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.

 

Status: Available

 

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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.

 

Status: Available

 



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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.

 

Status: Available

 




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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.

 

Status: Available

 

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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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Available

 




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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.

 

Status: Available

 




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Ohara HOSON (Aka SHOSON, KOSON) (1877-1945)



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A rooster and weasel. Published by Kawaguchi, c. 1930. The first and only edition. Ex Robert O. Muller collection. Rare.

Very fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hoson. Copyright seal in lower right margin; seal of printer, Komatsu, and carver, Maeda, in lower left margin.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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A vertical diptych showing a multitude of cranes flying up from a cresting wave to a large red sun. In fact this diptych was used by an Edo publisher as end sheets to albums – usually sets of Hiroshige landscapes. Rare: Invariably it is impossible to match the two sheets as the bottom design is always graded blue at the top. Another matching impression is illustrated pl. 143 in Four Hundred Ukiyoe Woodblock Prints From The Museum Of Art, Rhode Island School Of Design, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Collection Of Japanese Prints, 1990. Another impression is known with a large red seal at a slight angle bottom right. (This may be the first state but rather spoils the design.) Published 5/1858.

Fine impression and colour. Small expertly repaired binding holes, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu with Ichiryusai seal.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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A chuban print showing two house swallows and wisteria. Although Hiroshige is recognised as one of the pre-eminent landscape artists, many of his most beautiful designs are in the uchiwa-e format and kachoga.

Fine impression and colour. Several expertly repaired wormholes, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

Status: Sold

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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.

Status: Sold




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Utagawa SADAHIDE (1807-1873)



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An aizuri fan print. Shows two travellers admiring the view of the Tama River and Mt. Koya in Kii Province. Published c 1849. Sadahide produced a considerable number of fan prints and it seems to have been a speciality of his. Rare.

Very good impression and colour. Minor edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Uncut. Signed Gountei Sadahide ga.

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Utagawa SADAHIDE (1807-1873)



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An aizuri fan print. Shows travellers arriving at Inba Marsh in Shimosa Province. This is now an important wetland habitat for wild birds. Published c 1849. Sadahide produced a considerable number of fan prints and it seems to have been a speciality of his. Rare.

Very good impression and colour. Minor edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Uncut. Signed Gountei Sadahide ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa SADAHIDE (1807-1873)



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An uncut fan print showing Otsu-e pictures. (These were cheaply and quickly produced folk images, beginning in the 17th century, sold at an important road junction at Otsu, a port on Lake Biwa. Hence the nomenclature.) Published by Ibaya Senzaburo, c 1849. . Sadahide produced a considerable number of fan prints and it seems to have been a speciality of his. Rare.

Very good impression and colour. Slight edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Uncut. Signed Sadahide ga (on three of the Otsu-e).

Status: Sold

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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.

Status: Available




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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.

Status: Available




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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.

Status: Available




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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.

Status: Available




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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.

 

Status: Reserved




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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.

Status: Available




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Unknown



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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.

Status: Available

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)


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An original painting, light colour on paper, 13 x 16.5 in; 33 x 42 cms. Shows a sparrow flying over a flowering plum tree. Light soil and creasing, but in generally good condition. Signed Hokusai suichu hitsu, “Hokusai painted while drunk.” Sealed Katsushika. (One of his better-known seals. He used different versions of it throughout his career.)

Status: Sold


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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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An original fan painting, sumi on treated paper, 17.5 x 5.5 in; 44.5 x 14 cms. Shows two dogs – possibly Chin. In very good condition: As nearly always, showing the rib folds of the fan. Tipped onto gold-speckled board. Signed and sealed Yoshitoshi.

Status: Sold

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Uegaki HORYU (Fl. c 1716-1736)



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An original painting, full colour on paper, 36.5 x 15.5 in; 92.75 x 39.4 cms. Shows a full-length courtesan. It appears there are at least four other Horyu paintings known: Two in the Tokyo National Museum: C0041812 and C0041813; one in the Cleveland Museum of Art; and another in the MFA, Boston, Acc. no. 11.7482. Horyu worked in parallel (and in competition) with the Kaigetsudo atelier. Signed Nihon-e Uegaki Horyu kore o gasu with one Horyu seal; the other unread. The lid of the box is inscribed: Kaigetsudo-ha Uegaki Horyu-hitsu tayu tachi sugata, “A standing figure of a top courtesan brushed by Uegaki Horyu of the Kaigetsudo school.” And on the inside of the lid: Showa hinoto’u uzuki gekan, “Late April of the Fire Rabbit Year [Showa 62/1987].” Appraised by Kimura Suetsuke (a dealer and Ukiyo-e expert). Areas of restoration at bottom and one or two other small areas, but otherwise in very good condition for a painting of this period.

Status: Sold




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BUNSEI (Active c. 1830 -1844)




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A complete set of Eight Views of Xiaoxiang, modern Hunan Province, China. These eight views were taken up by Japanese artists such as Hiroshige and transposed to Japan becoming sets like the Eight Views of Omi, etc. Bunsei was a pupil of Tani Buncho. He seems to have made a speciality of this subject and there is a slightly larger version set of the same subject. Published c. 1830s. Provenance: Ex Hayashi with his seal on most of the designs. Rare complete.

Very good impressions and colour. Minor edge wormage, othwerwise very good condition. Each signed Bunsei.

Status: Sold




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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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The great Sanjo Bridge, Kyoto. Number 55 from the Tokaido: Gojusantsugi published by Marusei, c 1848-49. Also known as the Reisho Tokaido. Shows figures on the bridge including Oharame carrying firewood and ladies with katsugi garments. In the distance is Higashiyama and Mt. Hiei.

