Katsukawa SHUN’EI (1762-1819)



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A parading courtesan with her two kamuro. Published c. late 1790s by Murataya Jirobei (Eiyudo). Unsigned, but the manner of drawing the courtesan’s face is typical of Shun’ei. Interestingly, another unsigned print (with spurious Shunsho signature) but by Shun’ei is illustrated in The Actor’s Image, Clark & Ueda, A.I.C., 1994, no. 130, p. 346, and has the same publisher.

 

Very good impression and colour. Some small expertly restored wormage at left edge, otherwise very good condition.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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The courtesan Shiratama of the Sanomatsuya House in the Shin Yoshiwara seated looking into a mirror. Episode Sekidera from a Seven Komachi set: Shin Yoshiwara yugimi nana Komachi. The set based on the seven episodes in the life of the famous 9th century poetess Ono no Komachi. Published by Tsuta-ya, c 1830.


Very good impression of the first state. Superb, unfaded colour. Fine condition; full size. Signed Kei


Status: Sold

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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The courtesan Efuku of the Owariya House in the Shin Yoshiwara seated at a low desk and holding a toothpick. Episode Kiyomidzu from a Seven Komachi set: Shin Yoshiwara yugimi nana Komachi. The set based on the seven episodes in the life of the famous 9th century poetess Ono no Komachi. Published by Tsuta-ya, c 1830.


Very good impression of the first state. Superb, unfaded colour. Fine condition; full size. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.


Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Mita-so: Tempo nenkan o-kosho fuzoku, “Looking Inquisitive: The Appearance of a Maid in the Tempo Era” ( 1830 – 1844 ). From the set: Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. Shows a maid peering through a summer bamboo screen.

 

Superb impression of the first edition. Very fine colour and condition with the extra paper at left edge and the full handling area showing bottom right. Beautiful blind-printing and a polished pattern applied to the black obi. Signed Yoshitoshi 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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Chobunsai EISHI (1756-1829)




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An aiban from a set of four prints: Shiki warabe asobi, a series of prints comparing young children to the four seasons. Another from the set is illustrated in Estampes Japonaises. Collection des Musees royeaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Bruxelles, 1989, cat. 319, p. XXXIX ( incorrectly attributed to Eisho ). Published by Izumiya Ichibei 1795-6.


Very good impression, colour and condition. Full size. Signed Eishi.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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A beauty from a set Furyu hakkei, “Fashionable Eight Views.” Each beauty represents one of the famous Eight Views of Omi, here being Evening Glow at Seta.This theme, which originates from China, is often encountered in Japanese art. Shows a young woman unrolling a scroll with a view (presumably) of Seta Bridge. An extremely rare set with the designs standing alone but also forming diptychs. Three other single prints from the set are illustrated in Ukiyoe-e Taikei, vol. 9, no. 6, Night Rain, in colour, and nos. 101, Evening Snow and 102, Returning Sail, in b/w. A complete (faded) diptych is in the MFA Boston, Returning Sail and Returning Geese, 21.7473-4. I cannot, at the moment, locate another impression of this design. Published by Izumiya Ichibei (Kansendo) c 1794 – Toyokuni’s best period. Provenance: Ex collection Hayashi (seal bottom left) and Louis Gonse. A beautiful print.

 

 

Fine impression. Slight loss of gold in cloud at top but otherwise fine colour. Fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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Shows Shinanoya Ohan (left) and Obiya Choemon from a series of half-length portraits of pairs of lovers featured in joruri love-suicide plays. Jisu kurabe iro no minakami, “True Feelings Compared: The Founts of Love.” Choemon was the adopted heir of Obiya, an obi business in Kyoto. Ohan was a young girl from the Shinanoya store next door. In fact, the drama is based on an actual event in Kyoto during the Kyoho era. Two dead bodies were discovered in the Katsuragawa; one of a 50 year old man, the other of a 14 or 15 year old girl. Published by Nishimuraya “Sei” c 1798-9. Another impression is in the MFA Boston, 11.14296. Provenance: Ex Louis Gonse collection. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression. Exceptionally good colour. Fine condition. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Chobunsai EISHI (1756-1829)




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A parading oiran, Senzan of the Choji-ya, with her two kamuro Isoji and Hanaji. From a set Seiro moyo awase “Comparisons of Brothel Patterns.” Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudo), c 1796-7. See Brandt, Hosoda Eishi, Eike Moog, 1977, 100. No. 263. Provenance: Ex Louis Gonse collection.

