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.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Shono, haku-u, “Sudden Shower at Shono” from Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road.” The set published by Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi)/Senkakudo, c. 1833-4. Together with Kambara, one of Hiroshige’s most celebrated designs, discussed and illustrated extensively. This is the very rare first edition: The waves of bamboo beautifully graded and strong woodgrain evident on the house roofs bottom right. See Sebastian Izzard, Hiroshige, The Ukiyo-e Society of America, 1983, nos. 17a-e for illustrations and a description of the various states. Although the area had thick groves of bamboo growing along the Suzuka River, there was nowhere that exactly matches the design.

 

 

Fine impression of the first edition with subtle gradation. Seals and green a little faded, otherwise very good colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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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.

 

 

Status: Reserved

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Takahashi CHIHARU (1777-1859)




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A surimono in Yamato-e style showing Otohime and Tawara Toda on the long bridge at Seta. There are different versions of this popular legend. One has it that Otohime, the Dragon Princess, had an enemy in the form of a giant centipede that lived and poisoned Lake Biwa. It had also killed two of her sons. She begs Tawara Toda Hidesato, a famed archer, to kill it. This he does and she rewards him in the Dragon Palace with silk, a sword and armour, a temple bell, and a bag of rice. The silk and rice are to last forever, however much is used. Hence his name Tawara Toda, “Rice-bag Toda.” Probably issued for Dragon year 1832.

 

 

Fine impression, very good colour and condition. Signed Chiharu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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Volume 11 from the Manga. Front cover with original pink title slip: (Denshin kaishu) Hokusai manga juichihen, (“Transmitted from the Gods.”) “Hokusai’s Sketches, Vol. 11.” Original grey covers with burnished wave and diamond pattern. Inside front cover catalogue of newly published books; 2 pages preface and 29 numbered pages comprising 56 illustrations , 36 single page and 10 double page. 2 pages block-holders catalogue and inside back cover catalogue of newly published books. The extremely rare first edition published by Eirakuya Toshiro, Nagoya, c. 1834. The Manga was eventually completed in 15 volumes (the last two posthumously). The first 10 volumes published by Kadomaruya Jinsuke, Edo and Eirakuya Toshiro, Nagoya, 1814-1819; vols. 11 and 12 by Eirakuya only, c. 1834; vol. 13 by Eirakuya only, c. 1849; vol. 14 by Eirakuya only, c. 1850s; vol. 15 by Eirakuya only, 1878. Initially based on sketches produced on a visit to his friend and pupil Maki Bokusen in Nagoya in 1812. These sketches were collated by Bokusen and Katsushika Hoku’un and published in 1814. Other pupils collected sketches and so the set expanded. The books were enormously influential and popular, not just in Japan, but in the West and were endlessly reprinted giving rise to a plethora of late editions. In 1831, the German Phillip Franz von Siebold, reproduced images from the Manga in lithograph in his Archiv zur Beschreibung von Japon. They were also highly admired by the Impressionists, especially Manet and Bracquemond.

 

 

Fine impressions of the first edition. Some minor defects but otherwise in very good condition.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa KUNITORA (Active early 19th c.)




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An aiban yoko-e print from an extremely rare and fine set of prints published 1810s by Yamasho. Kunitora’s finest set. Hira bosetsu, “Evening Snow at Mount Hira” from a set Omi hakkei, “Eight Views of Omi.” The set employs strong Western elements with hatching and sinuous hills and houses. Four designs from the set are illustrated in The Western-Style Colour-Prints In Japan, Usaburo Toyama, 1936, nos. 180-183 (this design being 182). A wonderful design.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Oxidation on the title label. Signed Kunitora ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Ishiyakushi from an aiban set Tokaido gojusantsugi no uchi, commonly called the Gyosho Tokaido because of the cursive script on title. Shows travellers entering and leaving the village in heavy snow. Published by Ezakiya Kichibei/Yamadaya, c. 1841-2. There are variant states: later editions lack the gradation on the horizon. The first state may have a Hiroshige seal after the signature.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

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Shunchosai HOKUSHU (Active 1822-32)




