/category/surimono/

 

Kubo SHUNMAN (1757-1820)




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A rare surimono showing new year festivities before a large screen depicting Mount Fuji at sunset. A versatile and highly talented artist working in various mediums, Shunman produced (and cut and printed) some of the finest surimono. Published c 1810s. I cannot, at the moment, locate another impression.

Fine impression and colour with extensive gold and silver. Fine condition. Sealed Shunman bottom right.


Fine impression and colour with silver and gold. Light backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Shokyuko Shuntei ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsukawa SHUNTEI (1770-1820)




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A woman playing a koto from the set: Hanagasa-ren Shichifukujin, “Seven Women as the Gods of Good Luck for the Hanagasa Club. Each beauty represents a god, presumably in this case Benten. The series may be a parody of the new year tradition of making a pilgrimage to the seven shrines devoted to each of the Seven Gods of Good Luck. The set of eight prints published c 1820.


Fine impression and colour with silver and gold. Light backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Shokyuko Shuntei ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Totoya HOKKEI (1780-1850)




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An exceptionally rare surimono showing salt gatherers on a beach, their huts behind them and Mount Fuji towering over the horizon. Published c 1820s. I cannot, at the moment, locate another impression.


Fine impression with gold clouds and Fuji heavily blind-printed. Fine colour. Minimal soil, otherwise very good condition. Si8ned Hokkei.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Yanagawa SHIGENOBU II (active c 1820s-1850s)




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Number one from a surimono series Hana-awase, “A Flower Competition.” Sub-title Takane no hana, “Flowers of the Peak.” A princess turns to her attendant. Published c early 1830s.


Fine impression with touches of gold and silver. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yanagawa Shigenobu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A surimono showing the kabuki actors, top right: Ichikawa Danjuro VII holding up a war banner decorated with a sasarindo (bamboo grass and gentian), the mon of the Minamoto clan and Iwai Hanshiro V wielding a large knife in an unidentified play. The poem mentions the Iwai and Ichikawa family names. Published c 1827-30.


Fine impression and colour with blind-printing, silver and gold. Signed in gold on the blue ground Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Yashima GAKUTEI ( 1786-1864 )




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A surimono showing the Chinese warrior Huang Zhong ( Jap: Ko Chu, d. 220 AD ). Best known for his role in the novel Tale of the Three Kingdoms. He is shown wearing tiger skin breeches and armed with a large sword, bow and arrows. From a set Go koshogun, “The Five Tiger Generals.” Title on right Sono yon Ko Chu, “Nr 4 Huang Zhong. “ Issued by the Asakusagawa Poetry Club ( seal top left ) for the Tiger year 1818. Two poems by Shinsokutei Kashimaru ( right ) and Hogetsudo Yukitake ( left ).


Fine impression. Very good colour with extensive gold and silver. Very good condition. Signed Gakutei Harunobu.


Status: Available

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Yashima GAKUTEI ( 1786-1864 )




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A surimono showing the Chinese warrior Ma Chao ( Jap: Ba Cho, 176-222 AD ). Best known for his role in the novel Tale of the Three Kingdoms. He is shown leaning on a giant axe. From a set Go koshogun, “The Five Tiger Generals.” Title on right Sono go Ba Cho, “Nr 5 Ma Chao. “ Issued by the Asakusagawa Poetry Club ( seal top left ) for the Tiger year 1818. Two poems by Ki no Yoshito ( right ) and Sengetsudo ( left ).


Fine impression. Very good colour with extensive gold and silver. Very good condition. Signed Gakutei Harunobu.


Status: Available

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Katsushika HOKUSAI ( 1760-1849 )




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A surimono showing two young girls making new year envelopes. On the side screen is a view of Fuji. Three poems above. Published c 1806.


Fine impression and colour. Small strengthened area au verso, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hokusai ga.


Status: Sold

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Yashima GAKUTEI ( 1780-c 1869 )




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A surimono showing the nine-tailed fox ( Tamamo-no-mae ) and the warrior Miuranosuke who was a palace guard in the court of Emperor Konoe ( 1139-1155 ). Issued c 1826 for a sub-group of the Biwa-ren poetry circle ( emblem top right ) headed by Benbenkan. Poems by Bentandai Gihoshi, Bendendai Kazumasu , Bensusha Masago, Bensusha Mazukage Masago, Andaro Horikawa Soroku and Kofukutei Okada Minoru. Legend tells that the Emperor’s adversary – an evil fox – disguised itself into a beauty who captivated the Emperor. She was eventually revealed and killed by Miuranosuke with an arrow from his bow.


