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Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)



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A fine chuban from a series parodying the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, this being Daikoku, the god of wealth, seen here attempting to stand on one of his straw bales of rice. The famous waitress Kasamori O-sen (1751-1827) stands holding a battledore on New Year’s Day while her companion balances on Daikoku’s shoulders attempting to retrieve the shuttlecock caught in the kado-matsu decorations using her own battledore. The lantern on the right reads Kagi-ya, which was a tea-house located by the Kasamori Inari Shrine in Yanaka, north of Edo, which was owned by O-sen’s father and where she was the waitress. Considered to be one of “The Three Beauties” of her time. (Given the date of the print, she must have been around 18 when shown here.) The Torii gate is seen on the left. The poem above speaks of a New Year’s fresh gem [O-Sen] and how the trees and grasses bend to her. Published c. 1769.

 

Fine impression: As with many Harunobu, the lines are in relief because of the thick hosho. Exceptional colour: Even the vegetable blue used for the paving stones leading to the temple have not turned except at the extreme left and right. This was a colour used frequently by Harunobu to depict water but is almost always faded to a puce colour. Minimal soil, otherwise a fine example from this period. Signed Harunobu ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)




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A small chuban print showing silkworm cultivation. Two girls feed mulberry leaves to the silkworms, another stands behind. A certain license was taken with this subject and designs did not necessarily faithfully follow the procedure or the girls truly depict the actual labourers. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi, c 1800. This set (probably of 12) would have been printed two-to-a-sheet. Rare.

 

Fine impression and fine unfaded colours. Fine condition. Signed Eishi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The poetess Ome Shushiki (1668-1725) looking at a poem attached to a tree at Ueno. A chu-tanzaku set of eight prints: Kenjo hakkei, “Eight Views of Accomplished Women.” The set published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c 1843-5. Based on the famous Chinese Eight Views, Japanese artists designed many sets using the Eight Views of Omi as their starting point. Here, Vesper Bell at Ueno [Miidera].

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor trimming (usual, as they were printed two-to-a-sheet), otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Kogo no Tsubone (1157 – ?) on a balcony after being banished from court. A chu-tanzaku set of eight prints: Kenjo hakkei, “Eight Views of Accomplished Women.” The set published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c 1843-5. Based on the famous Chinese Eight Views, Japanese artists designed many sets taking the Eight Views of Omi as their starting point. Here, Autumn Moon over Saga Moor [Ishiyama].

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor trimming (usual, as they were printed two-to-a-sheet), otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The faithful wife of Mama walking on a hillside with falling maple leaves. A chu-tanzaku set of eight prints: Kenjo hakkei, “Eight Views of Accomplished Women.” The set published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c 1843-5. Based on the famous Chinese Eight Views, Japanese artists designed many sets using the Eight Views of Omi as their starting point. Here, Clearing Weather at Mama [Awazu].

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor trimming (usual, as they were printed two-to-a-sheet), otherwise very good condition. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Attributed to KATSUNO (Fl. c 1807)




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A hosoban kappazuri (stencil) print of the beauty Kuruharu (or Yukiharu) of the Naraya brothel/tea house holding a teacup. Published by Kashiwaya Soshichi, a Kyoto publisher in c 1807. He is known to have produced prints for Nagahide as well. The artist Katsuno is only known by a few stencil prints around this date; some, as here, unsigned, and it may well be the only impression extant.

 

Good impression (they are never fine), very good colour and condition. Unsigned.

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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Shows Tamagiku of the House of Tama from the extremely rare set of seven prints Bijin nanakomachi, “Beauties of the Seven Komachi” from Toyokuni’s best period ( c.1793-7 ). A parody of the Noh play Sekidera Komachi showing the courtesan writing a letter to her client. To her left is Komachi’s poem about aging. Ono no Komachi, the beautiful ninth century poetess, was inspiration for many prints. Ex Matsuki collection.


Fine impression and colour with extensive embossing. Yellow ground. Full size. Fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.


