Utagawa TOYOKUNI II ( TOYOSHIGE ) (1777-1835)




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A courtesan with a toothpick and playing with a cat compared to the actor Iwai Hanshiro V ( inset in a sake cup top right ). From a series Imayo bijin awase, shinsei sugatami sakazuki, “A Comparison of Modern Beauties – A New Mirror of Sake Cups.” Published by Imariya Ushizo, c 1820-24.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Extensive mica added to the coat of the courtesan. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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Shows a seated lady holding a fan compared to the actor Segawa Senjo ( previously known as Segawa Kikunojo III, inset in fan upper left ). From a series Ukiyo butai-ko Senjo-fu, “Fragrance from the Floating World’s Stage, in the Style of Senjo.” Published by Tsumuraya Saburobei, c 1810.

 

Fine impression. Light yellow ground. Very good colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga with an unidentified collector’s seal.

 

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Yamaguchi SOKEN (1759-1818)




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A fine pair of paintings: One showing women of Ohara; a mountain village north of Kyoto. These Oharame collected brushwood and firewood in the fall to sell in Kyoto. They are often depicted and obviously caused a stir when they entered Kyoto to ply their trade. Evidently the custom has been going on since the 12th century. The other painting shows spring tea-leaf picking at Uji. An area located at the southern edge of Kyoto prefecture. Shincha, the new tea of the year, was prized and collected at the beginning of May. Soken was one of Okyo’s ten best pupils, lived in Kyoto, and is known for his fine illustrated books, such as: Yamato jimbutsu gafu, 1800; Yamato jimbutsu gafu kohen, 1804; Soken sansui gafu 1818 and others. Sumi and full colour on paper, each 39 x 13.5 in; 99 x 34.3 cms. Fine, fresh condition and newly mounted. Each signed Mizunoto i Soken, Soken painted in the Boar Year, 1803 with seal Soken.

 

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Cho GESSHO (1772-1832)




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A large original painting of moored junks caught in a violent squall. A fine painter who studied under Tanke Gessen and Matsumura Goshun in Kyoto before moving to Nagoya in 1798 and becoming Nagasawa Rosetsu’s assistant for a short time. Also illustrated some fine ehon. Sumi and colour on silk with the currents of air painted in gold; 55.25 x 26 in; 140.25 x 66 cms. Painted c. 1810s. Provenance: Two previous owners’ seals on the exterior of mount: The Honda family library and the Ueno family. Old box with inscription which states that Gessho wanted to acquire a painting from the Owari district. Although not intrinsically valuable it was esteemed by the local people. He offered to exchange the painting offered here for their painting. There is a dig here in that the inhabitants of Owari were known to be avaricious. Written by Mizutani Okurei (1848-1926). Presumably based on the accounts of the two previous family owners.

 

Signed Gessho with seal: Yukisada, Genkei, Gessho. Obviously an important painting by Gessho and in very good condition.

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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An original drawing by the first Toyokuni. An hanshita-e diptych for a published set of triptychs with title: Yakusha juni tsuki, “Actors in the Twelve Months.” Shows the actors (from the left) Bando Mitsugoro III holding a pipe; Iwai Hanshiro V with an open book; Nakamura Utaemon III about to write a poem; and Segawa Roko IV with another pipe. They are compared to the months of the year, in this case July, the month of the Bon Odori festival and are also a parody of the Six Immortal Poets. The print published by Yamashiroya Toemon (active c. 1801-1817). In fact this set was published Spring, Bunka 6 (1809). Sumi on thin paper laid around edges onto another sheet. Some pentimenti and also shows the initial hurried under-drawing and with annotations for the finished print. Sold together with the two published sheets which shows the lanterns removed at top, the brazier bottom centre and other minor changes. In indifferent condition. An illustrated example of this complete triptych is in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts.

 

The print signed Toyokuni ga. Original hanshita-e by Toyokuni I are extremely rare. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.