 

 

Fine impression. Exceptional colour. Fine condition.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)



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A benigirai-e (red-avoiding) triptych showing from right to left: A young nobleman with a falcon, a beauty beside him holding his sword and another seated smoking a pipe; the centre panel shows two women and a child holding a small falcon; while the last sheet has two women selecting eggplants from the baskets of an eggplant seller. The backdrop for the whole scene is a majestic Mt. Fuji. The combination of Fuji, falcon and eggplant is known as Ichi-Fuji, Ni-Taka, San-Nasubi (1-Fuji, 2-Falcon, 3-Eggplant) and it is supposed to be good luck to dream of these three in the first dream of the New Year (or, in fact, on the second night, the first being sleepless. The following day is known as hatsuyume). Extremely rare: the only impression I can find is illustrated in Kiyoshi Shibui, Ukiyoe zuten, No. 13, Utamaro, p. 37. (The date given here is 1801, although the late 1790s might be more appropriate as the vogue for benigirai-e [probably as a response to sumptuary edicts] was prevalent around the 1790s.) Published by Murataya Jirobei of Eiyudo. Another triptych by Utamaro of this subject is illustrated in Yoshida, Utamaro zenshu, p. 156. A very fine design.

 

Fine impression. Extremely good colour: these pigments are very susceptible to any light or moisture. Extremely good condition.Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)




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A triptych representing Matsukaze, “The Wind in the Pines,” Chapter XVIII, from a set of triptychs Furyu yatsushi Genji, “Genji in Modern Dress.” Brandt, Hosoda Eishi, Stuttgart, 1977, lists nine from the series (this being no. 58, p. 116, illustrated p. 16). Based on the famous early 11th century novel Genji Monogatari written by Murasaki Shikibu. Shows court ladies, one playing a koto on the engawa far right, others welcoming the arrival of Prince Genji, far left. Published by Senichi, c. 1792. Provenance: Ex Worcester Art Museum and Louis W. Black collections, sold Sothebys N.Y., 4/3/1976, lot 122.

 

Extremely fine impression and perfect unfaded colours. Album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Eishi ga (with a small sumi insertion to read Eisui).

 

Status: Sold

 

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Torii KIYONAGA (1752-1815)




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A chuban print showing a woman at a washtub watched by a small child. Another woman is hanging a kimono out to dry. Without any series title but with a scalloped cloud above which may have been intended to have a title. Published c. late 1770s. Rare: Not listed in Hirano, Chie Hirano, Kiyonaga, MFAB, 1939.

 

 

Superb impression, colour and condition. Possibly a proof impression. Signed Kiyonaga ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Kitao SHIGEMASA (1739-1820)




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Kanzashi no seiran, “Clearing Weather of the Hairpin” from a chuban set Jochu tedogu hakkei, “Eight Views of Women’s Utensils.” Published c. 1777. Another from the set published in the Clarence Buckingham Collection of Japanese Prints, Margaret O. Gentles, vol. II, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1965, no. 21, p. 283.


Very good impression, colour and condition. Unsigned.


Status: Sold

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)




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A small chuban print showing silkworm cultivation. Two girls feed mulberry leaves to the silkworms, another stands behind. A certain license was taken with this subject and designs did not necessarily faithfully follow the procedure or the girls truly depict the actual labourers. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi, c 1800. This set (probably of 12) would have been printed two-to-a-sheet. Rare.

 

Fine impression and fine unfaded colours. Fine condition. Signed Eishi ga.

 

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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Attributed to KATSUNO (Fl. c 1807)




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A hosoban kappazuri (stencil) print of the beauty Kuruharu (or Yukiharu) of the Naraya brothel/tea house holding a teacup. Published by Kashiwaya Soshichi, a Kyoto publisher in c 1807. He is known to have produced prints for Nagahide as well. The artist Katsuno is only known by a few stencil prints around this date; some, as here, unsigned, and it may well be the only impression extant.

 

Good impression (they are never fine), very good colour and condition. Unsigned.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A triptych showing a party of women and a child running in rain towards the entrance of the Mimeguri Shrine. Mimeguri no yudachi, “An Evening Shower at Mimeguri.” This famous shrine was on the bank of the Sumida at Mukojima and a short ferry ride from Asakusa. The shrine is also associated with prayers for rain. Kunisada was the most prolific 19th century artist, but amongst his vast output are real masterpieces. Published c 1830. A fine design.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.


