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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.


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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A handscroll comprising twelve mostly nature studies. ( Four shown. ): An isolated village; redstart and camellia; a rock; iris; rose; bamboo; lobster; sparrow and begonia; a village covered in snow; a scholar reading; white camellia; hibiscus. Sumi and light colour on paper, 14 x 441.2 in; 35.5 x 1120 cms. Keibun was a leading Kyoto artist who had many talented pupils. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun and also Maruyama Okyo. The paintings show all the spontaneity and brevity of a leading exponent of the shijo school and the subject matter is typical. Minor marks; slight edge damage on one painting, but generally good condition. Each painting sealed Kei Bun . Ivory rollers and stickered box.

 

Status: Reserved




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Ichiunsai KUNIHISA II (1832-1891)




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A fine work of the artist, c 1850s. The pupil and son-in-law of Kunisada. A beauty promenading. Sumi and full colour on silk. Image size 34 x 11.75 in; 86.5 x 29.5 cms. Fine condition. New mount and box. Signed Kunihisa ga. Seals unread.



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Unknown




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An interesting folding map showing Edo Tokyo. Sumidagawa in the East and Shinagawa in the West, all dominated by the Tokugawa Shogun’s residence at the centre, with civic information and measurements from Nihonbashi, and annual events. Dated Ox 8 (1853).


Good condition.



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Utagawa SADAHIDE (1807-1873)



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An exceptionally rare triptych showing the great battle between Takeda Shingen (left) and Uesugi Kenshin (right) during the fourth (of five) Kawanakajima battles. Kenshin lunges with his sword but is parried by Shingen using his iron war fan (gunbai). These skirmishes took place in the mid. 16th century. I can, at the moment, only locate one damaged impression of this fine design. Published 1846 by Tsujiokaya Bunsuke.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Full size. Signed Gyokuransai Sadahide ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A key-block proof of Juunryu Kosonsho (Chin: Kun-sun Sheng) praying with lightning flashing around him. From the set Goketsu Suikoden, “Heroes of the Suikoden” published by Ohashi in 1868. Keyes lists just seven designs in this set. Aratame and date seal for 7/1868 and engraver’s seal Hori Wakasa. Publisher’s seal Ohashi (Daikyodo). One kento mark visible. Browned and creased but commensurate with having survived. Sold “as is.” Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa YOSHIKAZU (Fl. 1850-1870)



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A triptych showing the battle of Shijo Nawate at Yoshino, Nara. Shows Kusunoki Masatsura of the Southern army in the centre amidst a hail of arrows battling the Northern armies in 1348. He was killed in this fight at the age of 22. Published by Sanoya Tomigoro, 1862.

 

Very good impression and colour. Very slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichikawa Yoshikazu ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Bingo Abumon Kannondo. The temple of Kannon at Abumon, Bingo Province. From the set Rokuju yoshu meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces.” Published by Koshimuraya Heisuke between 1853-1856 (this being 1853).

 

Fine, early impression. The earliest states have a cloud printed top left (as here). Very good colour. Slight centre fold and trimmed close, otherwise good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

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Katsukawa SHUNTEI (1770-1820)




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A surimono, number two, from a set of three entitled Buyu sanban tsuzuki, “Three Examples of Martial Bravery.” Shows Minamoto no Tametomo (1139-1170). A famed archer and of huge stature, he is shown here with his bow and arrows being offered a coral tree from a representative of a conquered land. Shuntei, a pupil of Katsukawa Shun’ei, produced a number of surimono as well as working in other genres. Issued for the Taikogawa Poetry Club, c late 1810s. Poems above by Wajotei Harunaga and Kasentei. The other two from the set are in the MFA Boston, 53.2733 (the first) and 53.2735 (the third). Another impression of this design is also in MFA Boston, 53.2734. Ex collection Louis Gonse, seal au verso. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression and colour with extensive gold and silver. Fine condition. Signed Shokyuko Shuntei ga.

 

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original drawing showing a beauty with an acolyte. Sumi on thin paper. 14.5 x 10.5 in., 37 x 27.5 cms.



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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A large original drawing. Probably for a kakemono-e. Sumi on thin paper. 29.5 x 9.75 in., 73 x 24 cms.



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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original drawing showing a full length study of a woman with details of the pattern on her dress. Sumi and red under-drawing on thin paper. 14.75 x 10.75 in., 37.5 x 27.5 cms.