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Onoe Kikugoro III as the ghost of Oiwa in Irohagana yotsuya kaidan, “Ghost Story of Yotsuya.” Performed at the Kado Theatre, 1/1826. Probably the best known Japanese ghost story and has been made into a number of films. Tamiya Iemon, a masterless samurai, murders the wife he has disfigured who comes back to haunt him until he is driven mad and subsequently killed by Oiwa’s brother. Evidently, Kikugoro’s performance was something of a sensation at the time as he gave a bravura performance playing both the ghost of Oiwa and Koheiji who were nailed on opposite sides of a panel dropped into the river. There are at least five states of this print. The first appears to be that illustrated in Roger Keyes, The Theatrical World Of Osaka Prints, Philadelphia Museum Of Art, 1973, no. 34, p. 108 with the engraver and two printers and the writing printed in silver. The example offered here appears to be a second state without the engraver and printers’ seal but with the writing still printed in silver. Other impressions with different seals and lacking the first three lines of writing and the silver are known. See The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University catalogue, Kamigata Prints in the former period: part 1, nos. 279 and 280. Also BM impression 1962,0210,0.2 which may be the last state.

 

 

Fine impression and colour with calligraphy in silver. Very good condition; full size. Signed Shunchosai Hokushu ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)




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One of the Eight Dog Heroes, Satomi Yoshizane, seated surrounded by a dragon, thunderbolts and waves. From a set Dai Nippon goketsu Suikoden, “Great Japanese Heroes of the Popular Suikoden.” The set (?) published by Shimizuya Tsuejiro, c. 1843-5.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A pheasant on a snow-covered pine. Published by Kawaguchi Shozo, c. 1830s (seal top left).

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Minimal trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Hakone, kosui, “Hakone, the Lake” from Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road.” The set published by Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi)/Senkakudo, c. 1833-4. A line of travellers – presumably the deputation of the Edo Shogunate going to Kyoto – making its way down a precipitous path on the right in this mountainous region. This is the very rare first edition: An extremely difficult design to find in early impression as the jigsaw of colours on the mountains need to be perfectly keyed to work.

 

 

Fine impression. The red a little faded, otherwise very good colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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Uba Shizu of Nabeshima praying under a waterfall from a set Zen’aku sanuroku bijin, “Thirty-six Good and Evil Beauties.” The set published by Sawamuraya Seikichi, 1876.

 

 

Very fine impression and colour with splashed gofun. Very good condition. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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A cho-oban (20 x 6.75 inches) print showing beauties fishing. The top figure has caught a crayfish. Each design interprets a haiku poem in red, top right. A set of 6 prints published by Matsui Eikichi, 1893. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight creasing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A mitate (imaginary) triptych showing, from left to right: Onoe Kikugoro III as Takehara Genpachi; Ichikawa Ebizo V as Omura Gengo; Iwai Tojaku as Fujinami. The actors surrounding a handscroll that is emitting strong bands of light. Published by Edoya Matsugoro, c. late 1830s.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Album backing and joined sheets, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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ANONYMOUS (Late 18th century)




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An Uki-e, “floating picture” painting showing an interior with a puppet performance taking place. A puppeteer manipulates a female puppet in the centre, behind him two gidayu narrators and a shamisen player. A male puppet is being held behind a screen. Ladies behind a screen at right enjoy the drama. In fact, a male individual at the back seems overcome by emotion with a hanky to his face. The architecture is represented using one-point perspective, a style which made its way to Japan in the 1740’s from the West via China. (Interestingly the artist has got the perspective wrong on the screen at right.) This genre of painting – invariably unsigned – always shows interior or semi-interior views with banquets or, as here, puppet performances. Full colour on paper, 17 x 23 in; 43.2 x 58.5 cms. Minor marks, although good condition for this kind of painting.

 

Status:  
Available

 




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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An uncut fan print with title Shinkiro no zu which has a double meaning of being the Yoshiwara in the deep sea and also a chimera or mirage. The scene enclosed in a (dreaming ?) bivalve shows visitors in a watery Yoshiwara, all with fish heads. Of the utmost rarity: This appears to be the only impression known. There are also what appear to be keying marks on three sides that have not been removed. Published by Shinagawaya Kyusuke with censor seal for 1845.