 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Gempei Yashima o-kassen, the great battle of Yashima in 1184. Shows Yoshitsune’s famous “eight-boat leap” (centre), Noritsune (left), and Benkei on the large boat (right). Published by Kawaguchiya Uhei, c. 1839-41.

 

Very good impression and colour. Edge repair top left sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Toensai KANSHI (Fl. mid-18th century)




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A rare, highly talented and enigmatic painter who produced only a few masterpieces. There is some confusion over his active working life with differing dates from 1748 to 1780, but he was certainly painting in the 1760s. This unusual composition shows a beauty adjusting her hair by obliquely looking in a mirror held by her maid who stares unnervingly straight at the viewer. This painting is well known and is illustrated in Nikuhitsu Ukiyoe, Collection of Ukiyo-e Paintings Classified by Artist and Schools, Vol. 4 (of 10): Katsukawa school, Suzuki Harunobu and Isoda Koryusai, pl. 83, edited and published by Shueisha, 1982. It is also mentioned on page 113 in Ukiyo-e Large Encyclopaedia, Vol. 2, edited by Japan Ukiyo-e Society, published by Taishukan, 1982. Another Kanshi painting showing a beauty collecting bamboo shoots in the snow was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, in 2014, in an exhibition: The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection.

 

Full colour on paper with mica on the mirror, image size 14.5 x 20 in; 37 x 51 cms. In extremely good condition with double box. Painted c 1765.


 

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UNSEN




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The dates for Unsen are not known but he was working in the early Meiji period. This original hanshita-e shows Imperial troops defeating the rebellion during the Shimabara riot. (The events took place in 1637/8 although contemporary uniforms and artillery are shown. Comments on topical subjects were often “masked” by being set in a different period.)) A well drawn triptych in good condition using pentimenti. Signed Unsen hitsu.


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Kitagawa TSUKIMARO (Active c 1804-1836)




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An original painting, full colour on dark silk, 33.5 x 11.5 in; 85 x 29 cms. Shows a Chinese beauty – possibly Yang Guikei – collecting medicinal leaves from a Japanese spice bush. An intriguing painting with Ukiyo-e elements fused with both Chinese and Western styles. Tsukimaro was Utamaro’s best pupil and his paintings are rare. Painted c 1818.

 

Some loss of gofun but generally good condition. Newly mounted with new box. Signed Bokutei Tsukimaro hitsu with two unidentified seals.

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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A dai-oban print showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Minister Kibi in the play Kibi Daijin Shina monogatari, “Minister Kibi, Tale of China.” The play centres on the historical minister Kibi no Makibi who joined a mission to the Tang Court in China in 716. He is supposed to have brought back to Japan the game of go, embroidery, and the secrets of the Chinese almanac. Published by Gusokuya Kahai, 1875.

 

Fine impression with gauffrage and extensive burnishing to Kibi’s black garment. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition, untrimmed. Signed Oju Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

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Yamamoto SHOUN (1870-1965)




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A large original painting , full colour with gold on silk, image size 50.5 x 19.75 in; 128.25 x 50 cms. Shows Shoki, the Demon Quellor, with sword drawn watching an oni escaping on a cloud, upper left. Various Chinese legends exist regarding the origins of Shoki but the gist of them all is that Emperor Xuanzong canonized Shoki, a physician, and in gratitude Shoki vowed to protect the ruler and his heirs from demons and illness. Shoun is best known for his series of woodblocks of beautiful women, Ima Sugata, published 1906-9.

 

In fine condition. Signed Shoun hitsu with two seals, one reading Shoun.

 

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Attributed to Toyoharu KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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An oban diptych shini-e (memorial portrait) of the famous kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII (1791-1859). Upper right is the date of his burial, Ansei 6 (1859), 3rd month, 24th day. A long inscription at left on his life. The image top right shows his great-great-great grandfather, the first Ichikawa Danjuro (1660-1704). The other image, top left, shows Danjuro VIII (1823-1854), his son, who predeceased him by 4 years. See Waseda University Theatre Museum, acc. Nos. 114-0330 and 114-0332 (attributed to Kunichika).

