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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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Stations Hodogaya, Totsuka, Fujisawa and Hiratsuka from a set of twelve prints, Tokaido gojusan eki, shishuku meisho, “Famous Views of the Fifty-three Stations on the Tokaido, Four at a Time.” This is the outstanding design from an otherwise boring set, only one other composition – sailing boats between Maisaka and Arai – having any merit. This is the actual impression illustrated in Heroes and Ghosts, Robert Schaap, 1998, no. 212, p. 192 where they propose three variant editions ( this being the second ). Provenance: ex W B Robinson collection.

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi shuku zu.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Shin Yoshiwara from the set of ten prints: Toto meisho, “Famous Views of the Eastern Capital.” Shows night revellers beneath a moon with an enormous halo. A much admired print with a westernised chiaroscuro effect. Excessively rare. Published by Kagaya Kichibei, c 1834.

Fine impression. Extremely well retained colour. Restored top edge running from the centre towards right corner and top left corner. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai 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.” 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 quickly realised 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 is printed with the mountain coloured brown and the overall effect is more dramatic than other impressions and appears to be the only such example, being the one illustrated in various publications. The composition is based on a design in the illustrated book Bunpo sansui gafu by Kawamura Bunpo, published posthumously in 1824. Although not from a landscape set this is considered one of the great 19th century landscapes. Provenance: Ex collection Willibald Netto, Dusseldorf, Germany.

Very good impression and colour with extensive splashed gofun ( now oxidised ). Minor marks and edge soil. Small repair top right corner, but generally very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi hitsu.

Status: sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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The priest Nichiren having his prayers for rain answered. The second best design from Koso goichidai ryakuzu, “Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder”. This event happened at Ryozengasaki in Kamakura in 1271. 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.

Very fine impression of the earliest printing. Fine colour. Extra large margins. ( This design is notorious for having the umbrella trimmed off and/or the title in right margin. ) Very minimal soil bottom right margin, otherwise fine condition. The best example of this fine design I have ever seen. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Mount Fuji as seen from the sea off Tsukudajima, Tsukuda oki kaisei no Fuji, from Toto Fujimi sanjurokkei, the “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji from the Eastern Capital”. An uncompleted set published by Murataya Jirobei, c 1843-5. This stunning composition has European elements ( and supposedly the cartouche was inspired by the coat of arms used by the Dutch for the City of Batavia ( present day Jacarta, Indonesia ). The first edition. In the second the poem is removed and the title moved slightly to the left. But both are of the utmost rarity and one of the three great Kuniyoshi landscapes: Apart from the Bidwell impression ( most commonly illustrated ), there is one copy in the Tokyo National Museum ( 2nd Edition ); another ( ex Blondeau ) is illustrated by Suzuki; and one is in the Victoria and Albert Museum ( 2nd edition ). So there appear to be at least four impressions extant ( apart from this ). Illustrated in: Prints By Utagawa Kuniyoshi – Bidwell Collection, 1968, no 81, p. 97

Heroes and Ghosts, Robert Schaap, 1998, no 222, p.199 ( Bidwell impression ); Kuniyoshi, Nihon Keizai Shimbun inc, 1996, no 197, p. 146 ( Bidwell impression ); Utagawa Kuniyoshi 1797-1861, Riccar Art Museum, 1978, no 19 ( Bidwell impression ); Kuniyoshi, Juzo Suzuki, Heibonsha Ltd., 1992, no 29 ( ex Blondeau coll. ); T.N.M.C. ( vol. 3 ), no 3043 ( 2nd edition ).

Fine early impression with woodgrain evident. Fine colour. Margins trimmed but retaining border. Collector’s seal Hayashi bottom left corner and another unidentified seal bottom right corner. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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An extremely rare chuban triptych from a set of the Four Seasons, this being ‘Autumn’. See Kuniyoshi, Juzo Suzuki, Tokyo, 1992, which shows all four from the set, nos 233-236. Published by Arita-ya Kiyoyemon, c1845.

Extremely fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A tiger and dragon from a rare series Kinju zue, “Drawings of Birds and Beasts.” The set of at least five prints published by Joshuya Kinzo, 1837. Although rare, there are different states of the prints from this set, some having yellow cartouches, others red and uncoloured ( as here ). This design is also known with other colour variations.

