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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Bizen, Yukazan. A figureless snow scene and the best design from the set of twenty prints entitled: Sankai mitate sumo, “Mountains and Sea Contending like Wrestlers”- one of the most poetic of his titles which is in an umpire’s fan used for wrestling matches, top right. The set published and sealed Horse 7 and 8 ( 1858 ) by Yamadaya. ( Happer lists it as the previous Horse Year 1846. ) One of Hiroshige’s last designs and rare. The set is divided into ten designs of mountains and ten prints of harbours.


Very fine impression of the first edition ( variegated cartouche ). Fine colour. Imperceptible centre fold and the usual oxidation, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Tsukudajima hatsu hototogitsu, “The First Cuckoo at Tsukudajima Island” from Hiroshige’s first major landscape set of ten prints with title Toto meisho published by Shoeido c 1831-2. Shows a few boats off the Island in the Bay of Edo as seen from Eitai Bridge. To the right the Shiba district and on the left the tip of Honju Fukugawa. This is the rare first state with ochre border, graded blue on the water, and with the publisher’s name and address in right margin.


Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold. Large margins with publisher’s name and address in right margin intact. ( It is often trimmed, eg the Pulverer impression, pl. 6, Hiroshige, Matthi Forrer, 1997. ) Very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Autumn moon at Ishiyama, Ishiyama no shugetsu, from the set of eight prints: Eight Views in Omi Province published 1834 by Hoeido. “Eight Views” was borrowed from Chinese poetry and each print conveys, pictorially, the kyoka poem written in the square label at the top right. To the left, hidden in trees, is the temple where Murasaki Shikibu ( c 978 – c 1014 ) wrote her great novel Tales of Genji. The scene shows Lake Biwa, Seta Bridge and Mount Hira on the horizon. Hiroshige probably never surpassed the ethereal, figureless quality this set possesses.


Very good impression, colour and condition with good margins. The top-left mountain always shows slippage of the blue block on this design. The set was advertised as a “work in black and white, lightly coloured” and early states have a very limited palette. Later editions of this design incorporate green and brown into the cliffs on the left. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Evening Bell at Miidera Temple, Mii no bansho, from the set: Omi hakkei no uchi, “Eight Views in Omi Province.” The series of eight prints was published by Hoeido and Eikyudo, c.1834-5. When first published it was advertised as a “work in black and white, lightly coloured,” and Hiroshige was never to surpass the ethereal quality that these figureless landscapes possess. The theme “Eight Views” was borrowed from Chinese poetry and each print conveys pictorially the poem written in the square label at the top right. Beside it, in a red label, is the series title. The designs for the set are known in various states and there are variations in colouring and gradation. Shows the temple hidden in the hills on the southern side of Lake Biwa.


Fine impression. The first edition without the break in the line-block on left next to the row of trees and the break on the lower side of the cartouche containing title. ( Both can be seen on the impression in the Honolulu Academy of Art. ) Fine colour. Minor thinning, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A giant wave thrown up by the sea at Satta. Suruga Satta kaijo, “Waves Off the Satta Pass in Suruga Province” from the set Fuji sanjurokkei, the “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.” The finest design from the set. The spume of a wave was thought to transmogrify into chidori ( a species of plover ) which can be seen here flying above the sea. Published by Tsutaya Kichizo, 1858. One of Hiroshige’s most popular prints.


Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Masaki yukibare, “Clearing Weather After Snow.” A Toto meisho set of 21 prints published by Kikakudo ( Sanoki ) c 1832-5 and then extended to 55 in c 1839-42. Shows the temple on the far shore with boatmen navigating the river in the foreground. The scene under heavy snow.


Fine impression of the first edition with red Kikakudo seal in right margin ( later editions have the black seal of Sanoki ). Fine colour. Trimmed close on right side. Imperceptible centre fold, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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The Urami Falls, Mt. Nikko, Shimotsuke Province. Shimotsuke, Nikkozan urami no taki. One of the best designs from Rokuju yoshu meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-Odd Provinces.” The series published by Koshimuraya Heisuke between 7/1853 and 3/1856 ( this being 8/1853 ). The “Back-View” waterfall, so-called because it could be viewed from a path underneath.