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition.

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A fine original fan painting showing a woman of Ohara; a mountain village north of Kyoto. These Oharame collected brushwood and firewood in the fall to sell in Kyoto. They are often depicted and obviously caused a stir when they entered Kyoto to ply their trade. The custom has evidently been going on since the 12th century. She is shown holding a flower and sitting on her bundle of firewood.

 

 

 

Full colour on prepared paper mounted as a fan, 6.5 x 17in; 16.5 x 43.2 cms (paper area). In very good condition. Signed Kunisada ga with indistinct seals, probably Kuni Sada. A charming painting.

 

 

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Yashima GAKUTEI (1786-1868)




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An original painting, sumi and light blue on silk, 13 x 22 in; 33 x 55.9 cms. Shows a carp swimming amongst weeds. Gakutei is best known for his fine surimono (and in fact designed a surimono of this subject). Painted in Bunsei era (1818-1830). In fine condition apart from a minimal crease. Recently remounted.

 

Signed Gogaku with seals Yashima and Sadaoka. A beautiful painting.

 

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Onishi CHINNEN (1792-1851)




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One volume complete Azuma no teburi, “Customs of the Eastern Capital”. Published Bunsei 12 (1829). Original covers, light blue-grey with silver stencilled decoration. Original title slip (damaged). Inside front cover title Taihei Uzo (the original title). Artist: Chinnen, and publisher Sonando. 25 double page illustrations showing the inhabitants of the capital going about their daily pursuits. Inside back cover: Colophon, dated Bunsei 12 (1829) and publishers Kobayashi Shimbei and Osakaya Gembei. Slight repared wormage and minor marks, but generally a nice copy of a fine shijo book.

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Fujikawa from the so-called “Upright Tokaido.” One of the two snow scenes from the set. Shows travelers coming and going at the edge of the village. Published by Tsutaya, Hare 7, 1855.

 

Very good impression with wood-grain evident in the sky. Very good colour. Trimmed close, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A shijo brush drawing of a seabream and a lumpfish (?). One of Kyoto’s leading artists. Noted for his painting from nature. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun as well as Maruyama Okyo. Sumi and light colour on paper, 10 x 14.75 in; 25.4 x 37.4 cms.

 

In good condition. Signed and sealed Keibun.

 

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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A shijo brush drawing of a white horsehead and an acropomatidae (?). One of Kyoto’s leading artists. Noted for his painting from nature. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun as well as Maruyama Okyo. Sumi and light colour on paper, 10.5 x 15 in; 26.7 x 38.1 cms.

 

In good condition. Signed and sealed Keibun.

 

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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A shijo brush drawing of a red seabream. One of Kyoto’s leading artists. Noted for his paintings from nature. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun as well as Maruyama Okyo. Sumi and light colour on paper, 10.5 x 17 in; 26.7 x 43.2 cms.

 

In good condition. Signed and sealed Keibun.

 

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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A shijo brush drawing of a gurnard and a snapper (?). One of Kyoto’s leading artists. Noted for his painting from nature. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun as well as Maruyama Okyo. Sumi and light colour on paper, 10.5 x 17.75 in; 26.7 x 45.1 cms.

 

In good condition. Signed and sealed Keibun.

 

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Nishiyama HOEN (1804-1867)




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An original painting showing the oiran Eguchi on a white elephant. The origins of this story seem to go back to a recorded conversation the poet-monk Saigyo (1118-1190) had with a prostitute named Eguchi giving rise to numerous legends. Eguchi is shown as a manifestation of the Budhisattva Fugen whose usual vehicle is a large white elephant. Hoen, one of the best shijo painters of his time, lived in Osaka and was a pupil of Keibun. Full colour on silk, 36.5 x 13 in; 92.7 x 33 cms. Mount showing signs of wear but image in good condition. Signed Hoen with seal (?) – Seisho.