Extremely fine impression with embossing and metallic pigments. Very fine colour and condition. Signed Gakutei with seal Shugyokudo.


Status: Sold

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Harukawa GOSHICHI ( 1776-1831 )




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A rare Edo artist and poet who moved to Kyoto in the late 1810s. This Osaka surimono is extremely subtle showing a moon printed in silver amongst clouds and slanting rain. The artist was active c 1810s-1820s. The seal bottom right is of Tani Seiko – the leading Osaka carver and printer during the 1820s and 1830s. ( There appears to have been a close association between Seiko and Goshichi as he cut and printed other surimono of his. )


Fine impression and colour. Light backing, otherwise good condition. Signed Harukawa Goshichi hitsu with seals Kamiya.


Status: Sold

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Ryuryukyo SHINSAI ( 1764-1820s )




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A rare surimono showing a carp and water-weeds. The carp was a symbol of achievement against adversity in Japan and had a connotation with the new year. Issued c 1822.


Very good impression with the water blind-printed. Some loss of gold. Very good condition. Signed Shinsai.


Status: Sold

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Yashima GAKUTEI ( 1790-1869 )




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A rare chuban yoko-e surimono from a series Kinki shoga or the Four Accomplishments. These pursuits were popular amongst Chinese and Japanese literati: Playing a musical instrument; playing go; calligraphy, and ( as here ) painting. The composition shows a Heian courtier and two court ladies admiring a painting. A poem by Mado no Muratake ( whose pupils probably commissioned this set ) gives his age as 74, and since he died in 1824 at 82, the surimono must have been issued in 1816.


Fine impression and colour. Minimal edge soil, otherwise fine condition. Signed Gakutei Harunobu.


Status: Sold

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UNSIGNED




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A ( possibly unique ) new year surimono showing a geisha leaving the Bandaikan, a bathhouse called Bandai, “Eternity.” She is biting on a hand towel which had sexual connotations – the anticipation of a sexual encounter perhaps. This surimono is attributed to Yanagawa Shigenobu ( 1787-1833 ). Issued c 1820.


Very fine impression, colour and condition. Extensive use of silver.


Status: Sold

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Yanagawa SHIGENOBU II ( active 1824-1860 )




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A sumptuously attired princess admiring two bonsai trees. ( Her rank is determined by the elaborate tsuzumi [ hand drum ] hair ornament. ) Number six from a set Hana awase, “A Flower Competition.” This title usually referred to a poetry contest in which teams competed to produce the best poems about different flowers, although in this case the “flowers” were terms in common usage. Issued c 1834. A pupil of Shigenobu, he assumed his teacher’s name in the Spring of 1833 after he died.


Very fine impression, colour and condition. Extensive use of gold and silver. Signed Yanagawa Shigenobu with seal Yanagawa.


Status: Sold

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KINKO




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A surimono of what may be a Japanese bush warbler ( uguisu ), the harbinger of spring, perched on a weeping cherry branch.Three poems below.


Fine impression and colour. Slight signs of mounting au verso, otherwise very good condition. Signed and sealed Kinko. Seal of engraver Shiho Sanshi bottom left.


Status: Available

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A surimono showing a bamboo-ware maker. One of the characters from Taketori monogatari, “Tale of the Shining Princess.” He is shown sawing through a large bamboo stem surrounded by his tools. Behind him an uguisu ( bush warbler, signifying the arrival of spring ) sits on a bamboo vase. Two poems above by Bunyusha Harusato and Bunbunsha. Provenance: From my Surimono Prints catalogue, no. 15, 1975, no. 6.


Very fine impression. Fine colour. The saw blade, chisel and other areas printed in silver. The outline of the craftsman’s trousers printed in gold. Very good condition. Signed Katsushika Taito ( signature of c 1819 ).


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An extremely rare surimono: I have only seen one other impression and that was one I purchased around 20 years ago. Shows the most famous playwright of his age – Tsuruya Nanboku IV ( 1755 – 1829 ). His crest is clearly visible on his shoulders. He died on the 27th of the 11th month, 1829 and this surimono dates from shortly after that. This appears to be a sort of shini-e – very unusual in surimono form. He wrote the most famous Kabuki ghost story: Yotsuya kaidan, “Yotsuya Ghost Story” ( 1825 ) as well as the quick-change play Osome no nanayuki ( 1813 ).