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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)




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A triptych representing Matsukaze, “The Wind in the Pines,” Chapter XVIII, from a set of triptychs Furyu yatsushi Genji, “Genji in Modern Dress.” Brandt, Hosoda Eishi, Stuttgart, 1977, lists nine from the series (this being no. 58, p. 116, illustrated p. 16). Based on the famous early 11th century novel Genji Monogatari written by Murasaki Shikibu. Shows court ladies, one playing a koto on the engawa far right, others welcoming the arrival of Prince Genji, far left. Published by Senichi, c. 1792. Provenance: Ex Worcester Art Museum and Louis W. Black collections, sold Sothebys N.Y., 4/3/1976, lot 122.

 

Extremely fine impression and perfect unfaded colours. Album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Eishi ga (with a small sumi insertion to read Eisui).

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)




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Furyu rokkasen, “Fashionable Six Poets.” One sheet from a set of three that can be viewed separately or as a triptych. Shows the famous Heian period waka poets Ono no Komachi and Ariwara no Narihira together with an attendant. Two famous poems by them above in gold clouds, hinting at the archaising motif. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi , c 1802. Originally purchased from me in 1976.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition with yellow ground and gold printed at the top. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)




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Tsuki, “Moon” from a set of three prints, San bijin, “Three Beauties.” Based on the Snow, Moon, Flower theme. Shows a koto player adjusting the finger picks in order to start playing. Published by Kamaya Matabei, c 1810s.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight creasing, otherwise very good condition. Full size. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A triptych showing a party of women and a child running in rain towards the entrance of the Mimeguri Shrine. Mimeguri no yudachi, “An Evening Shower at Mimeguri.” This famous shrine was on the bank of the Sumida at Mukojima and a short ferry ride from Asakusa. The shrine is also associated with prayers for rain. Kunisada was the most prolific 19th century artist, but amongst his vast output are real masterpieces. Published c 1830. A fine design.


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


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty in sumptuous clothing from a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. The inset view here shows woven silk from Bungo Province, Bungo shiborizone. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyosh

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)




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A fine set of diptychs showing beauties compared to scenic places in Japan. Meisho bijin awase, “Comparison of Famous Places and True Beauties.” In this instance Sozumegaura in Musashi Province. The unusual backgrounds are printed in blue with touches of pink. The set published by Matsuki Heikichi, 1897-8.

 

Fine impression, color and condition. Signed Yoshu Chikanobu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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A set of six prints: Furyu ukiyo sugata comparing beautiful women to the six poetical geniuses of the 9th/10th centuries. This design interpreting a poem by Fumiya no Yasuhide which speaks of the wild wind of Autumn. The beauty holds a brush with her teeth while she prepares ink to complete a letter. Unidentified publisher, c 1810s.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition. Full size. Signed Kikugawa Eizan hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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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.


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.


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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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A high-ranking courtesan ( oiran ) looking over her shoulder. From a set of six prints: Bijin kaichu kagami – Jisei rokkassen: Ariwara no Narihira, “ A Pocket Mirror of Beauties – Six Immortal Poets of the Era: Ariwara no Narihira.” The set compares the beauties to the six “immortal” waka poets of the 9th/10th centuries. The maple leaves on the oiran’s collar identify the subject as compared to the poet Ariwara no Narihira ( 825-880 A.D. ). The set published by Senichi, c 1826-28.


Fine early impression. Fine colour. Very slight soil, otherwise fine condition. Full size. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.


Status: Available

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)



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A beauty being aided by her assistant to dress her hair. Published by Wakasaya Yoichi, c 1803-4.

 

Fine impression. Very well retained colour. Minor marks and soil, but otherwise very good condition. On thick hosho. Signed Utamaro fude.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Oishi from a set Kenyu fujo kagami, “A Mirror of Wise and Courageous Women.” She evidently was famous for having used her strength to deliver irrigation water into her own fields. Published c 1843-45 by Takahashiya.


Very fine impression. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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Mariko, Station 21, from the Bijin Tokaido which compares beauties to the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido. This Station was famous for tororojiru, a dish of yams and white bean paste. An inn behind is advertising this meal.The set was published by Tsutaya, c early 1830s but only 40 designs are known as the government considered them a little risqué. The set was reissued without the Station numbers and censor seal for 1846.