 

Very fine impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige giga hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An extremely rare chu-tanzaku, Fuyu Sumidagawa no yuki, “Winter Snow on the Sumida River.” From a set Shiki Edo meisho, “Famous Places in Edo in the Four Seasons.” A lone figure in straw cape and large hat poles a log raft down the Sumida river in heavy snow. Published by Kawasho c. 1834. There are a number of states of this design known: As here (probably the earliest) with publisher’s seal and kiwame seal; with kiwame only; and without either. There are also extremely deceiving copies of this print. Provenance: Ex Le Veel collection, sold by Ader Picard Tajan, Paris, 2nd sale, 24/10/1980, lot 114, p. 50.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing the ghosts of the Taira (Heike) warriors attempting to sink Yoshitsune’s ship off the coast of Settsu on his way to Shikoku. This is one of Kuniyoshi’s great designs – amongst the three or four best triptychs and is illustrated in numerous publications. The scene is the outcome of a great battle at Dan-no-ura where the Minamoto (Genji) clans clashed and defeated the Taira clans a few years earlier. The spirits of the drowned warriors rose up to seek revenge only to be pacified by Benkei reciting exorcisms with his rosary. Published 1849-52 by Enshuya Hikobei. Robinson T242. Rare.


Very good impression and colour although slightly mismatched blue on the first and second sheets. Very good condition. Full size. There appear to be three states of this design: The main difference being in the shape of the ghosts and lines in the waves only on the first state. In this (the second state) the ghosts lack some of the features that are on the first and a large spirit appears above the wave over the ship on the centre panel. The third state has further differences in the ghosts and lacks this figure. Also, the colour of the boat gets greyer. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


Status: Sold

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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.

 

Status: Sold

 

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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.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A lively design showing Ichikawa Danjuro VII in the role of the loyal warrior Arajishi Otokonosuke Terumitsu fighting a giant rat in the cellar beneath the women’s quarters of the Ashikaga Palace. This scene, Yukashita no Ba, is from the play Date kurabe okuni Kabuki performed at the Kawarasaki-za Theatre, 3/1829. Shortly afterwards, the rat escapes down a hole in the hanamichi pathway, only to re-emerge in a cloud of smoke as the arch-villain and master of the black arts, Nikki Danjo. Published by Eikyudo (Yamamoto Kyubei) 1829.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition on an extra large sheet of hosho. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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SESSHUNSAI (Dates unknown but active c 1800)




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An extremely rare early Osaka hosoban showing the actor Asao Tamejuro II (1779-1806) standing before a broken barricade in the role of Yamashiro Kantsubo in the play Meiboku sendai hagi. This artist and print appear to be unrecorded. Published by Houki (Honya Kichisai), c early 1800. A wonderful design. Many thanks to Hendrick Luhl for his help on this print.

 

Very good impression and colour. The fujitive background aobana, dayflower pigment, intact except for one small area affected by moisture visible au verso. Very good condition. Signed Sesshunsai ga with seal unread.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Jokei RYUKOSAI (Fl. c 1772-1816)




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The most important and influential Osaka artist of the late eighteenth century. An innovator whose style may well have influenced such artists as Shunei and Sharaku. His prints – mostly hosoban – are all of the utmost rarity. Indeed, it is thought they originally formed triptychs but, so far, no complete design has been located. The oban design offered here is even rarer, there being only two other impressions known: Illustrated in colour, pl. 13, in Kamigata Ukiyo-e Nihyaku-nen Ten, “200 Years of Kamigata Ukiyo-e,” Susumu Matsudaira, 1975; and pl. 43, p. 56, catalogue of exhibition Ukiyo-e of the Kamigata Area at the Osaka Museum of History and Yamaguchi Prefectural Hagi Uragami Museum, Kitagawa Hiroko, 2014. Shows five actors. From right to left (rear): Nakamura Kyojuro, Arashi Sangoro III, Kataoka Nizaemon VII and (front): Asao Tamejiro I, Ichikawa Danzo IV. Published c 1790 by Ki.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Small areas of contemporary hand colouring to face and costume of Tamejiro. Slight folds and small sumi mark bottom left, otherwise very good condition. Probably full size. Signed Ryukosai ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Jokei RYUKOSAI (Fl. c 1772-1816)




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The most important and influential Osaka artist of the late eighteenth century. An innovator whose style may well have influenced such artists as Shunei and Sharaku. His prints – mostly hosoban – are all of the utmost rarity. Indeed, it is thought, as here, that they originally formed triptychs but, so far, no complete design has been located. The unsigned left panel of a triptych published 1/1793 showing Onoe Shinshichi I (Fujaku) as Isshiki Yukinokami in the play Keisai yanagi sakura. The play involves the rescue of the Ashikaga Shogunate through the efforts of Yukinokami in uncovering a usurper’s plot. The hero stands in a snowy garden holding a fragment of a handscroll he has been found reading. Of the utmost rarity: Only a few impressions are known and there are two states: As here without role above and published by Osakaya Sashichi and with the calligraphy and published by Shiocho.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition.