Status: Sold

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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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Shows a trainee courtesan applying rouge to her eyes. Odori shisho, “The Dancing Girl” from a set Tosei bijin awase, “A Collection of Modern Beauties.” The set published by Moritaya Hanzo, c. 1826. Above, in the fan-shaped label are the accoutrements of her trade: a wig stand, a pair of clappers to keep time, and the libretto of a song.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Shosai GINKO (FL. 1874-1897)


Shosai-GINKO-fl-1874-to-1897-beauties53


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A charming print showing a Japanese lady elegantly attired, western-style, standing beside a river with steamboats and foreign buildings in the background. She wears a full length coat, lace-trimmed, with colour-coordinated brolly, belt, cuffs and bow at the neck. On her head a stylish bonnet tied below the chin. From a set: Kokin meifu kagami, “A Mirror of Famous Women in Old and Modern Times.” This design shows Kosome, the daughter of Kuniya Sohei. During a boat trip around Japan in 1859 her vessel was hit by a storm and drifted until eventually arriving in Hawaii. Rescued by an American, she went on to study and become a teacher in America. The view behind her shown here obviously represents America.


Fine impression and colour with mica on the water. Light album backing and slight offsetting at top, otherwise good condition. Signed Shosai Ginko.


Status: Sold

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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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Tumekiri yoshi, “A Good Day to Trim One’s Nails” from Hanagoyami kichijitsu sugata “Beauties on Auspicious Days of the Flower Calendar.” A beauty in a bathrobe with scissors about to trim her toenails. The scissors have a small bell which is usually seen around the necks of cats. Published 1844.


Fine impression and colour. Superb cutting and printing of the aizuri design on the bathrobe. Very slight trimming. Retains original album backing. Signed Kunisada aratame nidaime Toyokuni ga, “Kunisada changing his name to the second of the name Toyokuni drew.”



Status: Sold

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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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The colour white from Ukiyo goshoku awase, “Matching with Five Colours of the Floating World.” A beauty before a mirror holding another mirror behind her to enable her to apply white make-up to the nape of her neck. A highly erogenous area to the Japanese. Published by Sanoya Kihei, 1845.


Very good impression and colour. Slight trimming and retains original album backing. Signed Kunisada aratame nidaime Toyokuni ga, “Kunisada changing his name to the second of the name Toyokuni drew.”



Status: Sold

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)



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A beautiful aiban showing Fuku and Kame from a series Seiro Niwaka, “The Niwaka Festival in the Yoshiwara.” Sub-title Tsuki no Katsurao (Katsura Otoko). The “pleasure district” of Edo hosted the Niwaka Festival in the eighth month of each year where courtesans performed dances and there were entertainers. Published by Tsuruya Kiemon, c 1794-5. Rare: Apparently not listed in the standard Utamaro books.

 

Fine impression. Very well retained colour, the fugitive blue on the umbrella intact. Small repaired wormhole, otherwise very good condition. Full size. Signed Utamaro fude.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Keisai Eisen (1790-1848)


Keisai-EISEN-1790-to-1848-beauties41


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Yoshiwara from the set: “Bijin Tokaido” comparing beauties to the 53 Stations. Published by Tsutaya c 1830’s. A fine design.


Very fine impression, colour and, apart from minor trimming, fine condition. Signed Keisai Eisen ga


Status: Sold

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Kitao SHIGEMASA ( 1739-1820 )




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A chuban print showing silkworm cultivation. No. 4 from Kaiko yashinai gusa, “The Occupation of Silkworm Cultivation.” The set designed with Shunsho ( nos. 1,3,6,8,11,12 ). Shigemasa also collaborated with Shunsho in 1776 on the book A Mirror of Beautiful Women of the Green Houses. No publisher given but published 1772.


Fine impression.Oxidation of the gofun and orange pigment but exceptional colour preservation for a print of this date. Fine condition. Signed Kitao Shigemasa ga.


Status: Sold

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Yurakusai NAGAHIDE (fl. c. 1804-1848)




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An excessively rare pillar print showing a beauty holding a fan beneath flowering wisteria. There are another four pillar prints known by him. The only other impression I can locate of this print is illustrated in Jacob Pins, The Japanese Pillar Print: Hashira-e, 1982, no. 1002, p. 349. Provenance: Ex Samuel Tuke collection (a large part of his collection was sold at Sothebys in 1911).

