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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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An original painting showing what is probably the most famous encounter in Japanese mythology: The scene is evening on Gojo Bridge in Kyoto where the twenty year old Benkei ambushes samurai to steal their swords. He is shown approaching the flute-playing Yoshitsune. A fight ensues which Yoshitsune wins due to his leaping ability taught to him by the mountain tengu. Yoshitsune pardons Benkei and they become loyal friends. This painting, in shades of sumi, beautifully evokes the crepuscular gloom. On silk, 7 x 9.5 in; 17.75 x 24.1 cms. Painted c late 1870s. Signed Yoshitoshi with Taiso seal.


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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 a white mouse. 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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Utagawa YOSHIHIDE (1832-1902)




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A painting in full colour on silk, 33.75 x 14.4 in; 85.6 x 36.6 cms. Shows a beauty after a bath looking down at her mirror. Yoshihide was a pupil of Kuniyoshi. In extremely good condition. Signed and sealed Sesso. Inscription guarantee on inside of box: “Late February in the 56th Year of the Showa era (1981).” Appraised, signed and sealed by Mr Tosuke Kimura.


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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 holding a child and a rattle. 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. Apart from silver, gold leaf and gum 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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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 hanging paper acrobats. 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.


Status: Sold




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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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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE ( 1797-1858 )




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An original painting of the Sumida riverbank at Mimeguri, Toto ( Edo ). A full moon rises above a tori and is reflected in the river. Possibly originally from a makemono. Sumi and light colour on paper, 7.9 x 21.9 in; 20 x 55.5 cms. Sealed with a Ryusai seal used in his later years.



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Tsukioka SETTEI ( 1710-1786 )




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An original painting showing a beauty sitting on an engawa having picked flowers which she is placing in a wooden bucket beside her. Settei produced many illustrated books but after around 1765 turned towards painting beauties, courtesans and geishas. They are of the utmost refinement – the faces and limbs picked out in red, their costumes often having areas of gold, and invariably have the wide lantern-locks ( toro-bin ) hairstyle. Settei also excelled at shunga painting. Sumi and full colour with details picked out in gold on silk. 30.75 x 11.5 in; 78.1 x 29.2 cms. Minor creasing but otherwise very good condition. An elaborately embroidered mount. Painted c 1770. Signed Tsukioka Settei with seals Shinten’o and Tsukioka shi.



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Kishi GANKU ( 1749-1838 )




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A large painting showing a tiger and pine tree. Ganku, the founder of the Kishi School, was best known for his tiger paintings although he covered other subjects. The Chinese inscription on the inside of the box says: “The reputation of Keikan’s brushwork and Geiu’s paintings [ presumably Tang Dynasty masters ] last for millennia. Why is it that their work is so precious ? It is surely because in depicting ‘drifting clouds and flowing water’ there is no hint of earthly concerns. Here we have a painting by master Ganku, Lord of Echizen, whose depiction of a fierce tiger is both skilful and dignified, showing refinement and clarity, free from earthly concerns just like ‘drifting clouds and flowing water.’ Consequently, the value of this autographed painting is worth ten thousand in gold, and can truly be said to be an article of rare beauty.” This inscription is dated Snake Sheep ( 1859 ). Sumi and light colour on silk, 60.75 x 33.5 in; 153.7 x 85.1 cms. Light creasing but in good condition. Signed Utanosuke Ganku with seals Dokokan and Kyusoro.



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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI ( 1839-1892 )




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An original painting showing Fukurokugu – the God of Happiness, Wealth and Longevity and one of the Seven Gods of Good Luck, Shichi-fuku-ji, teasing a cat with the tassle on his fan.  The Seven Gods theme  comes from China, and possibly India as well, apart from Ebisu. Sumi on paper. Light creasing and rubbing at top otherwise good condition. Image size  47.75 x 22.5 in; 121.5 x 57 cms. Painted c 1880s.


Signed Yoshitoshi with seals Taiso Yoshitoshi.


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Watanabe SEITEI ( 1852-1918 )




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Seitei ( Shotei ) specialised in kachoga; was famous in this area, and regarded as the leading exponent. Technically brilliant. Shows two tancho ( “red crest” ) Japanese cranes flying down to a field suffused with the yellow of ripening rice. This crane ( Grus japonensis ) is the second rarest crane in the world, migrating to East Asia in the fall to spend the winter. There is also a resident flock in Hokkaido. Much loved by the Japanese, the crane was a symbol of luck, longevity and fidelity.Full colour on silk, 46 x 19.5 in; 117 x 49.5 cms. One small spot and minor loss of gofun on the rice, otherwise very good condition.


Signed and sealed Seitei.  A beautiful composition.


