Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)


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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)


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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)


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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.


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Isoda KORYUSAI (Fl.c.1764-1788)


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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)


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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.



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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)


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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)


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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)


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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)


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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)


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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)


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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)


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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)


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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)


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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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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 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 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.

 

 

Status: Sold

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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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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.

 

Status: Sold

 

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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.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Kemu-so: Kyowa nenkan naishitsu no fuzoku, “Looking Smoky:The Appearance of a Housewife of the Kyowa Era.” From the set: Thirty-Two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. Shows a housewife fanning a smoldering fire probably intended to repel summer insects. The best design from the set.

 

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition of the first edition. The gradation and printing of the smoke is particularly accomplished. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Kitao MASANOBU (Santo KYODEN) (1761-1816)



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One double-oban design from the most sumptuous album ever produced: Yoshiwara keisei: Shin bijin awase jihitsu kagami, “A Mirror of New Yoshiwara Courtesans with Samples of Their Calligraphy.” Published by Tsutaya Juzaburo, 1784. Shows courtesans viewing calligraphic scrolls. Seven double-oban designs were published in album form, although the original intention was for a larger set. Signed on two sheets Kitao sensai Masanobu.

 

 

Fine impression. Extremely good colour. Centre fold (as always), several very small wormholes and minor marks, but otherwise in very good condition.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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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.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Fuji kaeri no yudachi, “Sudden Shower on the Way Home.” Shows a beauty hunched under an umbrella against the rain. From a set of ten prints Tosei bijin awase, “Contest of Present-day Beauties.” She is returning from the Fuji festival celebrating the annual opening of Mount Fuji to pilgrims on the first day of the sixth month. (The straw snake in the cartouche, top right, is a souvenir from the festival.) Miniature mounds representing Fuji were made in locations such as Asakusa and Komagome and could reach 39 ft. high. Published by Moritaya Hanzo, 1827. A fine design.

 

Fine impression. Very slight “turning” of the fujitive blue on the umbrella, otherwise fine colour. A later edition was published replacing the beautiful pigment on the umbrella with a coarse dark blue pigment. Fine condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kitagawa SHIKIMARO (Fl. c 1810)



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The courtesan Oi of the Ebiya smoking a pipe and admiring her reflection in a mirror. From a set Imayo onna kasen, sanjurokuban tsuzuki, “Thirty-six Modern Female Poets.” In the panel to the left is an example of her calligraphy with the names of her kamuro: Miyako and Sakuro. Her sumptuous kimono is decorated with fans – the emblem of the house of Ebiya. Probably a pupil of Tsukimaro carrying on the tradition of Utamaro. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudo), 1813.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOHIRO (1773-1828)




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An oban print with title: Ryukyujin no zu, “Pictures of People from Ryukyu.” (A chain of Japanese islands stretching southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan.) The Ryukyuans had a specific culture, one element of which was to select young boys (gakudoji) from the upper classes of the capital to be apprenticed to perform as women in dances during the processionals to Edo. These processions of feudal lords, often with elaborate retinues, were required by the Shogun and were a way of keeping the lords submissive and cash-strapped as the journeys were extremely expensive. The gakudoji are usually shown riding a white horse with an attendant holding a large umbrella (a colourful parasol in this case). Another (heavily trimmed) design from this set is in the Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. Toyohiro seems to have had a particular interest in these boys as he designed a number of other prints on this subject. Of the utmost rarity: I have not seen another print from this set in 50 years of dealing. Published by Shimizu, c. 1804.

 

 

Fine impression and colour with strong yellow ground. Possibly slightly trimmed (?), otherwise very good condition. Signed Toyohiro ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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The first sheet from one of Eizan’s most famous triptychs: Furyu yusuzumi san bijin, “Three Fashionable Beauties Cooling Off in the Evening.” Shows a teahouse waitress seated outside her establishment with silhouettes of customers showing on the shoji screen. Published by Yamadaya Shobei, c. 1814-17.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Kikugawa Eizan hitsu.

 

 

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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.

 

Status: Sold

 

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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.

 

Status: Sold

 

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