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.



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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.



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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.



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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.



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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.



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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)


Kikugawa-EIZAN-1787-to-1867-beauties8


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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.



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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.



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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.



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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.



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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.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)


Utagawa-KUNISADA-1786-to-1865-beauties3


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A rare nagaban series of full length bijin published by Kinrindo (Moriya Jihei) c.1835-37.


Very good impression and colour; slight soil, otherwise good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.



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Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1778)


Suzuki-HARUNOBU-1724-to-1778-beauties2


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A chuban print of a young girl beside a stream. A poem above, by Ono no Komachi, compares her thoughts to a floating reed. One of a series based on “The Thirty-six Poets”. Another impression illustrated in the Philadelphia Musuem of Art catalogue Suzuki Harunobu, 1970, p.141, no.79. Published c.1767/8.


Superb impression with the girl’s outline and garment folds in heavy relief. Fine colour with only the water slightly down. Signed Harunobu ga.



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Nishimura SHIGENOBU (fl. c.1724-35)


Nishimura-SHIGENOBU-c-1724-to-1735-beauties1


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A young woman with straw hat. Ex Vever collection (see part 1, page 28, lot 29, 1974). Published by Urokugata-ya Hangen. Hosoban urushi-e.


Minor marks, but good condition for a print of this period. Signed Eshi Nishimura Shigenobu hitsu.



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Chobunsai EISHI (1756-1829)



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The parading courtesan Yosooi of Matsubaya with her kamuro Tomeki and Nioi. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi c. 1800. She must have been a popular courtesan as she is depicted on many prints by various artists around this date.

 

 

Fine impression. Very good colour: Pale yellow ground. Very slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Eishi zu.

 

 

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Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)




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A pillar print showing a beauty after a bath walking past a pot of morning glory. Published c. 1768. The morning glory is a precursor of hot summer. Some 40 or 50 years later there was a craze for these plants almost akin to Dutch tulip fever. Other (faded) impressions are in MFA, Boston, Spaulding Collection, nr. 21.4552; Honolulu Museum of Art, nr. 06108; and illustrated in Waterhouse, The Harunobu Decade, 20013, nr. 545. Harunobu produced some of the most sublime Ukiyo-e images and he and his publishers were at the forefront of experimentation in the 1760s using multiple blocks, new pigments and combing pigments to create new hues that were not see again in Ukiyo-e. Unfortunately, the pigments – most often of vegetable origin – were very susceptible to fading and most Harunobu prints are ghosts of their former selves. Harunobu was a master of this hashira-e format: Jacob Pins found 111 to illustrate in The Japanese Pillar Print, 1982. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression. Exceptionally good colour. Minor soil but in very good condition for a print in this format and of this period. (These prints were hung in alcoves or on pillars and they consequently often come browned or faded as well as getting creased by being rolled.) Signed Harunobu ga.

 

 

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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A high-ranking courtesan ( oiran ) looking over her shoulder. From a set of six prints: Bijin kaichu kagami – Jisei rokkassen: Ariwara no Narihira, “ A Pocket Mirror of Beauties – Six Immortal Poets of the Era: Ariwara no Narihira.” The set compares the beauties to the six “immortal” waka poets of the 9th/10th centuries. The maple leaves on the oiran’s collar identify the subject as compared to the poet Ariwara no Narihira ( 825-880 A.D. ). The set published by Senichi, c 1826-28.


Fine early impression. Fine colour. Very slight soil, otherwise fine condition. Full size. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.


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Yushido SHUNCHO (Fl. c. 1780-1795)




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A chuban print showing beauties sight-seeing on the Sumida River. From a set of ten prints of views of Koto (an area of Edo bounded by the Sumidagawa to the west and Arakawa River to the east with many canals). Published by Enomoto, c. 1790.
Very good impression. Exceptionally well preserved colour: the fugitive pigments intact. Very slight soil, otherwise very good condition. Full size.

 

 

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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)




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A chuban print from a set of three: Sanseki waka, “Three Evening Poems.” In this case interpreting a poem by Jakuren hoshi (1139-1202). The poem reads: Sabishisa wa / sono iro to shimo / nakarikeri / makitatsu yama no / aki no yugare, Loneliness / is not / any particular colour – / a mountain of black pines / on an autumn evening. The other two prints probably have poems by Teika and Saigyo. Shows beauties on a balcony admiring the pines in the distance. Published c. early 1770s. Ex collection Erik Holmberg. Rare.

 

 

Very good impression. Particularly good colour with pigments that have usually turned. Very good condition. Signed Shunsho ga.

 

 

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)



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The courtesan Biso of the Ogi House holding a brush up to a snow sculpture of Daruma. Snow from a Snow, Moon, Flowers set: Seiro bijin setsugekka. Published by Kawaguchiya Uhei, c late 1810s.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Fine condition: Full size with extra paper. Signed Eizan hitsu.

 

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)



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Winter from a set Furyu bijin kodakara awase, “Elegant Beauties and Precious Children.” Shows a beauty carrying one child and looking down at another with a large snowball. Published by Matsumura Yahei, c late 1810s.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Fine condition: Full size with extra paper. Signed Eizan hitsu.

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)




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A triptych showing the interior of a mansion. In the centre the head of the household, a young male, surrounded by his female attendants. This most likely shows the Setsubun – a ritual of bean-throwing to clear out the evil from a house on the day before the beginning of spring which was considered New Year’s eve. There are impressions in the MFA Boston (11.13833-5, 21.7798-800) and MET (JP201). Published by Iwatoya Kisaburo. The MET and MFA give a date as c 1791-4 but the signature better fits a date of c 1800.

 

 

Very good impression. Exceptional colour – better even than the other illustrated examples. Small restoration on last sheet, otherwise very good condition with extra paper around. Signed Toyokuni ga. Rare.