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Katsukawa SHUNSHO ( 1726-1792 )




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An extremely important painting by one of the most important artists of his day. One of the great ukiyo-e print designers – especially of actor prints. He lived in Edo and first studied under Katsukawa Shunsui and Ko Sukoku. Little is known of his private life. He had many able pupils including Hokusai. The seal he used had Hayashi on the side of a jar ( tsubo ), hence he was called Tsubo. In 1776, together with Kitao Shigemasa, illustrated the famous book Seiro bijin awase sugata kagami. Also the Ehon butai ogi with Buncho in 1770.


This was one of the paintings chosen to be exhibited at the Isetan Department Store to commemorate the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. The exhibit arranged by The Mainichi Newspapers. A committee consisting of Mr. Seiichiro Takahashi, president of the Japan Art Academy, Mr. Issho Tanaka, director of the Tokyo National Cultural Assets Research Institute, Mr. Seiroku Noma, an historian, Mr. Muneshige Narasaki, chairman of the Ukiyoe Association, Mr. Sadao Kikuchi of the Tokyo National Museum, Mr. Teruji Yoshida, an Ukiyoe connoisseur, Mr. Fusui Kaneko, an Ukiyoe connoisseur, Mr. Yasunosuke Ogiwara, an Ukiyoe connoisseur, and other collectors vetted all the paintings and they represented the best that could be put together at the time.  Full colour on silk including gold leaf. Exquisitly painted. Slightly creased otherwise in good condition. Double box with inscription in gold. Image size 39 x 12.5 in; 99 x 31.75 cms. Painted c 1781-9.


Signed Katsu Shunsho ga with seal. Ex collection Oda Eisaku, a famous art dealer and collector.



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Nagasawa ROSETSU ( 1754-1799 )




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An original painting showing a white mouse and a spiny lobster on a tray. Rosetsu is considered one of the most important artists of the late Edo period but little is known of his short life ( he died at forty-five ) apart from the fact that he studied, and was one of the top disciples, of Maruyama Okyo. He is labelled an “eccentric” painter as he defies easy classification. His brushwork is a tour de force and he is known for his expressive depictions of animals. The Chinese-style inscription above is by Rosetsu’s friend Minagawa Kien who was a painter and scholar of Confucianism. It implies that the lobster and mouse are both signs of good fortune. Ink and light colour on paper. Image size 44.75 x 11.25 in; 113.75 x 28.5 cms.


Signed Rosetsu with seal Gyo. Painted 1790s. Inscription signed and sealed Kyosai. Slight foxing, otherwise in very good condition. One of the most copied painters. See Kono, Exhibition of Nagasawa Rosetsu, Chiba City Art Museum, 2000, pl. 42 for identical seals. Tsuji Nobu, Nagasawa Rosetsu: the Fanciful Painter, Miho Museum, 2011, pls. 19, 58-60, 67,87, 90, 91, 93 and 94.


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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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Katsushika HOKUSAI ( 1760-1849 )




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Hotei with a karako puppet doll. Hotei, the God of abundance and good health, was one of the Seven Gods of Good Luck. The concept originated in India ( except Ebisu ) and came to Japan via China. He is usually shown as a shaven-headed priest in loose Chinese garments, holding a fan and reclining against a large bag. He is often surrounded by children trying to discover what is in the bag. Karako is a Chinese child who is usually depicted with a partly shaven head. These “treasures” were auspicious symbols of prosperity. Sumi and light colour on paper, image size 20.75 in x 13.5 in; 52.6 cms x 34.4 cms. The calligraphy is by Shotochinjin. Signed Gakyo Rojin Manji yowai hachi-go, “From the brush of Manji, old man mad with painting, aged eighty-five. With Katsushika seal. Exhibited in Masterpieces of Paintings by Hokusai School at the Itabashi Art Museum, 2008. . New mount and box with a futo-maki ( a thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage ). In fine condition.


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Kitagawa SHIKIMARO ( active c 1810 )




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An original painting, full colour on silk, image size 37.75 in x 15 in; 96 cms x 38 cms.
This pupil of Kitagawa Tsukimaro is known for his prints of full length beauties. Paintings by him are extremely rare and this is possibly the finest example. Shows a Kagi-zu, a geisha who entertained by playing the shamisen. Her attendant is seen behind her holding the three-stringed instrument. The shamisen came originally from China via Okinawa and underwent certain changes. It was adopted by the geisha culture in 1750 and took a number of years to master. New mount and box with a futo-maki ( a thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage ). In fine condition. An exceptional painting – especially the rendering of the acolyte’s face. Signed Toto ( Eastern Capital ) Shikimaro ga with red kakihan.