Fine early impression with blind-printing on the water. The first edition has the falling water printed blue and other colour variations. ( See Pulverer impression in Rokujuyoshu Meisho Zue, Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, 1996, no 27. ) However, this is one of those cases where the earliest state is not necessarily the preferred one. Fine colour. Slight edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Amanohashidate in Tango Province. One of the best designs from Rokuju yoshu meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-Odd Provinces.” The series published by Koshimuraya Heisuke between 7/1853 and 3/1856 ( this being 12/1853 ). The sandbank extended about three kilometres into the Sea of Japan. With Miyajima and Matsushima, considered to be one of the three most beautiful spots in Japan..


Fine early impression. The first edition has variations in the clouds. ( See Pulverer impression in Rokujuyoshu Meisho Zue, Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, 1996, no 38. ) Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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The Yoro waterfall in Mino Province. Mino Yoro no taki. One of the best designs from Rokuju yoshu meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-Odd Provinces.” The series published by Koshimuraya Heisuke between 7/1853 and 3/1856 ( this being 8/1853 ). The fall was also depicted by Hokusai in his set of waterfalls.


Very fine early impression with strong woodgrain and blind-printing on the fall. The first edition has the falling water printed blue and other colour variations. ( See Pulverer impression in Rokujuyoshu Meisho Zue, Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, 1996, no 23. ) The present state is preferred by some collectors. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Women bringing offerings to the great shrine in Izumo, Izumo, taisha hotohoto no zue. Hotohoto was a festival on the 14th day of the first month and children went around receiving rice cakes or small amounts of money. One of the best designs from Rokuju yoshu meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-Odd Provinces.” The series published by Koshimuraya Heisuke between 7/1853 and 3/1856 ( this being 12/1853 ). Izumo is the oldest shrine in Japan in the far south-east of Honshu. The colourful foreground figures contrast with the silhouettes of others and cryptomeria trees receding into the mist.


Fine early impression with nice wiped bokashi across the foreground ( missing on later editions ). The first edition has gradation on the gowns of two of the figures and the trees are hardly visible. ( See Pulverer impression in Rokujuyoshu Meisho Zue, Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, 1996, no 42. ) Fine colour. Imperceptible centre fold. Very good condition. Signed Ichiryusai Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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An extremely rare complete pentatych ( each sheet numbered at the bottom ): Shin Yoshiwara sakura no keshiki, “Cherry Blossom in the Yoshiwara.” A panorama of the main Nakanocho street in early April with transplanted cherry trees. The main entrance to the right on the first sheet, the other sheets showing a multitude of courtesans, kamuro, shinzo manservants and customers. A fascinating design with a multiplicity of small vignettes. Cherry blossom was used as a euphemism for the quickly fading beauty of the courtesan. Published c 1810 by Yamatoya Kyubei.


Very good impression; very good colour. Slight horizontal line near bottom edge and slight thinning otherwise very good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga on each sheet.


Status: Sold




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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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Sei Shonagon ( lady of honour to the empress at the court of Ichijo-tenno [ 10th century ]. Rival of Murasaki Shikibu ) from a rare set of ten nagaban prints with title: Shiika shashin-kyo, “A Mirror of Chinese/Japanese Verse.” The set published 1833-4 by Moriya Jihei. The print depicts a story from Chinese lore whereby a loyal follower of a prince who is pursued to the closed frontier gate of Kankoku climbs a tree to imitate the early morning cock-crow, the signal to have the gate opened. Chinese soldiers are at the gate and a cockerel sits nearby.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Completely untrimmed: A rarity with these designs for obvious reasons. Signed Zen Hokusai Iitsu hitsu.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Senju no Ohashi, “The Senju Great Bridge” from Meisho Edo hyakkei, the “One Hundred Views of Edo” published by Uoei between 1856 and 1858 ( this being 1857 ). The bridge which was built in 1594 connected Edo with Senju ( seen to the right ) over the Sumida ( Arakawa ) River. Ex collection P & L Warnock (seal au verso ).

Very fine impression of the first edition. Minor edge soil otherwise fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A giant wave thrown up by the sea at Satta. Suruga Satta kaijo, “Waves Off the Satta Pass in Suruga Province” from the set Fuji sanjurokkei, the “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.” The finest design from the set. The spume of a wave was thought to transmogrify into chidori ( a species of plover ) which can be seen here flying above the sea. Published by Tsutaya Kichizo, 1858.