 

Fine impression and colour. Nice oxidation. Very good condition. Full size. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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A high-ranking courtesan ( oiran ) looking over her shoulder. From a set of six prints: Bijin kaichu kagami – Jisei rokkassen: Ariwara no Narihira, “ A Pocket Mirror of Beauties – Six Immortal Poets of the Era: Ariwara no Narihira.” The set compares the beauties to the six “immortal” waka poets of the 9th/10th centuries. The maple leaves on the oiran’s collar identify the subject as compared to the poet Ariwara no Narihira ( 825-880 A.D. ). The set published by Senichi, c 1826-28.

 

Fine early impression. Fine colour. Very slight soil and trimming bottom right, otherwise fine condition. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty in sumptuous clothing from a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. The inset view here shows dried bonito from Tosa Province, Tosa katsuobushi. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty in sumptuous clothing from a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. The inset view here shows sea cucumber being collected in Mikawa Province, Mikawa-namako. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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A fine kakemono of a standing beauty reading. The perfectly preserved colours on this print allow us to fully appreciate her elaborate garments.

 

Fine impression. Very fine colour. Fine condition. Full size. Signed Toshinobu Eizan hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Shikyusai EIRI (Fl c 1790-1800)




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The courtesan Bando Oume of the Hasegawa-cho with the boy No Shiomatsu and O-tsui of Fujiya from a set Furyu juni-gatsu geisha meimyo awase, “Elegant Twelve Months Showing Various Famous Geisha.” Possibly New Year on the way to Niwaka festivities. Published by Yama-cho, c 1790-1800. A rare design by a rare artist. Possibly a pupil of Eishi.

 

Fine impression and colour. Exceptional retention of the pigments. Trimmed at the top, otherwise very good condition. Signed Rekisentei Eiri ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)




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A fine set of diptychs showing beauties compared to scenic places in Japan. Meisho bijin awase, “Comparison of Famous Places and True Beauties.” In this instance Matsushima in Rikuzen Province. The unusual backgrounds are printed in blue with touches of pink. The set published by Matsuki Heikichi, 1897-8.

 

Fine impression, color and condition. Signed Yoshu Chikanobu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)




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A fine set of diptychs showing beauties compared to scenic places in Japan. Meisho bijin awase, “Comparison of Famous Places and True Beauties.” In this instance showing Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park. The unusual backgrounds are printed in blue with touches of pink. The set published by Matsuki Heikichi, 1897-8.

 

Fine impression, color and condition. Signed Yoshu Chikanobu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)




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A fine set of diptychs showing beauties compared to scenic places in Japan. Meisho bijin awase, “Comparison of Famous Places and True Beauties.” In this instance the Kirifuri waterfall in Nikko Province. The unusual backgrounds are printed in blue with touches of pink. The set published by Matsuki Heikichi, 1897-8.

 

Fine impression, color and condition. Signed Yoshu Chikanobu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty in sumptuous clothing from a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. The inset view here shows octopus from Iyo Province, Iyo nagahama no tako. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyosh

 

Status: Sold

 

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Isoda KORYUSAI (c 1764-1788)




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A chuban print showing the high-ranking courtesan Nanakoshi sitting beside a brazier reading a book. Her loose kimono has a design of fans (ogi – referring to her house, Ogi-ya). Koryusai was born a samurai in the service of the Lord of Tsuchiya but became an ukiyo-e artist producing many fine prints – especially kachoga – books and specialised in painting after c 1780. Three collectors’ seals: M. & C. Forrer and au verso McCabe and unread.


Fine impression and colour. Small thinned area, otherwise fine condition. Signed Koryusai dzu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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Six beauties representing the Six Tama Rivers: Kimuta, Noji, Ide, Chofu, Koya and Noda. They are shown fulling, washing and drying cloth. The streams were noted for their purity – an attribute being bestowed on the girls. A beautiful composition published by Omiya Yohei, c 1804.