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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A fine original Hiroshige painting showing ayu or ai, river trout, swimming in a stream or lake. The rocky bank overhangs and is reflected in the water. The ayu ( Plecoglossus altivelis ), or Japanese sweet fish, is synonymous with Gunma Prefecture. Although Hiroshige made other paintings of ayu, this is a rare subject. Also the subject of the best print from the first fish series published by Eijudo c 1832-4. Sumi and light colour on the ubiquitous grey silk Hiroshige liked to use, 15.25 x 21 in; 38.75 x 53.25 cms. Signed Hiroshige ga with Ichiryusai seal.


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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An important and fine original Hiroshige painting showing a view of Mount Fuji from Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture. Minimalist and very subtle, this is one of the best Hiroshige paintings I have had. The near trees float above bands of mist and clouds hang at the base of Fuji. This is the same view that he used for the design Kazusa Kuroto no ura from the Thirty-Six Views of Fuji published 1858. There is also a drawing in a Hiroshige sketch book in the British Museum. Sumi and very light colour on paper, 49 x 17.75 in; 124.5 x 45 cms. Newly remounted and in fine condition. New box and futo-maki ( thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage ). Signed: Kamiusa Kurotonoura no zu Hiroshige ga with Ichiryusai seal.


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Ogata GEKKO (1859-1920)




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An original painting showing the seven gods of good luck, Shichi-fuku-ji. These household divinities supervised the worldly needs of man ( and woman ). Shows ( going clockwise from bottom ): Hotei, god of happiness; Benten, god of love and music; Fukurokuju, god of longevity; Bishimon, god of wordly prosperity; Jurojin, god of scholastic success; Daikoku, god of wealth; Ebisu, god of food – especially fish. Full colour on paper, 52 x 132 in; 132 x 56.5 cms. In very good condition. Signed and sealed Gekko.


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Uragami GYOKUDO (1745-1820)




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An original painting, sumi on paper. Image: 5.5 x 8.25 in; 14 x 21 cms. Shows a hilly landscape with a coppice cut through with a stream and two bridges. Gyokudo is now considered the leading exponent of Nanga painting. An artist whose spontaneous paintings often appear as though executed under deep emotion or when partially intoxicated. Now greatly admired in Japan and the West with many fakes. His father was of samurai rank and Gyokudo initially served a nobleman, Ikeda Masake, in Bizen. However, his passion for music, painting and verse composition caused him to become a wanderer in 1794. His Bohemian life eventually leading him to Kyoto where he joined the literati circles of Mokubei and Chikuden. Most paintings done after 1794 and this example probably dates to around 1800 – 1810. Tastefully remounted with double box. Signed and faintly sealed Gyokudo. Rare.


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Katsushika HOKUGA (Fl. c 1820s to 1830)




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An original fan painting showing a seated beauty holding a fan. Full colour on mica- covered paper. 6.5 x 18.5 in; 16.5 x 47 cms. Hokuga was a pupil of Hokusai and produced paintings and surimono. Good condition. Laid onto Japanese paper. Signed Hokuga hitsu.


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Utagawa KUNINAO (1793-1854)




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An original painting showing a sumptuously attired parading courtesan. Kuninao was a pupil of Toyokuni, then a follower of Hokusai. Above is a lengthy inscription on the Yoshiwara by Shikitei Sanba ( 1776-1822 ). Together with Santo Kyoden, a professional writer of gesaku fiction. Famous for one of the best known works of the late Edo period; Ukiyoburo or “Bathhouse of the Floating World” ( 1809 ). Full colour on silk, 33.25 x 12.25 in; 84.5 x 31 cms. Slight browning, otherwise good condition. Old mount in good condition. Painting signed Utagawa Kuninao with Utagawa seal. Inscription signed and sealed Shikitei Sanba with date Bunka 9 ( 1812 ).


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Katsukawa SHUNCHO (Fl. c 1780-1801)




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An original painting showing a standing beauty inserting a hairpin. An important print artist who produced many fine diptychs and triptychs. Paintings by him are rare. Studied under Shunsho, then Kiyonaga and Shumman. Full colour on silk, 30.75 x 10.5 in; 78 x 26.5 cms. Signed Shien Shuncho with unread seals.



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Katsushika HOKUGA (Fl. c 1820s to 1830)




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A fine original painting showing a beauty on the snow-covered dock used by boats to the Yoshiwara. Hokuga was a pupil of Hokusai and produced paintings and surimono. Full colour on silk, 37.5 x 11.25 in; 92.75 x 28.5 cms. Two repaired wormholes, otherwise very good condition. Box with title “Beauty Standing on Dock” with painting guaranteed on the underside of lid by Narasaki Muneshige. Illustrated in Ukiyo-e Paintings in Japanese Collections, vol. 7: the Manno Art Museum, edited by Kobayashi Tadashi. The inscription above is by Ota Nampo – Shokusanjin ( 1749-1823 ). Signed Karyosai Hokuga fude.