Very good impression and colour. One slight spot at top, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

Status: Sold

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KOTO (active 1894-1904)




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Little is known of this artist ( whose name can also be read Koshu ), although he seems to have been a pupil of Gekko. A superb 6-sheet design of the great naval battle outside the port of Ryojun ( Port Arthur ). Ryojunkogai daikaisen zu. Shows the attack by Admiral Togo Heihachiro on the Russian destroyers on the night of the 8-9th February 1904. The Russian Vice Admiral Oskar Starks had three vessels hit by Japanese torpedoes. War was declared between Japan and Russia on the 10th February 1904. Published by Heikichi Kimura 1904. The finest design of this genre and period when the publishers had to produce speedy propaganda prints, quickly superseded by photographic processes. Shows the powerful searchlights raking the waves and vessels cleverly tying the six sheets together.

Very fine impression with extensive splashed gofun. Fine colour and condition. Signed Koto.

Status: Sold




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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1787-1858)




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Masaki atari yori Suijin no mori uchikawa Sekiya no sata o miru zu, “View of Suijin Grove and Sekiya Village, Seen From Near Masaki” from Meisho Edo hyakkei, the “One Hundred Views of Edo” published by Uoei between 1856 and 1858 ( this being Snake 8, 1857 ). One of the great designs from the set, the view encapsulated by a semi-circular screen.


Superb impression of the first edition. Fine colour. One very small thinned spot, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1787-1858)




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Konodai Tonegawa fukei, “View of Konodai and the Tone River” from Meisho Edo hyakkei, the “One Hundred Views of Edo” published by Uoei between 1856 and 1858 ( this being Dragon 5, 1856 ). Shows the river disappearing in the distance with Mt Fuji on the horizon. The scene being admired by three travellers on the rocky outcrop at left.


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


Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A view of two temples separated by water: Mimeguri and Ushi-no Misaka. From an early set of thirteen prints with title Shimpan uki-e, “New Perspective Prints,” published by Iseya Rihei, 1811. ( Although various dates are given between 1804 and 1810 for the series, in fact at least three have Yama-To gyoji seals.) Illustrated in Katsushika Hokusai, the catalogue of the Peter Morse collection at the Ota Memorial Museum of Art, 1988, no. 50. Interestingly, there are other designs in the same format using the same title cartouche and of the same date but by Toyokuni I and Kunitora.


Fine impression and colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Later editions have considerably coarser colouring. Signed Hokusai ga.


Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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One of the most majestic landscape sets: Shokoku takimeguri, “Travelling Around the Waterfall Country.” A series of eight waterfalls, this being the Kirifuri, “Falling Mist” fall that cascades down Kurokami mountain in Shimotsuke Province. Shimotsuke Kurokamiyama Kirifuri no taki. Pilgrims from Nikko admire the fall, one with Eijudo’s seal ( the publisher ) on his back; another with “Ei” on his back. Published c. 1832. Interestingly, there is a clever set of copies of this set, fully discussed in Oriental Art, Summer 1972, Vol. XVIII, No. 2, pp. 141 – 147 by Roger Keyes.


Very good impression and colour. Slightly trimmed around: These designs are martyrs to trimming being slightly over-sized and few impressions are truly full size, otherwise very good condition. Signed Zen Hokusai Iitsu hitsu.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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The sea shore at Izu from the set Fuji sanjurokkei, the “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.” The series published by Sanoya Kihei, 1852. This chuban set is now recognised as one of Hiroshige’s finest series and this is the best design. Late editions are not known which probably partly explains why the set was overlooked as it has always been rare. The heaving sea produces a wave that mimics the outline of Fuji.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Sakanoshita fudesute mine, “The Peak of Fudesute Mountain from Sakanoshita.” Fudesute means to “throw away brush” which alludes to the story of the artist Motonobu Kano who, unable to capture the beauty of this view, threw his brush away. From the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido. The set published by Hoeido and Senkakudo, c. 1833-4.


