanshiro V with an open book; Nakamura Utaemon III about to write a poem; and Segawa Roko IV with another pipe. They are compared to the months of the year, in this case July, the month of the Bon Odori festival and are also a parody of the Six Immortal Poets. The print published by Yamashiroya Toemon (active c. 1801-1817). In fact this set was published Spring, Bunka 6 (1809). Sumi on thin paper laid around edges onto another sheet. Some pentimenti and also shows the initial hurried under-drawing and with annotations for the finished print. Sold together with the two published sheets which shows the lanterns removed at top, the brazier bottom centre and other minor changes. In indifferent condition. An illustrated example of this complete triptych is in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts.

 

The print signed Toyokuni ga. Original hanshita-e by Toyokuni I are extremely rare. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.


 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Gempei Yashima o-kassen, the great battle of Yashima in 1184. Shows Yoshitsune’s famous “eight-boat leap” (centre), Noritsune (left), and Benkei on the large boat (right). Published by Kawaguchiya Uhei, c. 1839-41.

 

Very good impression and colour. Edge repair top left sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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UNSEN




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The dates for Unsen are not known but he was working in the early Meiji period. This original hanshita-e shows Imperial troops defeating the rebellion during the Shimabara riot. (The events took place in 1637/8 although contemporary uniforms and artillery are shown. Comments on topical subjects were often “masked” by being set in a different period.)) A well drawn triptych in good condition using pentimenti. Signed Unsen hitsu.


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Kitagawa TSUKIMARO (Active c 1804-1836)




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An original painting, full colour on dark silk, 33.5 x 11.5 in; 85 x 29 cms. Shows a Chinese beauty – possibly Yang Guikei – collecting medicinal leaves from a Japanese spice bush. An intriguing painting with Ukiyo-e elements fused with both Chinese and Western styles. Tsukimaro was Utamaro’s best pupil and his paintings are rare. Painted c 1818.

 

Some loss of gofun but generally good condition. Newly mounted with new box. Signed Bokutei Tsukimaro hitsu with two unidentified seals.

 

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Yamamoto SHOUN (1870-1965)




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A large original painting , full colour with gold on silk, image size 50.5 x 19.75 in; 128.25 x 50 cms. Shows Shoki, the Demon Quellor, with sword drawn watching an oni escaping on a cloud, upper left. Various Chinese legends exist regarding the origins of Shoki but the gist of them all is that Emperor Xuanzong canonized Shoki, a physician, and in gratitude Shoki vowed to protect the ruler and his heirs from demons and illness. Shoun is best known for his series of woodblocks of beautiful women, Ima Sugata, published 1906-9.

 

In fine condition. Signed Shoun hitsu with two seals, one reading Shoun.

 

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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.

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A fine original fan painting showing a woman of Ohara; a mountain village north of Kyoto. These Oharame collected brushwood and firewood in the fall to sell in Kyoto. They are often depicted and obviously caused a stir when they entered Kyoto to ply their trade. The custom has evidently been going on since the 12th century. She is shown holding a flower and sitting on her bundle of firewood.

 

 

 

Full colour on prepared paper mounted as a fan, 6.5 x 17in; 16.5 x 43.2 cms (paper area). In very good condition. Signed Kunisada ga with indistinct seals, probably Kuni Sada. A charming painting.

 

 

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Yashima GAKUTEI (1786-1868)




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An original painting, sumi and light blue on silk, 13 x 22 in; 33 x 55.9 cms. Shows a carp swimming amongst weeds. Gakutei is best known for his fine surimono (and in fact designed a surimono of this subject). Painted in Bunsei era (1818-1830). In fine condition apart from a minimal crease. Recently remounted.

 

Signed Gogaku with seals Yashima and Sadaoka. A beautiful painting.

 

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Onishi CHINNEN (1792-1851)




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One volume complete Azuma no teburi, “Customs of the Eastern Capital”. Published Bunsei 12 (1829). Original covers, light blue-grey with silver stencilled decoration. Original title slip (damaged). Inside front cover title Taihei Uzo (the original title). Artist: Chinnen, and publisher Sonando. 25 double page illustrations showing the inhabitants of the capital going about their daily pursuits. Inside back cover: Colophon, dated Bunsei 12 (1829) and publishers Kobayashi Shimbei and Osakaya Gembei. Slight repared wormage and minor marks, but generally a nice copy of a fine shijo book.