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Gessai GABIMARU (Fl. c 1810)




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A beautiful painting of a parading courtesan. A follower of Chobunsai Eishi in the Bunka period. There are works by him signed Chobunsai, so he may have been related to Eishi. Full colour on silk, 29.5 x 5.75 in; 75 x 14.5 cms. Painting in good condition. Mount is old and the painting should either be framed or remounted. Signed Gessai Gabimaru ga.


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Shiokawa BUNRIN et al




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A fine Kyoto gassaku painting. ( A collaborative work by a group of friends. ) Shows a lobster by Shiokawa Bunrin ( 1808-1877 ), a pupil of Toyohiko; clams by Hasegawa Gyokuho ( 1822-1879 ) a pupil of Keibun; a sea bream by Yokoyama Seiki ( 1792-1864 ) a pupil of Keibun; and a stingray by Murase Soseki ( 1822-1877 ), a pupil of Keibun and Seiki. Four masters of the Shijo school. A large painting in full colour on silk in very good condition, 52.5 x 27.5 in; 133.5 x 70 cms. Mount in very good condition.


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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A large and important painting showing a view of the Sumida River through the piles of the Ryogoku Bridge. In the distance the ofunagura, “boat houses,” boats on the river and the Shogun’s official horses – goyouba – being taken out by samurai to the shoal outside the ofunagura-mae, the Shogun’s dock, to be cooled off. This masterpiece appears to be from a series of views of the Sumida as there is another – a view of Mimeguri, Sumida river bank in snow – in the Bato Hiroshige Museum of Art. The size, signature and seal is the same. Sumi and light colour on paper, 21.25 in; 54 cms. x 37 in; 94 cms. In very good condition. Old mount and box. Signed Hiroshige ga with Ichiryusai seal.


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Kono BAIREI (1844-1895)




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A fine painter of kacho-ga and landscapes. Born and lived in Kyoto. Studied under Raisho and Bunrin. Especially well known for his teaching: In 1878 he began to work towards the establishment of an art school that opened in 1880 as the Kyoto Prefectural School of Painting. Contributed to numerous books from Bairei hyakucho gafu, 1881 to Bairei kacho gafu, 1881, Bairei hyakucho gafu zoku hen, 1884, Bairei gafu, 1886 et al. Shows a shoal of red sea bream, Pagrus major, and an octopus. Full colour on silk, 42.75 in; 108.5 cms. x 14 in; 35.5 cms. Probably original mount. Several small insect marks, otherwise very good condition. Signed Bairei with seals Naotoyo and Bairei.


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Taki KATEI (1830-1904)




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A fine and decorative painted silk folding hand-fan by the Meiji artist Taki Katei. He lived in Tokyo and studied painting under Araki Kankai; also studied Chinese painting in Nagasaki. A fine kacho-ga painter. He contributed a lot to the medium of books and was the principle artist on three gafu: Kokotan gato, 1883; Kacho gafu, 1883 and Tanjo ippan, 1887. Shows a Japanese lobster, sea bream and shells with various flowers on one side and a hydrangea in a Chinese basket with various lilies on the other. The fan is in very good condition; the silk flecked with gold; the ribs are bamboo, the exterior decorated with floral designs in raised lacquer. The fan is contained within what is probably the original brocade case and has the original tassles. Fully open the fan measures 20.5 in; 52 cms. across and 11.25 in; 8.5 cms. in height. Fully signed and sealed on both sides Katei Taki.


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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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An important original painting showing a taro plant and balloon flowers. This statuesque plant is known as the village potato in Japan ( satoimo ) for its edible corms and “elephant ears” when grown ornamentally. Above is a poem by Ota Shokusanjin ( Ota Nampo ), a famous late Edo period poet and writer. The poem reads:


Aki chikoo saitsuru hanano koikaze ni


Kaburiwo fureru imoha arashina


Shokusanjin



Interestingly, Shokusanjin’s calligraphy is often at a slant. Why this should be I cannot say. The taro appears in other Hokusai paintings and there is another close version of this painting illustrated in the Special Exhibition, Hokusai, Nagoya City Museum, 1991.10.26 – 1991.11.24, no. 210. Hokusai often duplicated subjects as he was near to destitution many times. The painting employs the tarashi- komi – Rimpa technique of colours dripped or brushed into wet ink. Sumi and light colour on silk, 42.5 in; 108 cms x 11 in; 28 cms. Newly remounted and in fine condition with new box and futo-maki ( thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage ). Signed Iitsu hitsu with seal Iitsu. Sold together with what is probably the original box.


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