Fine impression. Apart from the slight turning of the elusive blue, the colour is extremely well preserved. Very good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A tripyych showing a party of women and a child running in the rain towards the entrance of the Mimeguri Shrine. Mimeguri no yudachi, “An Evening Shower at Mimeguri.” This famous shrine was on the bank of the Sumida at Mukojima and a short ferry ride from Asakusa. The shrine is also associated with prayers for rain. Kunisada was the most prolific 19th century artist, but amongst his vast output are real masterpieces. Published c 1830. A fine design.


Superb impression. Very fine colour. Small edge discolouration and small backed binding holes, otherwise fine condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Torii KIYOMINE ( KIYOMITSU II ) (1787-1868)




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Beauties on the beach at Kamakura with white cranes. This is an allusion or pastiche ( mitate ) of the story that Minamoto Yoritomo’s favourite amusement was flying cranes with labels attached to their legs requesting those who saw them to report the fact and fly them again. Kiyomine, a pupil of Kiyonaga, used – as here – the Kiyomine signature on his early work, c 1815. Published by Eijudo han ( Nishimura-ya ).


Very good impression and colour. Small area repaired wormage, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kiyomine ga.


Status: Sold

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Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)




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A chuban showing the courtesan Matsukaze of the Ogi-ya House from a set of prints: Ukiyo kika, “Strange Flowers of the Floating World.” Shows the courtesan parading outside a Yoshiwara house with her two kamuro. One of the most influential ukiyo-e artists taking full advantage of polychrome printing in 1765 and publishing a large number of exquisite prints, often with innovative pigments and on thick hosho. Published c late 1760s. Another impression in Yoshida, Harunobu zenshu, p. 128.


Fine impression. Slight fading otherwise very good condition. Signed Harunobu ga.


Status: Sold

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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An amorous couple on a balcony with a large full moon. One of the three best designs from a set of twelve prints: Keisei higo, “Secret Words of a Courtesan” published c 1822-25. Although the set comes under the shunga heading, each print is an abuna-e design, without any graphic detail. Fine composition.


Fine impression and colour. Laid onto board from the original album. Small wormage and slight centre fold ( as usual ), otherwise good condition.


Status: Sold

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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A winter scene with an amorous couple in a boat keeping warm beneath a huge duvet. One of the three best designs from a set of twelve prints: Keisei higo, “Secret Words of a Courtesan” published c 1822-25. Although the set comes under the shunga heading, each print is an abuna-e design, without any graphic detail.


Fine impression and colour. Laid onto board from the original album. Small wormage and slight centre fold ( as usual ), otherwise good condition.


Status: Sold

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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The courtesan Shiratama of the Sanomatsuya House in the Shin Yoshiwara seated looking into a mirror. Episode Sekidera from a Seven Komachi set: Shin Yoshiwara yugimi nana Komachi. The set based on the seven episodes in the life of the famous 9th century poetess Ono no Komachi. Published by Tsuta-ya, c 1830.


Very good impression of the first state. Superb, unfaded colour. Fine condition; full size. Signed Kei


Status: Sold

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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The courtesan Efuku of the Owariya House in the Shin Yoshiwara seated at a low desk and holding a toothpick. Episode Kiyomidzu from a Seven Komachi set: Shin Yoshiwara yugimi nana Komachi. The set based on the seven episodes in the life of the famous 9th century poetess Ono no Komachi. Published by Tsuta-ya, c 1830.


Very good impression of the first state. Superb, unfaded colour. Fine condition; full size. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.


Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Mita-so: Tempo nenkan o-kosho fuzoku, “Looking Inquisitive: The Appearance of a Maid in the Tempo Era” ( 1830 – 1844 ). From the set: Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. Shows a maid peering through a summer bamboo screen.

 

Superb impression of the first edition. Very fine colour and condition with the extra paper at left edge and the full handling area showing bottom right. Beautiful blind-printing and a polished pattern applied to the black obi. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Chobunsai EISHI (1756-1829)




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An aiban from a set of four prints: Shiki warabe asobi, a series of prints comparing young children to the four seasons. Another from the set is illustrated in Estampes Japonaises. Collection des Musees royeaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Bruxelles, 1989, cat. 319, p. XXXIX ( incorrectly attributed to Eisho ). Published by Izumiya Ichibei 1795-6.


Very good impression, colour and condition. Full size. Signed Eishi.


Status: Sold

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