 

Status: Sold

 

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TOGAKUSAI (Active c 1782)




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An extremely rare and early Osaka hosoban (probably unrecorded) showing the actor Kano Hinasuke I (who later became Arashi Koroku III) standing on large geta and holding an umbrella. Published by Shioki-han (Shioya Kisuke), c 1782. The poem above is signed using the actor’s hango Arashi Minshi. Only a few designs are known by this artist. Many thanks to Hendrick Luhl for his help on this print.

 

Very good impression and colour. Some wear and tear which has been skilfully restored. On very thin paper. Signed Togakusai hitsu with seal Sadakuni.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An exceptionally rare original double-sided woodblock. On one side is the key-block showing Ichikawa Danjuro VII as the strongman, “chikaramochi,” Ura no Kingo. On the other is the key-block showing Iwai Kumesaburo II as the female acrobat, “karuwazashi,” Tamamoto Kosan. The play is Fujikawabune noriai banashi performed at the Nakamura-za Theatre, 5/1826. The block measures 8.5 x 10.75 x .75 in; 21.6 x 27.3 x 2 cms. The two images signed Gototei Kunisada ga. In very good condition but with obvious minor damage. Sold “as is.”


 

Status: Sold

 




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Kubo SHUNMAN (1757-1820)




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A rare surimono showing new year festivities before a large screen depicting Mount Fuji at sunset. A versatile and highly talented artist working in various mediums, Shunman produced (and cut and printed) some of the finest surimono. Published c 1810s. I cannot, at the moment, locate another impression.

Fine impression and colour with extensive gold and silver. Fine condition. Sealed Shunman bottom right.


Fine impression and colour with silver and gold. Light backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Shokyuko Shuntei ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Totoya HOKKEI (1780-1850)




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An exceptionally rare surimono showing salt gatherers on a beach, their huts behind them and Mount Fuji towering over the horizon. Published c 1820s. I cannot, at the moment, locate another impression.


Fine impression with gold clouds and Fuji heavily blind-printed. Fine colour. Minimal soil, otherwise very good condition. Si8ned Hokkei.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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No. 7 from a set of 12 prints: Joshoku kaiko tewazagusa, showing women engaged in the sericulture (silkworm) industry. This was traditionally the domain of women. The colour scheme is red-avoiding (murasaki-e) using predominantly purple. This stage of the process shows the metamorphosis – the winged moth stage – when silkworms are used to lay eggs. This set is taken verbatim from the Shunsho/Shigemasa set of chuban prints, Kaiko yashinai-gusa. (See elsewhere on this site for a Shunsho example.) Published 1798-1800 by Tsuru-ya Kiemon.


Fine impression. Fine colour, perfectly retained. Very good condition; full size. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

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. This is number 3, Tamba, and shows men fishing at night with the aid of flares. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.


Very fine impression and colour with strong burnishing on collar. Fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty reading a program while a cat dozes beside her. 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. This is number 19. Catching octopuses, Takasago in Banshu [Harima] Province. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.


Very good impression and colour. The cat’s fur blind-printed. Light album backing, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Token Gonbei using a mirror to pluck his forehead (hitai). The style became known as Token hitai. From a set: Kuniyoshi moyo shofuda tsuki genkin otoko, “Men of Ready Money with True Labels Attached, Kuniyoshi Style.” These otokodates (a word that is difficult to translate but was a chivalrous commoner, a fashionable man-about-town, street-wise and ready to assist the oppressed). Gonbei is said to have beaten a barking token (Dutch hunting dog) to death with his bare hands – thus he got his name. Published c 1845 by Iba-ya Kyubei.


Very fine impression. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Sasai Kyuzo Masayasu (Sakai Kyuzo Narashige) enveloped in smoke and disintegrating before a volley of musketry at the battle of the Anegawa (1570). From the set Taiheiki yeiyuden, “Heroic Stories of the Taiheiki. A history of the wars of the loyalist Nitta and Kusunoki families against the Ashikaga war-lords during the second quarter of the fourteenth century. But in fact the subject of this set of fifty prints (this being 12, but not numbered) is the civil war of the late 16th century. Censorship restrictions imposed in the 1840s prevented publishers from illustrating historical subjects from the Tensho era 1573-92 onwards, so the publishers circumvented this by slightly altering the names of the historical figures. Published 1848-9 by Yamamoto-ya Heikichi. Robinson S62.36. The best design from the set.