 

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Yanagawa SHIGENOBU (1787-1833)




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An original painting by this artist who was the pupil and then son-in-law of Hokusai. He was given the name Yanagawa (from his residence in the Honjo district of Edo) to distinguish him from other Shigenobu artists. A good book illustrator and surimono designer. He designed the first square surimono in Osaka in 1822, inspiring others to follow. His paintings are rare. Shows a portrait of the Japanese scholar and writer Ishikawa Masamochi (1754-1830). The fifth son of Ishikawa Toyonobu, he was a renowned kyoka poet and Gesaku writer (playful, mocking works), including The Magical Carpenter of Japan. An important figure in kyoka/surimono circles. Known as Rokujuen (Yadao no Meshimori). His family crest is seen on his kimono and he sits before a low desk ready to write. A high quality painting, sumi and colour on silk, 29 x 12.5 in.; 73.6 x 31.8 cms. Several small backed wormholes at bottom, otherwise very good condition. Would benefit from being remounted.

 

Signed Shigenobu with seal Yanagawa.

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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The actor Onoe Taganojo II from a fine set of prints showing actors glimpsed through their dressing room sliding doors, prior to going on stage. Their figures partly silhouetted as are their assistants, here aiding the actor with his headpiece. From a set Gakuya nikai kage no hyoban, “Popularity of the Upstairs Dressing Room.” The set published by Takagawa Fusajiro, 1883.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

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ANONYMOUS (Late 18th century)




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An Uki-e, “floating picture” painting showing an interior with a puppet performance taking place. A puppeteer manipulates a female puppet in the centre, behind him two gidayu narrators and a shamisen player. A male puppet is being held behind a screen. Ladies behind a screen at right enjoy the drama. In fact, a male individual at the back seems overcome by emotion with a hanky to his face. The architecture is represented using one-point perspective, a style which made its way to Japan in the 1740’s from the West via China. (Interestingly the artist has got the perspective wrong on the screen at right.) This genre of painting – invariably unsigned – always shows interior or semi-interior views with banquets or, as here, puppet performances. Full colour on paper, 17 x 23 in; 43.2 x 58.5 cms. Minor marks, although good condition for this kind of painting.

 

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Tsukioka SETTEI (1710-1786)




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An original painting, sumi and light blue on silk. Image size 38.75 x 14.25 in; 98.4 x 36.2 cms. Shows a carp leaping a waterfall. This was a favourite subject for Japanese artists being a symbol of achievement against adversity. Carp were bred for their colour in Japan and, interestingly, Koi that are returned to the wild revert back to their grey colour. They are known to live for up to a hundred years or more. Settei produced many illustrated books but after around 1765 turned to painting beauties, courtesans and geishas. They are of the utmost refinement – the faces and limbs picked out in red, their costumes with areas of gold, and invariably have the wide lantern-locks (toro-bin) hairstyle. Signed Hogen Tsukioka Sessai jinen rokuju-nana (painted aged sixty-seven, hence 1777). Seal Masanobu no in. In good condition with splashed gofun.

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A tanzaku showing a rooster and hydrangea. Published by Kawaguchi Shozo, c. 1830s. Another impression is illustrated in Four Hundred Ukiyoe Woodblock Prints From The Museum Of Art, Rhode Island School Of Design, 1990, no. 121, p. 54. Hiroshige is best known for his landscapes, but he produced almost as many bird and flower prints.

 

 

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

 

 

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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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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Mori TETSUZAN (1775-1841)




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A seated cat with butterflies above. Tetsuzan, the adopted son of Mori Sosen, was known for his animal paintings and was one of the ten best pupils of Okyo. Good condition.


Sumi and colour on beige silk. Image size 38.25 x 14.5 inches. Mounted on brown damask with ivory rollers. Signed Tetsuzan with seal Shushin.


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Kawamata TSUNEMASA (Fl. 1716-48)




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Shows a beautiful salt-water gatherer, her hut behind her on the seashore. A member of the Kawamata school, he probably worked in Kyoto and specialised in bijinga.