Fine impression and colour. The seals very crisp. Very early impression: much better than the example in Ukiyoe Taikei. ( First edition ? ) Probably no other set went into so many reprints and there are a plethora of coarse impressions extant. Proof of how popular the designs were with the public. Indeed, it is stated that the first two hundred sets sold out in a matter of hours. Slight edge soil, otherwise good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Otsu hashirii chamise, “The Running Well Teahouse at Otsu” from the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido. The set published by Hoeido and Senkakudo, c. 1833-4. Shows the teahouse with the eponymous well at far left. So-called because of the water that gushed from it. Rice cakes in Otsu borrowed the name and were called Shirii rice cakes. This is the extremely rare first state of the first edition with the mountain in the background ( missing on all later editions ) and gradation on the tea house roofs. Ukiyoe Taikei, vol. 14, no 54 shows the first edition but second state without gradation. Other first editions were in the Happer sale, Sothebys, 26/4/1909, lot 141 and Metzger auction, AA Galleries, NY, 13/11/1916, lot 157.


Fine impression with very crisp seals and the mountain beautifully graded in grey ( some impressions being in blue ). Probably no other set went into so many reprints and there are a plethora of coarse impressions extant. Proof of how popular the designs were with the public. Indeed, it is stated that the first two hundred sets sold out in a matter of hours. Fine colour. Slight thinning in centre with backing support and small repairs top and bottom margins, but generally very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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Shiojiri Pass, View of Lake Suwa, from the Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaido. The set was started by Eisen and published by Hoeido in 1835, but in 1837 Hiroshige took over and completed the series with the publisher Iseiri ( Kinjudo ). A view from the pass over the frozen lake towards Takashima Castle, with Mount Fuji in the distance. A short cut over the ice was available in the winter mornings after the ice had frozen during the night. This is the earliest state. Extremely rare.


Very fine early impression. The first state of a number of variants with Take [ nouchi Magohachi ] on the girth of the horse; signature and seals, and gradation on the banks on the right of the print. Combined Take and kiwame seal in left margin. Signed Eisen ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A view over the Naruto Strait of the whirlpools at Awa, Awa no naruto no fukei. Although no series title this is from a trinity of triptychs depicting Snow, Moon and Flowers, this being the last ( because the eddies and whirls were reminiscent of flowers [ nami no hana, “flowers of the waves” ] ). These were the last three great prints Hiroshige designed. All are rare, especially Snow and Moon. Published 1857 by Okasawaya Taheiji.


Fine impression. It is claimed that the first printings have a sliver of land on the far right horizon which is removed on later editions. However, there seems to be no discernable difference in quality between that state and very good impressions without. So, if true, this must have happened early on. Almost all impressions are without. Indeed, late impressions of this set of three triptychs are not known. Fine colour. Virtually untrimmed: These prints are extremely difficult to find without trimming, often well into the title cartouche. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold




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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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The village of Yase, Yase no sato from Kyoto meisho no uchi, “Famous views of Kyoto.” Shows Oharame from the village of Ohara travelling to Kyoto to sell their wares. A set of ten prints published by Kawaguchiya Shojo, c 1834.


Very good impression and colour. Several expertly repaired wormholes, otherwise very good condition with large margins. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Shinyoshiwara asazakura no zue, “Morning Cherries at Yoshiwara” from Toto Meisho, “Famous Views of the Eastern Capital.” Hiroshige’s first landscape set of ten prints published c 1831 by Kawaguchiya Shojo. An early morning scene with low lying mist. A client takes leave of his companion.


Fine impression. The first edition with ochre patterned border. Missing on later editions. Fine colour. Thinned area top right border and minimal soil in right border. Large margins. ( The publisher’s name and address in right border is often trimmed off. ) Signed Ichiyusai Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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The Benten Shrine, Inokashira Pond in a snowstorm, Inokashira no ike Benzaiten no yashiro no kei. One of a set Meisho setsu gekka, “Famous Places: Snow, Moon and Flowers.” ( The other two are Flowering Cherries at Kogamei and Autumn Moon at Takanawa. ) A fine and rare snow scene, this being the hard to get first edition with publisher’s seal Riuya Zenbei (?) left centre bottom. A later edition altered the seal to circular and moved it to the right border. An even later reissue was published by Marujin, his and the censor seal being in the left margin. This state had the sky block recut with heavy snowflakes and completely ruins the design. For this state see Japanese Prints & Drawings From The Vever Collection, Jack Hillier, Sothebys, 1976, no. 926, p. 950. Also Tamba, no. 223 ( later edition ) and Suzuki, no. 146 ( first edition ). Ex collection Walter von Scheven, 1878 – 1950, and purchased by him from R. Wagner, Berlin in 1921.