 

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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A shijo brush drawing of a seabream and a lumpfish (?). One of Kyoto’s leading artists. Noted for his painting from nature. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun as well as Maruyama Okyo. Sumi and light colour on paper, 10 x 14.75 in; 25.4 x 37.4 cms.

 

In good condition. Signed and sealed Keibun.

 

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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A shijo brush drawing of a white horsehead and an acropomatidae (?). One of Kyoto’s leading artists. Noted for his painting from nature. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun as well as Maruyama Okyo. Sumi and light colour on paper, 10.5 x 15 in; 26.7 x 38.1 cms.

 

In good condition. Signed and sealed Keibun.

 

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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A shijo brush drawing of a red seabream. One of Kyoto’s leading artists. Noted for his paintings from nature. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun as well as Maruyama Okyo. Sumi and light colour on paper, 10.5 x 17 in; 26.7 x 43.2 cms.

 

In good condition. Signed and sealed Keibun.

 

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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A shijo brush drawing of a gurnard and a snapper (?). One of Kyoto’s leading artists. Noted for his painting from nature. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun as well as Maruyama Okyo. Sumi and light colour on paper, 10.5 x 17.75 in; 26.7 x 45.1 cms.

 

In good condition. Signed and sealed Keibun.

 

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Nishiyama HOEN (1804-1867)




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An original painting showing the oiran Eguchi on a white elephant. The origins of this story seem to go back to a recorded conversation the poet-monk Saigyo (1118-1190) had with a prostitute named Eguchi giving rise to numerous legends. Eguchi is shown as a manifestation of the Budhisattva Fugen whose usual vehicle is a large white elephant. Hoen, one of the best shijo painters of his time, lived in Osaka and was a pupil of Keibun. Full colour on silk, 36.5 x 13 in; 92.7 x 33 cms. Mount showing signs of wear but image in good condition. Signed Hoen with seal (?) – Seisho.

 

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Yanagawa SHIGENOBU (1787-1833)




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An original painting by this artist who was the pupil and then son-in-law of Hokusai. He was given the name Yanagawa (from his residence in the Honjo district of Edo) to distinguish him from other Shigenobu artists. A good book illustrator and surimono designer. He designed the first square surimono in Osaka in 1822, inspiring others to follow. His paintings are rare. Shows a portrait of the Japanese scholar and writer Ishikawa Masamochi (1754-1830). The fifth son of Ishikawa Toyonobu, he was a renowned kyoka poet and Gesaku writer (playful, mocking works), including The Magical Carpenter of Japan. An important figure in kyoka/surimono circles. Known as Rokujuen (Yadao no Meshimori). His family crest is seen on his kimono and he sits before a low desk ready to write. A high quality painting, sumi and colour on silk, 29 x 12.5 in.; 73.6 x 31.8 cms. Several small backed wormholes at bottom, otherwise very good condition. Would benefit from being remounted.

 

Signed Shigenobu with seal Yanagawa.

 

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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.

 

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ANONYMOUS (Late 18th century)




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An Uki-e, “floating picture” painting showing an interior with a puppet performance taking place. A puppeteer manipulates a female puppet in the centre, behind him two gidayu narrators and a shamisen player. A male puppet is being held behind a screen. Ladies behind a screen at right enjoy the drama. In fact, a male individual at the back seems overcome by emotion with a hanky to his face. The architecture is represented using one-point perspective, a style which made its way to Japan in the 1740’s from the West via China. (Interestingly the artist has got the perspective wrong on the screen at right.) This genre of painting – invariably unsigned – always shows interior or semi-interior views with banquets or, as here, puppet performances. Full colour on paper, 17 x 23 in; 43.2 x 58.5 cms. Minor marks, although good condition for this kind of painting.