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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An uchiwa-e ( fan print ) showing a young girl leaning over the side of a boat and wetting a towel. “Cool” from a set of six prints: Imayo rokkasen, “Six Modern Choises for Summer”. Published 2/1853. Unidentified publisher.

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

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A fan print showing a young girl holding a cat as reflected in a mirror. Of the utmost rarity. Published by Iba-ya Sensaburo.

Fine impression, very good colour and condition. Mica on blue ground. Untrimmed. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyosai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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An extremely interesting and amusing preparatory drawing for an unpublished triptych showing cats queueing at a fish shop, probably for the first bonito of the year. Cats are shown serving the customers while other cats can be seen in the back of the shop. A young female cat is buying a fish, while beside her a young mother cat is standing carrying a baby cat on her back. It’s well known that Kuniyoshi loved cats and there is an illustration in Kyosai gwadan ( 1887 ) showing his studio with Kuniyoshi surrounded by cats.

Unsigned and sold “as is” with creases and stains.

Status: Sold




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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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An extremely interesting original oban tate-e drawing, fully signed. A preparatory sketch for an unrecorded Nijushiko, “Twenty-four [ Chinese ] Paragons of Filial Piety” set. Shows Kakkio ( Kuo Chu ) and his wife unearthing a pot of gold. Like the other two published sets of Filial Piety by Kuniyoshi, there is a strong western influence in the depiction of the figures and landscape. See no.79, p.95 and nos.216-219, pages 195-197 in Heroes & Ghosts, Hotei publishing, 1998. Also no.107, p.134, Drawings by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Leiden Museum, Matthi Forrer, 1988 for another original sketch for one of the horizontal Filial Piety designs. Sumi and light colour; 14 x 10.5 in., 36 x 27 cms.

Good condition: Lightly laid onto Japanese paper. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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An original preparatory drawing by Kuniyoshi for an unpublished triptych showing the combat between Minazuru-hime, the daughter of Ki-ichi Hogen, and Kitashirakawa Tankai. The largest collection of such drawings is in the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden from the Lieftinck collection. Sumi and pentimenti on thin tissue laid onto Japanese paper, c 1840’s. Signed Kuniyoshi and Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797–1861)



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One volume complete Ichiyu gafu, “Drawings by Ichiyu [Kuniyoshi ].” Sumi and light colour. Some fine designs showing heroes and legends. This is the first edition, dated Bunsei 13 ( 1830 ). It was reissued in 1846.

Original covers and title slip. Minor wormage, otherwise fine condition.

Status: Sold




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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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One volume complete: Shinkoku hyakushoden, “New Edition of the Lives of a Hundred Generals.” N.d. ( but 1848 ). Five double pages of colour illustrations and one hundred b.&w. illustrations of generals. Three page preface signed Kuniyoshi ga. The Pulverer copy ( illustrated, no.253, p.222, Heroes & Ghosts, Hotei Publishing, 1998 ) appears to be a later edition lacking the signature and with only 49 b.&w. illustrations of heroes. Rare.

Original covers and title slip in near perfect condition.

Status: Sold




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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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An aizuri-e print showing the courtesan Nanahito of the Sugata-ebi house, 1 chome, Kyomachi, parading in front of rooftops. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, c. 1835-40. In fact, the left sheet of a triptych. Apparently, no known copy of the complete triptych is known, only this design and the first sheet. Nanahito was a popular courtesan also appearing on prints by Kunisada and Eisen.

 

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition. Signed “Restraining tears”, Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)


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Women washing cloth in the Chofu River from a set of six triptychs of the Six Tama (or Jewel, or Crystal) Rivers. Musashi no kuni Chofu Tamagawa, “Chofu Crystal River in Musashi Province.” Published by Sanoya Kihei, 1847-8.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)


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Etchu Namerikawa otako, “Giant Octopuses in Namerikawa in Etchu” and sub-title Oo itai, “Ouch.” Obviously the cat’s claw being compared to the menacing tentacles of the octopus. A series of seventy prints Sankai medetai zue, “Affectionate Feelings for Mountains and Seas.” The set compares half-length beauties with famous products of the locality. Published by Tsurakichi, 1852. Kuniyoshi was particularly fond of cats and his studio was known to be home to a number of them. This may be his best evocation of a cat.