Fine impression and colour. Minor edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Fujikawa from the so-called “Upright Tokaido.” One of the two snow scenes from the set. Published by Tsutaya, Hare 7, 1855. Ex collection Paul-Louis de la Noe, 1879-1919, ( an acquaintance of the Goncourt brothers, Bing and Hayashi ).


Fine, very early impression. Fine colour. Very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A chu-tanzaku view: Matsuchiyama-no yukihare, “Clearing Weather After Snow at Matsuchiyama.” From a set of at least 15 prints: Famous Places of the Eastern [ Edo] Capital.” Published c early 1830s by Fujihiko.


Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNITERU ( F. mid Meiji period )




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A pupil of Kunisada who called himself Sadashige during his master’s use of the go Kunisada. A charming print I have not seen before showing numerous children playing in the snow. Building a snow rabbit, a large snowball, throwing snowballs and carrying ice. A mother carrying a child looks on. An aiban print published by Fujiokaya Hikotaro (?).


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


Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Tsukudajima hatsu kakko, “The First Cuckoo at Tsukudajima Island” from Hiroshige’s first major landscape set of 10 prints with title Toto Meisho published by Shoeido c 1831-2. This is the rare first state: with ochre border; graded blue on water, and with the publisher’s name and address in right margin. Ex Ernest Le Veel collection. Sold Ader-Picard-Tajan, 24/10/1980, lot 96.


Fine impression and colour. Slight soil at left border. With the publisher’s name and address which is often trimmed on right, eg even the Pulverer impression pl 6, Hiroshige, Matthi Forrer, 1997. Very good condition. Signed Ichiryusai Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Mama no Momiji Tekona no Yashiro Tsugihashi, ” The Red Maples of Mama at Tekona Shrine” from Meisho Edo hyakkei, the “One Hundred Views of Edo” published by Uoei between 1856 and 1858 ( this being Snake 1, 1857 ). Shows russet-coloured leaves between the boughs of an old maple. In the distance ponds and rice fields stretching to the distant Tsukuba hills. One of the finest designs from the set. Ex Illing collection. This impression illustrated in Richard Illing, Japanese Prints, Phaidon, 1976, no. 93.


Fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour. Left margin shaved towards top but retaining black border, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Motoyama from the Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido. The set was started by Eisen and published by Hoeido in 1835, but in 1837 Hiroshige took over and completed the series with the publisher Iseiri ( Kinjudo ). Shows two loggers relaxing on a tree that they have felled beneath another trunk that leans awkwardly across the path supported by a trestle making for a dramatic composition. These mountain areas supplied the timber for Edo.


Fine, early impression. Fine colour and very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Kashiwabara from the Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido. The set was started by Eisen and published by Hoeido in 1835, but in 1837 Hiroshige took over and completed the series with the publisher Iseiri ( Kinjudo ). An evening scene showing porters outside the famous Kameya or Turtle shop. Besides the medicines and herbs, the shop also sold refreshments.


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


Status: Sold

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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Kutsukake no eki Hiratsukahara uchu no kei, ” Kutsukake Station, Rain on the Nearby Plain of Hiratsuka” from the Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido. The set was started by Eisen and published by Hoeido in 1835, but in 1837 Hiroshige took over and completed the series with the publisher Iseiri ( Kinjudo ). A windy autumnal squall over the Hiratsuka flood plain. One of the best Eisen designs from the set. Known in various states and colour variations. The very rare first edition has the signature lower right corner.


Very good impression. Fine colour. Very good condition. Unsigned.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Eitaibashi no zue, “Eitai Bridge” from an Edo meisho set published by Senichi, c 1840-42. An extremely rare set, obviously not popular as examples are only known in fine impression. ( Not listed in Edward Strange’s monograph on Hiroshige. ) Illustrated in colour, Tamba, The Art of Hiroshige, no. 36. Aiban.