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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original drawing showing a bust portrait of a Heian beauty holding a fan with a surrounding motif of gourds and leaves. Sumi and red under drawing on thin paper. 18.5 x 12 in., 47 x 31 cms.



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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original drawing showing a full length study of a peasant carrying a box on her head. A small vignette of a samisen player at the bottom left. Sumi on thin paper. 12.75 x 9.5 in., 33 x 24 cms.



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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original drawing showing a study of a seated woman holding a rosary in front of an incense burner. Sumi and pentimenti on thin paper. 13 x 9.5 in., 33 x 24.5 cms.



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Okumura TOSHINOBU (Active c 1717-1750)



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An hosoban showing a young actor in the role of a peddler of Chinese medicine, an Uiro, in a scene called Uiro-uri. This role is associated with the Danjuro line and Danjuro II did perform it more than once. Published c 1720 by Emiya. Rare.

 

Good impression. Coloured by hand: mustard yellow, yellow, gold powder and heavy sumi over an embossed pattern. Possibly some fading, otherwise very good condition. Signed Yamato gwako Okumura Toshinobu hitsu.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Three New Year drummers; two with lion (shishi) masks. Sumi and colour on paper, lightly laid onto card. 24.2 x 36.2 cms; 9.5 x 14.25 inches.


In good condition. Unsigned but from a group, one of which bore full signature.



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Shibata ZESHIN (1807-1891)




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A fine original drawing in sumi and colour for the series Hana kurabe, “A Comparison of Flowers” published by Shugyokudo between c 1875 – 1890. The set of 120 prints was issued in groups of 12 enclosed in paper wrappers. This design shows a group of Japanese poppies. On thin paper laid onto Japanese paper, 7.5 x 10 in; 19 x 25.5 cms.


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Shibata ZESHIN (1807-1891)




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A fine original drawing in sumi and colour for the series Hana kurabe, “A Comparison of Flowers” published by Shugyokudo between c 1875 – 1890. The set of 120 prints was issued in groups of 12 enclosed in paper wrappers. This design shows a group of daffodills. On thin paper laid onto Japanese paper, 7.5 x 10.5 in; 19 x 26.5 cms.


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Shibata ZESHIN (1807-1891)




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A fine original drawing in sumi and colour for the series Hana kurabe, “A Comparison of Flowers” published by Shugyokudo between c 1875 – 1890. The set of 120 prints was issued in groups of 12 enclosed in paper wrappers. This design shows the entrance to a shrine with numerous ema hanging under cover and two figures entering. On thin paper laid onto Japanese paper, 7.25 x 9.75 in; 18.5 x 24.5 cms.


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Shibata ZESHIN (1807-1891)




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A fine original drawing in sumi and colour for the series Hana kurabe, “A Comparison of Flowers” published by Shugyokudo between c 1875 – 1890. The set of 120 prints was issued in groups of 12 enclosed in paper wrappers. This design shows an unidentified plant with purple-black berries – possibly a variety of elderberry. On thin paper 7.25 x 10.5 in; 18.5 x 26.5 cms. Signed Zeshin and an indication for where the Shin seal should go. Sold together with the published print. Backed and with centre fold. Signed Zeshin and Shin seal.


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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An excessively rare triptych: Onkyoku sekai awase, “Matching the World and Music,” showing 13 dramatic illustrations of the Joruri world ( these being the famous narrated stories ). All episodes are shown against a snowy backdrop. Published 1849-50 by Ibasen.


Fine impression and colour. Some nice oxidation at bottom and very minor soil. Very good condition. Signed Hiroshige giga, “drawn to amuse.”


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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‘Evening Snow at Uchikawa’, Uchikawa bosetsu from the early set Kanazawa hakkei, ‘Eight Views in Kanazawa’ published by Koshimuraya Heisuke, c 1835-6. This is an extremely rare and fine set and examples in good condition are very difficult to find. 31-syllable waka poem above. One of Hiroshige’s finest compositions.


Fine impression, colour and condition with large margins. Signed Hiroshige ga.



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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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“Looking Weighed-down: The Appearance of a Waitress at Fukagawa in the Tempo Era” ( 1830 – 1844 ). From the set: Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. The waitress is shown carrying a tray of rice, sashimi and beans.


Very fine impression and colour of the first edition. A mulberry fibre towards top edge, otherwise very fine condition with margins intact. ( These thread-like filaments of the tree sometimes survived the pulping process – either minute pieces of the outer or inner bark and are often seen. ) Signed Yoshitoshi ga.


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