Very good impression. Some creasing along laid lines and small restoration at top edge. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.


Status: Sold

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Shibata ZESHIN (1807-1891)




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A rare surimono showing a family going kite flying. The man carrying a huge example on his back.

Very good impression and colour. Minor soil, otherwise good condition. Signed Zeshin with seal.

Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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Kaiba, Sea Horses, from a series of at least thirty surimono issued for the Yomo-gawa poetry group. Uma zukushi, “Horse Series” was commissioned for the Horse Year 1822 and each design alludes to the word horse. Here the dried sea horses are shown lying in a gold-lacquer folder beside a black-lacquer box containing a pair of beetles ( with connotations of potency ). This set, together with the “Shell Series” issued the previous year, is Hokusai’s most important set. A red hand-stamped title cartouche top right. Unidentified collector’s seal au verso. Rare.


Very fine impression and colour with gauffrage, silver, gold and bronze. Very slight discolouration to the yellow ground, otherwise very good condition. Signed Fusenkyo Iitsu hitsu.


Status: Sold

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Ryuryukyo SHINSAI (1764 ?-1820)




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A rare surimono showing a red bream, sea urchin, cuttle-fish, various other molluscs and two unidentified fish with seaweed. Issued c 1810s.


Fine impression with gauffrage. Fine colour and very good condition. Signed Shinsai.


Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A fine long surimono with poems attached showing horsetails, fern fronds and kuzu ( arrowroot ) lying in and around a lady’s travelling hat with silk cushion and the two red cords for tying. Of the utmost rarity: other impressions in TNMC, no. 3708 ( without poems ? ); Matthi Forrer, Hokusai, no. 67, p. 64 ( with poems ); Surimono: Prints by Elbow, Edythe Polster and Alfred Marks, 1979, Lovejoy Press, F-D 1933-4-2680, p. 267, ( without poems ? ). But miscatalogued as a bowl with green vine and plants. Ex Hayashi; and evidently an impression in the Ota Memorial Museum of Art, Jingumae, Tokyo. There is also a Hokusai square surimono of the same subject illustrated in The Art of Surimono, Roger Keyes, 198, p. 226. Issued 1801. A beautiful print.


Fine impression. Very good colour. Minor marks. The inevitable folds hardly discernable: These surimono were folded three times, once horizontally and twice vertically to form a neat packet. The facing text ( announcement or poems ) were an irritation to many early collectors and were trimmed off, making this example even rarer. Otherwise very good condition. Signed Gakojin Hokusai utsushi.


Status: Sold




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Teisai HOKUBA (1771-1844)




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Three courtesans watching clients leaving in light rain. One of Hokusai’s best pupils; a fine painter and illustrator of kyoka books.


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



Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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The actor Bando Mitsugoro III as Washi no Osaburo disguised as Yamagatsu Kumao in Kawaranu hana Genji no kaomise performed at the Ichikawa Theatre in 11/1827. The left sheet of a surimono triptych probably issued for the new year of 1828. The complete set is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London ( E.3909-1916 ). A variant of the Kabujki play Seki no to in which two actors battle with giant axes.


Fine impression with gold and silver. Slight fading, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.



Status: Sold

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Yanagawa SHIGENOBU II (Active 1824 – 1860)




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San konoshitakage, “Number Three: In the Shade of a Tree” from a set: Meiba zoroe, “Famous Horses.” Shows a beauty sheltering from rain. Published for the Horse Year 1834.


Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Nisei Yanagawa Shigenobu



Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760 – 1849)




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Kinutagai, “The Fulling Block Shell” from the series: Genroku Kasen kaiawase, “A Matching Game with the Genroku Poem Shells.” ( An anthology published in 1689. ) A collection of verses with pictures designed by Hokusai printed on 36 sheets. Commissioned by the Yomogawa poetry group for the New Year 1821, Year of the Snake. Shows two women at a fulling block beating down scrap paper to pulp to remake into sheets. In the background a boy is stirring the pulp in a basket in a stream. One of the two best known Hokusai surimono sets. Rare.


Fine impression, very good colour with gold and silver. Minor marks and signs of mounting au verso, otherwise very good condition. Signed Getchirojin I itsu hitsu, “Moonstruck Old Man, Iitsu.”



Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760 – 1849)




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Sakuragai, “The Cherry Blossom Shell” from the series: Genroku Kasen kaiawase, “A Matching Game with the Genroku Poem Shells.” ( An anthology published in 1689. ) A collection of verses with pictures designed by Hokusai printed on 36 sheets. Commissioned by the Yomogawa poetry group for the New Year 1821, Year of the Snake. Shows travellers on the way to Narita Fudo, the Shinshoji at Naritasan. One of the two best known Hokusai surimono sets. Rare.


Fine impression and colour with gold and silver. Minor marks, otherwise fine condition. Signed Getchirojin I itsu hitsu, “Moonstruck Old Man, Iitsu.”



Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUTAI (Act. c. 1800 – 1830)




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A long surimono by an early pupil of Hokusai. Most likely an invitation to a New Year musical event at Shinagawa ( ? ). Shows three musicians playing samisen, koto and kokyu ( ? ). Probably a unique impression. An Eisai Hokutai was the artist for a book: Tokaeri-bana in 1809. This appears to be the same artist.


Fine impression with gauffrage. Fine colour. Signs, as usual, of the foldmarks on the invitation: These invites were folded three times – once horizontally and twice vertically to form a neat packet. Otherwise very good condition. Signed Shinshinshi Hokutai.



Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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Ichikawa Danjuro VII as Urashima Taro, seated with his fishing rod and the black box behind him that contains his old age. Urashima Taro saved a giant tortoise and was rewarded by a visit to the Dragon King’s palace beneath the sea by the Dragon’s daughter Otohime. Published for the Taiko-gawa poetry group ( red drum seal top right ) in 1820.


Very fine impression and colour with gold and silver. Fine condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.



Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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The actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII as the medicine peddler in the play Uiro-uri and Ichikawa Danjuro IV in the votive panel above as Kagekiyo in the play of the same name. Both these plays are included in the Kabuki Juhachiban ” Eighteen Favourite Plays” chosen to illustrate the special art of the Danjuro line of actors. The lower half of Kagekiyo’s costume includes the characters “Dragon King” “Ryu-o” suggesting the date 1820. The upper half has the Gogawa hour-glass poetry club symbol.


Very fine impression. Fine colour with gold and silver. Fine condition. Signed Kunisada ga.



Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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Ichikawa Danjuro VII ( crouching below ) as Konoshita Tokichi and Segawa Kikunojo V as Princess Otohime. This does not illustrate a particular play, but was obviously intended for the year 1820 as Otohime was the daughter of the Dragon King ( 1820 being a dragon year ).


Fine impression. Very good colour. Extensive gold and silver. Fine condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.



Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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Two sheets ( of three ) showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII ( left ) in the role of Minamoto Yorimasa holding a firebrand to better see the giant Nue and Bando Mitsugoro III as Tametomo with his giant bow. The complete set is in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. It appears to be a mitate as these three actors did not act together. The dragon-patterned border indicates the dragon year 1820. The bright blue grounds make for striking compositions.


Very fine impressions. Some slight loss of metallic powders, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kunisada ga on each.



Status: Sold




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Shibata ZESHIN (1807 – 1891), Ikeda TAISHIN and SUISHIN




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A complete set of the four seasons in shijo style: Spring showing cherry blossom viewing signed Taishin; Summer is a still life of theatre props signed Zeshin; Autumn shows people moon viewing signed Suishin, and Winter shows a woman tentatively lifting a bamboo screen on a snow-bound boat signed Zeshin. Extremely rare: This is the only set I have recorded and came from me in the 1980s. The prints were originally folded and would have been sold in paper slip cases ( hence the slight vertical folds ). Although not strictly surimono, they probably served a similar purpose. Each 6.5 x 5.75 inches, 16.5 x 14.5 cms. Taishin and Suishin were pupils of Zeshin and the former was a life long friend of his until his death.


Very good impressions, colour and condition. Signed Zeshin, Taishin and Suishin.



Status: Sold




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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769 – 1825)




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A wonderful design showing the actor Ichikawa Ebizo VI ( Danjuro VIII ) holding a large umbrella with his face reflected in a mirror held by an acolyte. Two poems above by Sakuragawa Jihinari and Jihinari’s son Oya no Omokage. In fact these two writers also composed poems for two other Toyokuni surimono of Danjuro around the same date, c. early 1820s. ( See The Art of Surimono, Roger Keyes, 1985, no. 348, p. 400 and One Hundred Surimono in the collection of Sidney C. Ward, 1976, no. 50, p. 62. ) Extremely rare.


Fine impression. Minor creasing and turning of purple, otherwise very good colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.



