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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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Niai-so: Koka nenkan kuruwa no geisha fuzoku, “Looking Suitable: The Appearance of a Brothel Geisha of the Koka Era [1844-1848].” From the set Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. Shows the beauty dressed as a fashionable young man.

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Very fine colour with blind-printing and burnishing. Gold (brass-powder) applied to the peacock design on the costume. This particular design from the set is notorious for having the brass degrade the paper and these areas fall out as well as offsetting onto the opposite print in album sets. Very fine condition. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)



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A fanciful version of the Yoshino River scene in Act III from the play Imoseyama onna teikin, “The Teachings for Women.” Two families own estates on opposite sides of the Yoshino River. The son of one, Koganosuke, falls in love with the daughter, Hinadori, of the other oblivious of the fact that the two families are bitter enemies. The couple rather commit suicide than be separated. In fact, the play was performed at the Kawarasaki-za Theatre, 7/1801, although this does not depict the actual performance. Interestingly, the publisher’s seal is omitted which is exactly the same as two other impressions in MFA, Boston, acc. no 21.7783-5 and the Salt and Tobacco Museum in Japan.

 

Very good impression. Extremely good colour. Very good condition. Signed Toyokuni 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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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1864)




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A triptych with title: Furyu nuno zarashi, “Elegant Drying Clothes.” Shows six beauties washing, pounding and fulling cloth in one of the Crystal rivers. A connotation to draw from the six figures would seem to indicate the Six Tama Rivers – a popular subject in Ukiyo-e. The public seemed particularly curious about these beauties who washed clothing in streams, as well as the women and girls, oharame, who went into Kyoto to sell firewood and charcoal, also awabi divers. Nunozarashi was also the name of a dance that involved streamers of cloth being swirled around. There was a history of painting the Tamagawa rivers going back to at least the mid 17th century, and it was also a popular subject for poets. These “crystal” rivers or streams were indeed clear and unpolluted at this time and there would have been an abundance of fish as well. Published by Izumiya Ichibei, c.1811-18. Rare.

 

 

Superb impression, colour and condition. On heavy de-luxe hosho. Signed Kikugawa Eizan hitsu.

 

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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A scene in the licensed quarter: Tora no koku, “Hour of the Tiger [4am]” from a set Seiro juni toki tsuzuki, “Series: The Twelve Hours in Yoshiwara.” Shows two courtesans chatting and seated before a brazier. Until 1873, the day was divided into twelve equal intervals (of 120 minutes), so ushi no tora was from 3am to 5am. Published by Tsutaya Juzaburo, c. 1794. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression. Very good colour; yellow ground. Loss of brass filings, otherwise very good condition. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

 

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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)


Keisai-EISEN-1790-to-1848-beauties14

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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.

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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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Nishikawa SUKENOBU (1671-1751)



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A client taking leave from his paramour, her assistant stands back holding small presents. Sukenobu was born, lived and died in Kyoto. Apart from some paintings and prints, his extensive output was in the form of illustrated books, and albums. The example here is from one of these albums. Always in sumi, without colour.

 

 

Very good impression. Some expertly repaired wormage and centre fold (as usual).

 

 

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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Isoda KORYUSAI (1735-1790)



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The courtesan Matsunoi of the Matsubaya with her kamuro. From a large series Hinagata wakana no hatsu moyo, “Models for Fashion: New Year Designs as Fresh as Young Leaves.” Published by Eijudo and Juzaburo in the late 1770s. This set is the largest known bijin series (140 prints being known). However, the quality is consistent throughout. One of the great sets.

 

Fine impression with excellent colour. Minor soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Buko Yagenbori inshi, Koryu ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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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.

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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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.

Status: Sold

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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.

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYONAGA (1752-1815)



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One of the great Ukiyo-e artists exemplifying what is called the classical school. He was a pupil of Kiyomitsu and was adopted by the Torii family, inheritating the estate, and was the last major member of the Torii School. From a set Jittai e-fuzoku, “Ten Forms of Manners in Pictures.”A fine design showing a standing beauty looking down at another girl who is raising herself from a futon. The grey back of a screen daringly cuts the design in two. Published by Takasu Soshichi, c. 1794. Provenance: Ex Vever collection (seal bottom right), sold Sothebys, Vever sale, Part 1, 26/3/1974, lot 165. This actual impression illustrated in the seminal Kiyonaga, Chie Hirano, MFA Boston, no. 969, pl. LXI. Another unidentified collector’s seal au verso. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour with yellow ground. Some expert restoration around edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kiyonaga ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)

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An aiban showing a mother and daughter from a set Tosei fuzoku hakkei, “Eight Views of Manners of Today.” This design probably referring to Mother’s Day. Another from the set is illustrated in Ukiyoe Zuten, no. 13, Utamaro, Kiyoshi Shibui, p. 107. Published by Izumiya Ichibei, c 1803.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Minor mark au verso at top, otherwise fine condition. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

 

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Kitagawa KIKUMARO (c. 1753-1830)



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A bust portrait of the courtesan Agemaki of the Miuraya House compared to the poet Fun’ya no Yasuhide, one of the Six Immortal Poets (and shown in the roundel above). Obviously a set of six prints published by Maruya Bun’emon. It can be dated to 1802-4 because the character for kiku was changed from reading “chrysanthemum” (before 1802) to meaning “joy eternal” from 1802 to 1804 when he changed his signature to Tsukimaro. Yasuhide’s famous poem (no 22 in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu) about the autumn wind blowing the leaves and grasses is at the top.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Kikumaro fude.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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An aiban showing an elegant couple holding falcons. Takagari, Japanese falconry, is said – as so much else in Japan – to have come from China around the 4th century. A symbol of nobility and a status symbol. Published C 1803.

 

 

Fine impression with excellent colour. Minor mark extreme bottom right, otherwise fine condition. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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A stone lantern strongly illuminating a beauty reading a missive from a set Tsuki no kage shinobiau yoru, “Secret Meetings by Moonlight.” Published by Yamamotoya Heikichi c. 1836-38 and is based on strong light sources shining on beauties. This chiaroscuro technique was pioneered by Shumman and used by Utamaro and Toyokuni I.

 

Fine impression and colour. Small wormhole at right edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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A woman putting out a floor lamp from a set Tsuki no kage shinobiau yoru, “Secret Meetings by Moonlight.” Published by Yamamotoya Heikichi c. 1836-38 and is based on strong light sources shining on beauties. This chiaroscuro technique was pioneered by Shumman and used by Utamaro and Toyokuni I.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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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.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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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.

Status: Sold

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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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Katsukawa SHUNCHO (Active 1780-1795)



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A chuban print from a set of five designs: Imoseyama gomai tsuzuki, “Imoseyama, a Set of Five Prints.” Shows two court beauties and an attendant. Based on the Bunraku play Imoseyama onna teikin, “Husband and Wife Mountain: An Exemplary Tale of Womanly Virtue” which was performed for the first time in 1771. It was then adapted for the Kabuki theatre. The play is in five acts.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa SADAHIDE (1807-1873)




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A triptych, Shin Yoshiwara karitaku no zu, “Temporary Lodgings of the New Yoshiwara.” Shows the courtesans Shiratama, Masanagi, and Tamakazura of the Tamaya House before a latticed window overlooking the Ryogoku River. The Tamaya was one of the best known brothels. Their kamuro are listed beside their names. Published c. 1843-7 by Yamaguchiya Tobei. Rare: I cannot locate another impression.

 

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition.Signed Gountei Sadahide ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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