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Torii KIYOMASU (FL. c. 1696-1720)




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An overlarge oban, 19.5 x 12.25 in; 49.5 x 31 cms. Coloured by hand with tan and mustard yellow. Shows the emporium of Daikokuten, the God of wealth and one of the Seven Lucky Gods (Shichifukujin). He is shown at the top seated in front of a pair of scales. Seated before him, to the left, is Benzaiten, the Goddess of love and music. On the right is Ebisu, God of fishermen and good luck. Behind him is Fukurokuju, the God of happiness and wealth, using an abacus. On the far right is Jurojin, the God of longevity. Below him, next to the cart, is Bishamonten, the God of war and warriors. At the bottom, stepping from the boat, is Hotei, the God of happiness. All the Gods are helping, together with rats, to unload bales of rice. The earliest depictions of the Seven Gods are in the second half of the 17th century and are amalgams of Indian and Chinese lore. This early rendition still hasn’t the fully developed characteristics of the Gods – especially Hotei – which we see in the 19th century. Published by Komatsuya (who published c. 1707-1734) c. 1710-1715. Little is known of Kiyomasu’s early career. He may have been the brother of Kiyonobu. An important painter and print artist. Of the utmost rarity: probably the only impression extant.

 

Very good impression. Some expert edge restoration, otherwise very good colour and condition. Signed Torii shi with Kiyomasu seal.

 

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Kesai EISEN (1790-1848)




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An aizuri-e vertical oban diptych with touches of red and green. A response to censorship bans which were promulgated to curtail excessive extravagance. (In this case the use of multiple blocks.) The bans were extended to the theatre and other areas that the Shogunate deemed to be susceptible to degeneration. Shows a sumptuously attired courtesan. Published by Sanoya Kihei, c. 1830s.

 

Superb impression: The cutting and printed of the block for the costume is of the highest order. Very fine colour and condition. Signed Kesai Eisen ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A triptych showing two beauties and a maidservant lighting their way with a lantern and carrying a shamisen box. The beam of light from the lantern illuminates the foreground figures and the leaping dog but leaves the background figures in silhouette. A lovely design. Another impression is illustrated in The Baur Collection, Matthi Forrer, 1994, volume 1, G266. Published by Mikawaya Seiemon, c. mid 1820s.

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

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Yashima GAKUTEI (1786?-1868)



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A sailing junk caught in stormy seas, driving rain, and under a threatening sky. The masterpiece from a set of six prints issued in album form with title Naniwa meisho, Tempozan shokei ichiran, “A Famous Place in Osaka, Selected Views of Mount Tempo.” Published in Osaka, 1834, by Shioya Kisuke. In the circular cartouche: Osaka Tempozan yudachi no kei, “View of a Storm at Tempozan, Osaka.”Gakutei is best known for his many surimono. He was also a kyoka poet and painter. Unfortunately he produced few landscapes. Other impressions illustrated in Michener, Japanese Prints, no. 198; Mellor sale catalogue, Sotheby, July 1963, pl. XXXI; and Grabhorn, Landscape Prints of Old Japan, pl. 30. SC I/344. One of the great 19th century landscapes.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Slight trimming at bottom and backed centre fold (as usual as it was published in folding album form), otherwise good condition. Signed Gogaku with seal Go.

 

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Utagawa KUNINAO (1793-1854)




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A pair of original paintings: One showing a beauty being followed by her servant down a jetty into a waiting boat. He protects her with an umbrella in one hand and carries food on a tray with the other. The whole scene under heavy snow. The other painting shows a beauty composing a poem. Above a wild goose flies before a full moon. Probably originally two of three setsu-getsu-ka, “Snow, Moon, Flowers.” A theme popular with ukiyo-e artists and originally derived from China. Kuninao studied under Toyokuni and then Hokusai and is also known for many illustrated books. His paintings now rare. Each painting full colour on silk, image size 36.5 x 12.75 in; 92.5 x 32.5 cms. In excellent condition. Beautifully presented with new mounts. One painting signed Kohsoen hitsu with seal Shohzan.

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1826-1869)




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A pair of original kakejiku with two paintings on each. Possibly from the front and back cover pages of a first edition “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” set. Sumi and colour, image size of each painting 13.5 x 8.75 in; 34.25 x 22 cms. Shows top left a bowl with – possibly – turnips and a poem. Below a wicker basket and bowl with a miniature plum tree and an adonis plant (the most popular plants for the New Year). On the right, at the top are two chidori with poem and below a sake barrel and a plum branch. The bottom two paintings are signed Hiroshige with Ichiryusai seal. In fact, there is another version of the chidori painting associated with a painting of a kago and lantern illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, Hiroshige – A Poetic Ukiyo-e Artist, Fukushima Minpo, 1971, no. 16. These are also possibly from the ends of a first edition set of prints. Hiroshige and Hiroshige II were known to make these paintings, presumably for special clients. Provenance: Ex Takeoka Toyota collection (1844-1931). The box dated (Taisho 11, 1922) and guaranteed by him. He was a famous collector from the Meiji to early Showa era. Paintings and mounts in very good condition.

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A small original painting of an old sage (possibly the poet Saigyo Hoshi [1118-1190]) seated, holding a bamboo pole and with a large hat on his back. He looks up wistfully at a mountain range with what appears to be a hanging bridge over a gorge. Light colour on silk; predominantly the pink, brown and sumi tints he was fond of. Image size 7.5 x 5.75 in; 19 x 14.5 cms. Provenance: From the estate of Jeanne Nicole Ledoux, daughter of Jean Pierre Ledoux, who was the son of the famous ukiyo-e collector Louis V. Ledoux. Mounted as a kakemono. In good condition. Signed Hachijukyusai Manji hitsu, “Brush of old man Manji, aged eighty-nine years.” And with seal Hyaku (“Hundred”). A fan painting in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, acc. No. 11.7470, has the same seal and signature.

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Nihonbashi no hakuu, “Light Rain on Nihon Bridge.” From a Toto meisho set of 21 designs published between c. 1832 and 1839 by Kikakudo. The set was subsequently enlarged. Shows figures crossing Nihonbashi in rain, one figure carries an umbrella with the publisher’s name. Warehouses in the background and a distant view of Fuji. A beautiful print and very difficult to find in early impression: The title cartouche had a plug inserted beside the bottom three characters of the title on the left. This damage seems to have occurred when the block was cut and over time the spigot gradually slipped out leaving an unprinted area (which is sometimes painted in). In the earliest impressions the plug is hardly visible (as here). Also, the publisher’s seal at the bottom right should be in red, later editions having it in black. There was also an early variant edition with a yellow sky.

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold, also near the right edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A complete Tokaido set of 56 prints printed four-to-a-sheet on fourteen sheets, uncut. Each sheet has an indication of where it is to be cut. Published by Aritaya Seiemon, 1845. Extremely rare complete.

 

Fine impressions and colour. Centre folds and some soil at bottom on some sheets. One sheet restored, but overall in good condition. Each design signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 




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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)



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The elongated figure of the famous oiran Marino Yoyoharu parading with her kamuro Ikeno Yoyoume. Above, on a banner hanging from a tree, is the name and address of the courtesan’s location in the Yoshiwara: Sumimachi, Matsubaya uchi. Published by Tsuraya Juzaburo, c. 1796, Toyokuni’s best period. This courtesan was also depicted by Eisui and Utamaro and others around this date.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming and edge soil, otherwise good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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