 

Superb impression with the cat’s coat blind-printed. Very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A triptych: Mitate gogyo: Mizu, Ukifune, “Comparisons of the Five Elements: Water,” Ukifune. Shows Prince Genji in a boat with his attendants feeding ducks during the winter. Ukifune was the nickname of a princess in The Tale of Genji. An unrecognised daughter of the Eighth Prince in the 51st Chapter of the story. Ukifune also means: “A boat set adrift.” Published by Sanoki (Sanoya Kihei), 1851-52.

 

 

Superb impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)


Ichiyusai-KUNIYOSHI-1797-to-1861-beauties7

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An extremely rare chuban triptych from a set of the Four Seasons, this being “Winter”. Seemingly the only other illustrated example is in Kuniyoshi, Juzo Suzuki, Tokyo, 1992, which shows all four from the set, nos. 233-236. Published by Arita-ya Kiyoyemon, c.1845.

Extremely fine impression and colour. Minimal trimming, otherwise fine condition. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)


Ichiyusai-KUNIYOSHI-1797-to-1861-beauties5

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Three bijin under Ryogoku Bridge on the Sumida River from a set of “The Four Seasons”, this being summer. Published by Iba-ya Sensaburo.

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Cooling off on the Sumida River. Published by Ebi-ya Rinnosuke c.1843-46.

Very good impression and colour. Slight folds, otherwise very good. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A vertical oban diptych showing the poetess Kagano Chiyo (1703-1775). The story relates how Chiyo goes to her well to draw water only to find that a morning-glory vine has overgrown her bucket. Rather than disturb it, she goes to a neighbour for water. This is the subject of a famous poem by Chiyo. Published by Izumiya Ichibei mid 1840s.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Paper slightly toned and one light crease. Ample room for joining. Signed Chooro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing three women washing clothes in a stream from a set Six Tama [Jewel or Crystal] Rivers, this being the Chofu Crystal River (in fact the Tamagawa that flowed into Edo Bay). Musashi no kuni Chofu no Tamagawa. The set published by Sanoya Kihei, c 1847. The complete set is illustrated in The Baur Collection, Matthi Forrer, vol. II, 1994, nos G396-G401 (this being G397).

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A complete triptych showing beauties in boats on the Sumida River. Shubi no matsu, “Successful-deal Pine Tree” from a set Edo meisho somoku-zukushi, “Notable Sights Famous for Grass and Trees in Edo.” This famous pine was blown down during the An’ei era (1772-1780); its successor died during the Ansei era (1854-1859); the third died at the end of the Meiji era (c 1910). There is also the Hiroshige view of this subject from the 100 Views of Edo. Published by Ebiya Rinnosuke (Kaijudo), 1845.

 

Very good impression. Fine colour and condition. Full size. Another state has darker water and variegated cartouche. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)


Ichiyusai-KUNIYOSHI-1797-to-1861-actors12

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The complete set of five prints: Date otoku kisho kurabe, “A contest of Fashionable Men.” Shows actors as otokodate ( so-called chivalrous commoners, recognisable by the fact that they carried a sword together with a shakuhachi [ bamboo flute ] showing proficiency in the martial arts and music ). Published c 1847-1850 by Iseya Ichibei.

Fine impressions. Fine colour. Slight trimming and backed binding holes, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold




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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Saito Toshimoto and a Chinese general struggling underwater. The second best design from Taiheiki yeiyu den, “Heroic Stories of the Taiheiki.” Published by Yamamoto-ya Heikichi, 1848-9. Robinson S62.31.

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Sasai Kyuzo Masayasu enveloped in smoke and avoiding musketry at the battle of Anegawa ( 1570 ). The best design from Taiheiki yeiyu den, “Heroic Stories of the Taiheiki.” Published by Yamamoto-ya Heikichi, 1848-9. Robinson S62.36.

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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The battle of Miidera Temple. An early triptych, c. 1820-25. The temple became very prosperous but was at constant war with its rival, the Hieizan. Both temples kept armies of mercenaries. Published by Yamamoto-ya Heikichi. A later edition is illustrated in Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Exhibition to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s Birth, Nagoya City Museum et al, 1996, no. 5, p. 36. Probably Robinson T6.

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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