 

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)




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Furyu rokkasen, “Fashionable Six Poets.” One sheet from a set of three that can be viewed separately or as a triptych. Shows the famous Heian period waka poets Ono no Komachi and Ariwara no Narihira together with an attendant. Two famous poems by them above in gold clouds, hinting at the archaising motif. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi , c 1802. Originally purchased from me in 1976.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition with yellow ground and gold printed at the top. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)




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A parading courtesan, Senzan of the Choji-ya house, with her two kamuro, Isieji and Hanaji. From a set of seven prints Seiro moyo awase, “A Comparison of Patterns of the Green houses.” Published by Eijudo, 1796-7. The title on a teacup. A luxurious yellow ground. See Klaus J. Brandt, 1977, no. 263, p. 146. A fine set. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Extremely fine, unfaded colour. Fine condition: Untrimmed with extra paper at left. A benchmark example for prints of this period. Signed Eishi zu.

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Omoshiro-so: Bunsei nenkan okujochu no fuzoku, “Looking Amused: The Appearance of a High-ranking Maid in the Bunsei Era” ( 1818 – 1830 ). From the set: Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. Shows a maid to the concubine of a daimyo looking over a balcony.

 

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. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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A triptych showing a bride changing into her going-away dress, Konrei iro-naoshi no zu. There is another triptych of the actual wedding ceremony which can be viewed with this to form a hexaptych design, Sanmai-tsuzuki. Published by Maruya Bunemon, 1804. Other impressions in Shibui, Ukiyo-e zuten, Utamaro, 1964, p. 38/9; Ukiyo-e Taisei 7, 1931, no. 346; Ukiyo-e shuka 3, 1978, no. 356. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Very good, well retained colour. Large margins on last two sheets, first sheet very slightly trimmed, otherwise very good condition. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI II (1777-1835)




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A beauty standing beside a circular window with wisteria and a swallow, both symbols of spring. From an aizuri-e set Tosei gonin bijo, “Fine Modern Beauties.” Published by Maruya Seijiro, c 1830-5.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Gosotei Toyokuni ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An aizuri-e (blue print) showing the courtesan Hanaogi of the Ogi-ya House parading with her two kamuro. Published c 1840 by Enomotoya Kichibei. See my blog.


Very good impression, colour and condition. (With only the hint of red on the lips.) Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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One of Hiroshige’s most beautiful triptychs: Sumidagawa setchu no zu,“The Sumida River in Snow” from a series Edo meisho shiki no nagame, “Views of the Famous Places of Edo in the Four Seasons.” Shows a ferry landing on the Sumida with a beauty disembarking from a boat and another pair ready to board. Published by Maruya Jinpachi, c 1847-8. Rare.

 

Very good impression and colour. Horizontal centre fold, otherwise good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)




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The courtesan Shizuka of the Shizutama-ya from the set of six prints: Seiro bijin rokkasen, “Six Poems on Yoshiwara Beauties as Flowers.” One of the most beautiful sets of this period published 1794 by Eijudo. The centre cartouche has a seasonal bloom, in this case the pink which was the emblem of Shizuka. See Klaus Brandt, Hosoda Eishi, 1977, 51, no 172. Another impression was in the Popper sale cat. no 138 and the impression from the Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin, is illustrated in the 1974 Tokyo Exhibition catalogue, no 146.

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Yellow ground and mica on collar. Signed Eishi zu.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty leaning on a cloth 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 mackerel being caught in Noto Province. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Very fine impression and colour. Fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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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 oyster collecting in Aki Province. 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 sap collecting for making lacquer in Koshu Province. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition with strong burnishing on collar. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I ( 1769-1825 )




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An elegant triptych showing tofu being prepared and other ladies on an engawa with various fish dishes. The restaurant or inn is beside a stream which is heavily planted with flowers. Published c 1809 by Tsuruya Kinsuke.


Very good impression. Perfectly retained colour. Full size. Perfect condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.


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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1752-1806)




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A beauty reading while having her hair combed from a series of Nana Komachi. The set based on the seven famous episodes in the life of the famous Heian beauty and poetess Ono no Komachi (c 825-c 900). A young woman in a loose yukata is reading a letter that is torn in two while a girl combs her hair. Published c 1805 by Ise-ya Soemon. The Ono no Komachi waka poem reads:


In this world,


Where those who live, die


And those who have died, multiply


How much longer will I,


Be around to mourn?


Fine impression. Exceptionally well preserved colour. Very good condition. On thick, deluxe hosho. Signed Utamaro hitsu.


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Kitagawa UTAMARO ( 1753-1806 )




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An extremely rare naga-oban showing the lovers Umegawa and Chubei. The courtesan Umegawa, while tying her obi, teases Kameya Chubei with the end. He reclines beneath her looking up with admiration. The couple eloped to his native village of Ninokuchi in Yamato Province. From a set of famous lovers from Joruri plays. Published by Maruya Jimpachi, c 1800. Another ( faded ) impression from the Fitzwilliam Museum is illustrated in The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro. Asano and Clark, BM, 1995, no. 335.


Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. A beautiful print. Signed Utamaro hitsu.


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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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Mishima, Province of Settsu ( or Toi ) from a set of Six Crystal ( Tama ) Rivers, Furyu mu tamagawa. The streams were noted for the purity of their water and the three girls are shown fulling cloth ( hence Toi which is the alternative name of the river and the word for beating cloth ). Published by Izumiya Ichibei, c.1803-4. This appears to be from a set – like others of Utamaro’s – that could be viewed separately or as a continuous composition. See Yoshida, Utamaro zenshu, p. 173 for another design from the set. Rare.


Fine impression and colour. Full size. One minor mark, otherwise very good condition. Signed Utamaro fude.


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