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Nagahide ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)


Keisai-EISEN-1790-to-1848-beauties17


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The courtesan Nanakoshi of Sano Matsu-ya. Station Kusatsu from a series parodying Yoshiwara courtesans with the 53 Stations of the Tokaido; the set seen as a sugoroku game, the winner gaining the lover. The set published by Tsutaya Kichizo, c late 1830s.


Fine impression and colour. Small stain lower left corner and minor marks, but otherwise very good condition. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.


Status: Sold

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)


Taiso-YOSHITOSHI-1839-to-1892-beauties16


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Noisy. A young woman of the Kansei period playing with a cat from the set Fuzoku sanjuniso, the “Thirty-Two Types of Beauty in Daily Life” published by Tsunashima 1888. One of the most sought after designs from the set. The first edition.


Very fine impression and colour. Full size with the extra paper left and top. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.


Status: Sold

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Kitagawa TSUKIMARO (FI.?-1830)


Kitagawa-TSUKIMARO-1830-beauties15


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A bijin adjusting her hair before a mirror from a set: Hana no kazari no fuzei, “Elegance of the Flower Decoration”. Published by Tsuru Kin c1810’s.


Very good impression and colour. Minor marks: slight edge nibbling and the paper laid-lines evident top and bottom, but otherwise very good. Signed Tsukimaro hitsu.


Status: Sold

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)


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A triptych entitled Fuzoku shi-nho-ko sho, “The Customs of Different Classes, Samurai, Farmers, Artisans and Tradesmen”. Published by Kawaguchiya Uhei c.1820s.


Very good impression, perfect colour. Original album backing. Fine condition. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.


Status: Sold

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Isoda KORYUSAI (Fl.c.1764-1788)


Isoda-KORYUSAI-1764-to-1788-beauties13


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The courtesan Chozan of Choji-ya from the series: Hinagata Wakana no hatsu-moyo, “Models for Fashions: New Designs as Fresh as Young Leaves”. The set published c.1782. Printed on heavy hosho.


Fine impression. Exceptional colour for a print of this series and date. Expert edge repair at centre left and slight signs of mounting au verso around edge, but otherwise a fine example. Signed Koryusai ga.



Status: Sold

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Ichirakutei EISUI (active 1789-1804)


Ichirakutei-EISUI-1789-to-1804-beauties12


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Excessively rare bust portrait of the courtesan Hanahito of the Ogi-ya. The Doll Festival from a set of the Five Seasonal Festivals published by Maru-ya Bun’emon, c.1798. The British Museum impression of this print is illustrated in Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections, no.205.


Very good impression and colour. Slight soil and creasing but overall a nice example of this uncommon artist’s work. Signed Ichirakutei Eisui ga.



Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISATO (?-1858)




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Female figures and a child against a backdrop of the Sumida River and the Ryogoku Bridge. Azuma meisho Ryogokubashi yugeshiki. Published by Maru-ya Kiyojiro, Hare 2 (1855).


Very good impression and colour. Minor soil and wormage, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ritsusensai Kunisato ga.



Status: Sold

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Kitagawa HIDEMARO (active circa early 19th century)


Kitagawa-HIDEMARO-beauties10


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A pupil of Utamaro who produced some fine work at the turn of the century. An aiban double bust portrait of the courtesan Sodenoura of the Tamaya House and her kamuro. Published c1810s.


Fine impression and colour. Minor creases and several small backed wormholes, but overall lovely, fresh design. Full size. Signed Hidemaro ga.



Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)


Ichiryusai-HIROSHIGE-1797-to-1858-beauties9


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A chuban triptych showing three beauties relaxing at Takanawa from a set of Eight Views of Edo. Published by Joshuya Kinzo c.1849-50. (Tamba no.146.)


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



Status: Sold

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)


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A complete triptych showing young girls in attendance on a court couple. An early (c.1820) design published by Nishimuraya Yohachi.


Very good impression, colour and condition. Full size with extra paper for joining. Signed Eizan fude.



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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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)


Kitagawa-UTAMARO-1753-to-1806-beauties6


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A beauty from the tea-house Suminoe in the district of Shiba from a series: “Comparing the Charms of five Beauties”. The picture-riddle (in the circular cartouche top right) gives the identity of the beauty on each design. In the second edition the riddle is replaced with a flower design. Published by Omiya Gonkuro c.1795-6.


Very good impression. Slight fading. Thinned top left and paper strengthened. Signed Shomei Utamaro hitsu.



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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