Sumi and full colour on paper. Outlines picked out in gold. 32.5 x 10.5 in; 82.5 x 26.5 cms. Fine old brocade mount. Old box. Signed and sealed Tsunemasa.



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Oku BUMMEI (?-1813)




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A Maruyama school artist and “One of the ten most notable pupils of Okyo.” A contributor to the anthology Keijo gaen of 1814. Shows a strolling courtesan composed of almost limpid brush strokes creating an ethereal image of the floating world. Sumi and light brown-red on paper, 41.25 x 11.75 in; 104.75 x 29.75 cms. Mount and painting in very good condition. Signed Bummei and undecipherable seal.


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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A handscroll comprising twelve mostly nature studies. ( Four shown. ): An isolated village; redstart and camellia; a rock; iris; rose; bamboo; lobster; sparrow and begonia; a village covered in snow; a scholar reading; white camellia; hibiscus. Sumi and light colour on paper, 14 x 441.2 in; 35.5 x 1120 cms. Keibun was a leading Kyoto artist who had many talented pupils. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun and also Maruyama Okyo. The paintings show all the spontaneity and brevity of a leading exponent of the shijo school and the subject matter is typical. Minor marks; slight edge damage on one painting, but generally good condition. Each painting sealed Kei Bun . Ivory rollers and stickered box.


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Ichiunsai KUNIHISA II (1832-1891)




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A fine work of the artist, c 1850s. The pupil and son-in-law of Kunisada. A beauty promenading. Sumi and full colour on silk. Image size 34 x 11.75 in; 86.5 x 29.5 cms. Fine condition. New mount and box. Signed Kunihisa ga. Seals unread.



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An interesting folding map showing Edo Tokyo. Sumidagawa in the East and Shinagawa in the West, all dominated by the Tokugawa Shogun’s residence at the centre, with civic information and measurements from Nihonbashi, and annual events. Dated Ox 8 (1853).


Good condition.



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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Tsuchiyama, haru no ame, “Tsuchiyama, Spring Rain.” Number 49 from the famous Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.” Published by Hoeido, c. 1833-4. Hiroshige travelled the length of the Tokaido as part of an official delegation in 1832 making sketches along the way. On his return he started work on the set eventually producing 55 prints. The first of the designs were published jointly by Hoeido and Senkakudo, but then Hoeido took over the production. Shows a daimyo’s cortege crossing the Tamura River. Tsuchiyama flourished because of its location at the entrance to the Suzuka Pass. However, in Meiji times, the town was bypassed by the railway because of the steep gradients here. This is the rare first edition.

 

 

Fine impression. Slight fading of seals, slight centre fold and minimal soil to left edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Ishiyakushi, number 44 from the Tokaido showing figures entering the village with others working in the fields. Ishiyakushi-ji Temple was seen on entering the village. From the famous Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.” Published by Hoeido, c. 1833-4. Hiroshige travelled the length of the Tokaido as part of an official delegation in 1832 making sketches along the way. On his return he started work on the set eventually producing 55 prints. The first of the designs were published jointly by Hoeido and Senkakudo, but then Hoeido took over the production. This is the rare first edition.

 

 

Fine impression. Slight fading of seals, slight centre fold and minimal soil to left edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original drawing showing a beauty with an acolyte. Sumi on thin paper. 14.5 x 10.5 in., 37 x 27.5 cms.



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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A large original drawing. Probably for a kakemono-e. Sumi on thin paper. 29.5 x 9.75 in., 73 x 24 cms.



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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original drawing showing a full length study of a woman with details of the pattern on her dress. Sumi and red under-drawing on thin paper. 14.75 x 10.75 in., 37.5 x 27.5 cms.



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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original drawing showing a bust portrait of a Heian beauty holding a fan with a surrounding motif of gourds and leaves. Sumi and red under drawing on thin paper. 18.5 x 12 in., 47 x 31 cms.



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