Fine early impression. Fine colour. Slight nibbling to left edge, otherwise very good condition. Fine impression. Fine colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A poem by Onakatomi no Yoshinobu Ason from Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki, the “Hundred Poems explained by the Wet Nurse.” Published by Nishimuraya Eijudo and Iseya Eijudo c 1835/6. Although obviously intended to be a set of 100 prints, only 27 are known plus drawings for the others. The poet speaks of his love being like a fire kept by guards at the Imperial Palace: It only burns hot at night. Shows a group of sleepy imperial guards with the fire burning low. The poet and servant are seen on the distant hill.


Very fine early impression. Fine colour and condition. (The small white area without colour top left should appear on every untrimmed genuine impression.) Signed Zen Hokusai manji (the manji seal black).

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A poem by Kiyowara no Fukayabu from Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki, the “Hundred Poems explained by the Wet Nurse.” Published by Nishimuraya Eijudo and Iseya Eijudo c 1835/6. Although obviously intended to be a set of 100 prints, only 27 are known plus drawings for the others. The poet speaks of the shortness of the summer night and asks if the moon is still overhead or hidden by clouds. Shows an evening on the Sumida River with a large pleasure boat accompanied by a smaller craft and a vessel providing food.


Fine early impression. Fine colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise good condition. Signed Zen Hokusai manji (the manji seal black).

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A surimono showing the kabuki actors, top right: Ichikawa Danjuro VII holding up a war banner decorated with a sasarindo (bamboo grass and gentian), the mon of the Minamoto clan and Iwai Hanshiro V wielding a large knife in an unidentified play. The poem mentions the Iwai and Ichikawa family names. Published c 1827-30.


Fine impression and colour with blind-printing, silver and gold. Signed in gold on the blue ground Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)




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The actor Nakamura Tomijuro I in an unidentified female role holding a biwa (a lute-like musical instrument) underarm. Surprisingly not listed in The Life And Works Of Katsukawa Shunsho, Frederick William Gookin, which is the most comprehensive overview. Published c 1775/6.

Fine impression and colour. One small repaired wormhole, otherwise exceptional condition. Signed Shunsho ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)




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Akasaka kiribatake uchu sekikei, “Evening View of the Paulownia Plantation at Akasaka Under Rain.” This is the replacement design for Hiroshige I’s version Akasaka kiribatake for the Meisho Edo hyakkei, “One Hindred Views of Edo” published by Uoya Eikichi between 1856 and 1858. This design dated 1859. Presumably the blocks were damaged for the first composition. A fine design and superior to Hiroshige I’s.


Fine early impression with mica to sky. There is an extremely rare first edition of this print with an added gradation of yellow to square cartouche and gradation on the yellow fence at left and roofs at right. Otherwise, the impressions are the same. The gradation in the background is particularly fine here. Fine colour. Slight soil to margin, otherwise very good condition. Signed Nisei Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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An important two-fold screen, Yamatotakeruno mikoto at Mount Azuma. Yamatotakeru was the beautiful but fiery tempered third son of the Emperor Keikou (71B.C.-130 A.D.) He also had magical powers given to him by his aunt. His father decided to send him to the Eastern Provinces to subdue the barbarians. On the way aboard a boat, they encountered a violent storm. His wife, Ota-tachibana, threw herself in the sea to appease the Gods and drowned. Yamatotakeru continues his journey and reaches a rocky landscape. He gazes south east and in memory of his wife repeats three times “Azuma haya” (My wife, alas). Thus the mountain and area became known as Azuma. This is the scene Yoshitoshi depicts with Yamatotakeru surrounded by his entourage, gazing ahead, his long hair flowing. (He was able to pass as a woman in disguise, evidently.) Yoshitoshi had a jagged style of drawing and painting and the multitude of craggy outcrops allow him to fully indulge himself.

Full colour on silk, each panel 39.75 x 25 in; 101 x 63.5 cms. Extremely good condition. Signed Kinzaburo Yoshitoshi ga with blurred seal but reading Go Kaisai. Extremely rare.


Status: Sold




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