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A view of pilgrims bathing in the Roben waterfall at the Afuri (Shinto) shrine, Oyama in Segami Province. Oyama sekison otaki no zu. This happened during the summer months and was considered a purification ritual. Oyama is a sacred mountain near the Izu peninsula and a short distance from Kamakura and Enoshima. Kuniyoshi designed another oban of this subject as well as two triptychs. Published by Wakasaya Yoichi, 1839-40. It has been suggested that the tattooed figure, on the left, holding a lantern with Kuniyoshi inscribed on it may be Kuniyoshi himself.

Very good impression and colour. Slight centre fold and expertly repared wormage. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Shimotsuke Nikkosan urami no taki, “Back-viewed Waterfall on Mt. Nikko in Shimotsuke [Province}.” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshi meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by Koshihei between 1853 and 1856, this being 1853. Figures gaze up at the back of the waterfall which thunders over the path. It is also known with variant colour schemes. A fine design.

Very fine impression with strong blind-printing on the fall. Very fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Musashi, Sumidagawa, yuki no ashita, “Musashi [Province], Sumida River, Morning after Snow.” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshi meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by b Koshimuraya Heisuke between 1853 and 1856, this being 1853.

Very fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

Status: Sold

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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.

 

 

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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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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A surimono from a series: Fuzoku onna Suikoden hyakuhachiban no uchi, “Modern Women as the One Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Suikoden.” Shows a beauty leaning on a fulling block beside a stream. She gazes at a flowering cherry tree with a village in the distance beneath a full moon. Each design is based on one of the characters from the Suikoden; in this case Shinkigunshi Shubu (Zhu Wu), the “Resourceful Strategist.” The series was inspired by a new translation of the 12th century Chinese novel Shui huchuan, “All Men are Brothers” which relates the deeds of a group of outlaws. Commissioned by the Hisakatayaren Club for the New Dragon Year 1832. Surimono were usually issued by these poetry clubs or for specific occasions, although individuals also commissioned them. They could employ every artifice available to the printers and engravers: metal powders, mica, blind-printing and burnishing, and were printed on the best, thick hosho. They were not issued in large numbers as conventional Ukiyo-e and are usually of a smaller format. Presumably ambitiously planned as 108 prints but never completed. Rare.

Very fine impression and colour with silver and gold. Slightly trimmed top and bottom, otherwise very god condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga with the red seal of the printer Suriko Shinzo (which is removed on some impressions).

Status: Sold

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ANONYMOUS



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An unusual and rare surimono showing a matsutake, pine mushroom, and an akagai, red clam. Obvious sexual connotations due to their similarity to the human anatomy. The inscription is enigmatically signed Master In-The-Clouds or Humourously related by the Master who is relaxing and drinking while living in the clouds. With a reference to the Chinese immortal sage Yunzhongzi. Surimono were usually issued by poetry clubs or for specific occasions, although individuals also commissioned them. They could employ every artifice available to the printers and engravers: metal powders, mica, blind-printing and burnishing, and were printed on the best, thick hosho. They were not issued in large numbers as conventional Ukiyo-e and are usually of a smaller format.

Very good impression and colour. Slight soil, otherwise very good condition.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A night scene illuminated by a band of light from a hand-lantern. Shows Ushiwaka-maru (Yoshitsune) battling with the outlaw priest Kumasada Chohan and his band of thieves who were attempting to rob the inn where Yoshitsune was staying. Published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c. 1839-41. A fine design.

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

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing the night attack in pouring rain by the brothers Juro Soga and Goro Soga on their father’s murderer Kudo Suketsune. They had waited 18 years for the opportunity which came in 1193 when there was a hunting party held at the base of Mount Fuji by the Shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo. Soga kyodai chichi no ada-uchi no zu. In the centre is Goro and on the left Juro. Above, the cloth panels with the paulownia crest of the Minamoto clan. Published by Sanoya Kihei, 1851-3.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming at top and residual glue at edge of centre sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A triptych showing Yamauba on the left and Kintaro about to wield a large axe to break a large Kaga mimochi, mirror rice cake. This is a traditional Shinto rite in January. January 11th is also the day the wealthy opened their storehouses to air their precious possessions (Kurabiraki). Published by Akiyama Buemon 1891.

Very fine impression with extensive burnishing. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The best design from a set of half-length otokodate figures: Kuniyoshi moyo shofuda tsuketari genkin otoko, “Men of Ready Money with True Labels Attached, Kuniyoshi Fashion.” Here showing Danshichi Kurobei emptying a bucket of water over himself. Danshichi was a fishmonger in the city of Sakai who murdered somebody in the mid-winterof 1697, the body only being discovered when the snow melted. He is often depicted pouring water over his head, although there are also versions where he commits the crime in a swamp. Published by Ibaya Kyubedi, 1845. Poem by Hoshitei.

Very good impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Kobayakawa Takakage debating with the tengu on mount Hiko from Shinkei sanjurokkaisen, “New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts.”The set published by Sasaki Toyokichi, 1889-1892 (this being 1892).

Very fine first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Kaneko Kugutsune (aka Okane, Kane-jo, and Omi no Okane) from the set Chuko meiyo kijin den, “Stories of Remarkable Persons of Loyalty and High Reputation.” Published by Iseya Ichiemon or Enshuya Matabei (this design) 1845. Robinson S35.5. Known as the Strong Woman of Omi, she is credited with subduing a runaway horse by holding its rein down with her geta. She is shown here with her washtub, the wild horse in the background.

Superb impression and colour. Very slight crinkling , trimmed close and some small wormage, otherwise fine condition. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Yamamoto Kansuke striding through the snow. “Boar” from a set Mitate junishi, “Selection for the Twelve Signs.” Published by Ibaya Kyubei, c 1845. (Kansuke was famous for killing a giant boar in the snow.) Robinson S38.12.

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

Status: Sold

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