Status: Sold

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Harunobu GAKUTEI (c.1786 – 1868)




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A sumptuously clothed beauty designed for the Shippo Club. The surimono is unusual in having a caramel-coloured background.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Gakutei with seal Shima.



Status: Sold

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Kubo SHUNMAN (1757 – 1820)




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A superb surimono showing a group of five cranes on a split of sand. The tancho ( “red crest” ) Japanese 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.One of a set of six surimono with title: San hira no uchi, “Three Petals” written on a poem slip hanging from a plum branch, top left. Probably Shunman’s masterpiece in this format and one of the handful of great surimono. Exceptionally rare: I have not seen another for sale since I started dealing over 40 years ago and this may well be the only available impression extant. An example is in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. See The Art of Surimono, Roger Keyes, Sothebys, 1985, no. 318, p. 363 and colour, p. 344. Another is in the Tokyo National Museum, catalogue II, no. 1654. There are two states with the last character of poem changed. ( For an example of this other state see Surimono, Charlotte van Rappard-Boon, no. 16, p. 33. ) Issued 1816. Shunman, a man of great sophistication, designed only a few prints before concentrating on surimono and printing and issuing some of the finest in this format. ( See The Japanese Print A New Approach, J. Hillier, pp. 102 – 104: “Probably no artist except Choki has achieved so high a reputation on such a small number of prints.” ) He also excelled at painting, book illustration and light verse.


Very fine impression with the feathers of the cranes deeply gauffraged. Fine colour with gold and silver. Minor marks and creases. Seal Shunman lower right corner.



Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760 – 1849)




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A rare surimono from a series Soramitsuyaren wakan buyu awase samban no uchi, “Japanese and Chinese Heroes for the Soramitsuya Circle.” ( A club named after its leader Soramitsuya Maeda. ) Shows Benkei in a tug-of-war with a Chinese beauty ( possibly Kosanjo according to Keyes ). Poems by Maeda, Magara and Komichi. Published 1820. Two other impressions illustrated in the Spencer Museum of Art, Surimono, Roger Keyes, Kodansha, 1984, no. 26, p. 74 ( catalogue no 110 ) and the Peter Morse collection catalogue, Ota Memorial Museum of Art, 1988, no. 184.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Extensive gold and silver. Signed Hokusai Taito aratame Katsushika Iitsu hitsu.



Status: Sold

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Totoya HOKKEI (1780 – 1850)




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The Dragon King, Ryu-jin, presenting the tide-ruling jewels Nanjiu and Kanjiu. In Japanese folklore he ruled the sea and inhabited a spectacular castle in the depths of the ocean.


Fine impression and colour with extensive gold and silver. Minimal edge soil. Signed Hokkei.



Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760 – 1849)




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A rare surimono from the series Umazukushi, “A Series of Horses” published 1822 ( Year of the Horse ). Shows the banks of the Sumida river, Komatomeishi, with the stone used for tethering horses bottom centre. This surimono is one of three that form a triptych. The complete set is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam ( 1958: 293-294-295 ) and is illustrated in Matthi Forrer, Hokusai, Rizzoli, 1988, no. 265, p. 238 and elsewhere. The other two surimono were also in the Gerhard Schack collection, illustrated in Surimono, 1970, 77-78. Ex collection H. de Winiwater ( seal top right ).


Fine impression with gold and silver. Some soil and loss of the gold. Signed Fusenkyo Iitsu no fude.



Status: Sold

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Wakai RYOUNTEI (Dates unknown)




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Shows a dancing shojo: A mythical creature with long red hair who lived near the sea and had an unquenchable thirst for sake. Published c.late 1820s. Rare: Another impression illustrated in One Hundred Surimono in the Collection of Sidney C. Ward, no.95, p.115.


Very fine impression with solid gold ground, other areas printed in gold and silver. Slight loss of gold ground, otherwise very good condition. Signed Morimaru aratame ( “changing his name to” ) Ryountei Wakai. A poet of the Tsubogawa ( the Asakusagawa ) Ren in Asakusa, Edo.



Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A koban surimono from a kyoka set ( of one hundred ? ) published c. 1805. Shows a kyoka poet with poem by Mikumi Himemari. Seemingly the only large group illustrated is in the Katsushika Hokusai Exhibition from The Peter Morse Collection, Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art, 1988, no . 167 ( this design on page 106 ). Rare. Ex collection Tony Strauss-Negbaur ( seal au verso ).


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hokusai ga.



Status: Available

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