Very fine impression. Fine colour. Minor backed wormage top right corner. Very full margins. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The priest Nichiren calming a storm at Kakuda on his way to Sado Island by invoking the name of the Lotus Sutra ( namu myoho rengekyo ) which is shown written on the waves. From Koso goichidai ryakuzu, “Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder. “ Nichiren was the founder of the Buddhist Nichiren sect ( Nichiren shu – Kuniyoshi being a follower ) and indeed the set of ten prints may have been commissioned to mark the 550th anniversary of his death. Published c. 1831 by Iseya Rihei. This is the first edition with black spots printed in the sky; splashed gofun; gradation on the distant sea; blue gradation at top, and grey mountain. One of the three best designs from the set. ( See this website for the snow scene and Nichiren praying for rain. )


Fine impression and colour. Minor soil and slight centre fold. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


Status: Sold

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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Kuragano Station, Karasu River, Kuragano shuku Karasugawa no zu from the Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido. The set was started by Eisen and published by Hoeido in 1835, but in 1837 Hiroshige took over and completed the series with the publisher Iseiri ( Kinjudo ). Situated at the confluence of three rivers, the Tone, Karasu and Kabura. In spring a ferry service was available down to Edo. The station can be seen on the far shore. Small children play in the foreground watched by a lady taking tea at a rest-stop. This appears to be the earliest state known of this design – earlier than the first edition example illustrated in the NHK exhibition catalogue, Hiroshige: Tokaido and Kisokaido, 2006, pl. 14, p. 43, with greater subtlety in the printing and gradation on the river.


Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Eisen ga.


Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Evening Rain at Karasaki, Karasaki no yau, the finest design from the set: Omi hakkei no uchi, “Eight Views in Omi Province.” The series of eight prints was published by Hoeido and Eikyudo, c. 1834-5. When first published it was advertised as a “work in black and white, lightly coloured, “ and Hiroshige was never to surpass the ethereal quality that these figureless landscapes possess. The theme “Eight Views” was borrowed from Chinese poetry and each print conveys pictorially the poem written in the square label at the top right. Beside it, in a red label, is the series title. The designs for the set are known in various states and there are variations in colouring and gradation. This is particularly relevant to this design and there is dispute as to which is the earliest state. In fact the first printing appears to be the Yan Buhl impression illustrated in Hiroshige, Hotei publishing, 2008, no. 48, p. 54: the kiwame seal on this example is higher than on all other printings ( presuming no remargining, which does not appear to be the case ); the break on the top of the right rigging of the tallest boat, far right, is not evident, and the gradation on the pine is across the top and down towards the bottom right. Many of these great designs seemed to inspire the publishers and/or printers to experiment with different colour schemes and gradation. ( As with the Kuniyoshi Nichiren in snow on this website. ) Later states had gradation completely across top of pine; down left side only; or with gradation from the bottom up, and a green version is also known. The later editions also had the area around the Hoeido seal cleared so that the rain did not intrude. The old pine no longer exists and was replaced with another. One of the finest 19th century landscapes. An almost abstract composition which transcends the usual views of the countryside that the curious Edo public bought and the views of the capital purchased as souvenirs, to reach a completely different aesthetic.


Fine, early impression with the gradation at top of pine and down towards right. Very good colour. Minor restoration, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Nichiren struggling up a snow-covered mountain near Tsukahara on the Island of Sado. The best design from Koso goichidai ryakuza, the “Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder.” Nichiren being the founder of the Buddhist Nichiren sect ( Nichiren shu – Kuniyoshi being a follower ) and indeed the set of ten prints may have been commissioned to mark the 550th anniversary of his death. Published by Iseya Rihei, c 1831. Like many great landscapes, there exist different states which causes confusion over which is the earliest. The basic difference is that the design is known with and without a horizon line and that there is at least one impression where the uninked, blind-printed line can be seen in a raked light. It has been asserted that those impressions without are the earliest; however, it seems from this that the sumi block was probably cut initially with the line but the publishers thought that it looked aesthetically better without printing it, and it was subsequently removed. In any case, this is an extremely rare print and most surviving examples appear to be similar in impression. There is a break in the border to the left of the bottom of Kuniyoshi’s signature which could give a guide to the earliest states, but as this is often painted in, it is not reliable. The print offered here has the horizon line and the gradation at the base of the mountain upwards. Left border line is unbroken. The composition is based on a design in the illustrated book Bumpo sansui gafu by Kawamura Bumpo, published posthumously in 1824. Although not from a landscape set, this is considered one of the great 19th century landscapes. Provenance: Ex collection Hans Crzellitzer, seal top right corner.


Very good impression. Some fading and light soil. Slight centre fold. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi hitsu.


Status: Sold

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