 

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Tsukioka SETTEI (1710-1786)




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An original painting, sumi and light blue on silk. Image size 38.75 x 14.25 in; 98.4 x 36.2 cms. Shows a carp leaping a waterfall. This was a favourite subject for Japanese artists being a symbol of achievement against adversity. Carp were bred for their colour in Japan and, interestingly, Koi that are returned to the wild revert back to their grey colour. They are known to live for up to a hundred years or more. Settei produced many illustrated books but after around 1765 turned to painting beauties, courtesans and geishas. They are of the utmost refinement – the faces and limbs picked out in red, their costumes with areas of gold, and invariably have the wide lantern-locks (toro-bin) hairstyle. Signed Hogen Tsukioka Sessai jinen rokuju-nana (painted aged sixty-seven, hence 1777). Seal Masanobu no in. In good condition with splashed gofun.

 

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Tsukioka SETTEI (1710-1786)




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An interesting large painting, full colour on paper mounted on a wooden frame, 25.5 in; 62cms in diameter showing a bust portrait of a beauty with elaborate coiffure and holding a hat for a street festival. Although not signed, the attribution is unquestionable, painted between 1767-1773 in Osaka. It appears to have been commissioned to hang in a hairdresser’s or cosmetic shop and has metal eyes at the top. The oxidised silver leaf background was meant to resemble a mirror and the idea of busts reflected in mirrors and silver grounds was later employed by Utamaro and Sharaku. Besides silver, gum and raised painting is applied. Such signboards appear in an illustrated book by Hasegawa Mitsunobu published in Osaka in 1752. This new discovery has been written about by Dr. Yamamoto Yukari in vol.27 of Minzoku Geijutsu (Ethno-Arts) in 2011. Minor surface marks all over but astonishingly good condition given their age and use. Extremely rare.


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Hanabusa ITCHO ( 1670-1724 )




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An original painting showing a cat cleaning itself on a precarious tea-house roof. A charming study and typical of his work which often depicted the commonplace and comical sides to life. Itcho first studied the Kano tradition, perhaps under Kano Yasunobu ( 1618-1685 ). He was also known in poetry circles. However, like a lot of other artists of the time, he ran foul of the authorities and was exiled for 12 years in Miyakejima. On his return in 1709 he adopted the name Hanabusa Itcho and focused on ukiyo-e painting following in the footsteps of Moronobu but with more of a common touch. Ink and colour on silk. Image size 40.5 x 9.25 in; 113 x 23.5 cms. 


Signed Hanabusa Itcho with seal Nobuka no in. Box inscription Hanabusa Itcho Okujo no neko. Painted c 1710-20. In very good condition. Copies of Itcho paintings and drawings abound, partly because of his popularity and importance, but also because his staccato-like style and often simple subjects lend themselves to plagiarism. This lovely and unusual composition shows Itcho at his best. See also: Hanabusa Itcho ten ( exhibition catalogue ), Itabashi Museum of Art, 1984 ( see pl. 20 for the identical seal and very similar signature ); M. Murase, Japanese Art: Selections from the Mary and Jackson Burke Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975, cat. No. 89; and for a description of his life: T. Koyasahi, Life of Hanabusa Itcho, Kokka, vol. 920, 1968, 00. 5-10.


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Mori TETSUZAN (1775-1841)




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A seated cat with butterflies above. Tetsuzan, the adopted son of Mori Sosen, was known for his animal paintings and was one of the ten best pupils of Okyo. Good condition.


Sumi and colour on beige silk. Image size 38.25 x 14.5 inches. Mounted on brown damask with ivory rollers. Signed Tetsuzan with seal Shushin.


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Oku BUMMEI (?-1813)




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A Maruyama school artist and “One of the ten most notable pupils of Okyo.” A contributor to the anthology Keijo gaen of 1814. Shows a strolling courtesan composed of almost limpid brush strokes creating an ethereal image of the floating world. Sumi and light brown-red on paper, 41.25 x 11.75 in; 104.75 x 29.75 cms. Mount and painting in very good condition. Signed Bummei and undecipherable seal.


Status: Available




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 Click here to view image full size.




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