Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)




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A large original painting, full colour on silk, image size 48 x 21.75 in; 122 x 55.25 cms. A draughtsman of great dexterity with a wild, often bizzare , imagination. Loved sake, sometimes painting under its influence. At an early stage studied under Kuniyoshi, then Maemura Towa and later Kano Chinshin before becoming an independent painter at 27. Adept at highly finshed paintings but also produced a large corpus of spontaneous paintings. Shows a standing courtesan with her kamuro. An homage to Hokusai whom he obviously admired.

 

Highly finished in places but also incorporating quirky elements of Hokusai’s style. Signed Hokusai hitsu-i (“Imitating Hokusai’s brush”) Shojo Kyosai. In very good condition with old double box with an untranslatable annotation on inside of lid comparing him to Hokusai. An important new discovery.

 

Status: Available




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Kitagawa FUJIMARO (1790-1850)


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An original painting, full colour on silk, image size 35.25 x 13.5 in; 89.5 x 34.5 cms. Fujimaro was a talented late pupil of Utamaro. More than a dozen paintings are recorded by him including an example in the Portland Art Museum, acc. number 69.51. His best-known work is in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum depicting Yujyo risshi-zu and another four paintings of beauties in the four seasons is in the collection of the Ota Memorial Museum of Art, Tokyo. Shows a standing courtesan beside a vase containing peonies and cherry blossom. On her sumptuous costume are the black wheels of a hanaguruma, “flower cart.” These vehicles carried baskets with often elaborate arrangements of flowers. It seems more than coincidence that the vase is placed where the basket would have been on the cart.

 

Painted c 1820. Signed Fujimaro with seal Yozan. Newly remounted and in fine condition with new box and futo-maki (thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage).

 

Status: Available

 


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Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)



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An original painting, sumi and light colour on silk, image size 8 x 10.75 in; 20.5 x 27.5 cms. His life is not well documented but he is known to have studied under the Kano artist Yamamoto Joshunsai (? -1781) before being drawn into Mauyama Okyo’s (1735-1795) artistic circle and his style is more Shijo than anything else. His animal paintings were evidently highly valued by Okyo. He was an immediate favourite with eastern collectors because of his monkey paintings at which he excelled, although he was more versatile than literature implies and highly accomplished at drawing other animals (as here). But his images of monkeys take precedence and he is considered the pre-eminent painter, east or west, on this subject. It is alleged that he lived in the woods for three years eating fruit and nuts to study the monkeys and other animals and is also supposed to have had a cage of monkeys at the back of his house to better observe them.

 

Shows a Japanese Chin. These small dogs are supposed to have been introduced to the Japanese court from China early on but their distinctive features were developed in Japan. Signed Sosen with seals Shusho. In very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A courtesan biting on a tissue about to write a love letter from the set Ukiyoe jinsei tengankyo, “Types of the Floating World Seen Through a Physiognomist’s Glass.” The glass top right. These professionals who purported to look at people’s features and give counsel based on their countenance were called Ninsomi or simply Somi. This set of ten prints showing different female personalities have their characteristics written up above. Utamaro produced two fine sets based on this theme in 1792-4 and c 1802: Fuji ninso jupon and Bijin gomenso. The clenching of the tissue is always an indication of arousal. Published c 1830 by Moriya Jihei (Kinshindo).

 

Fine impression with blind-printing. Fine colour. Small repaired binding holes and very slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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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 Nishimuraya Yohachi (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 catalogue, 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.

 

Status: Available

 

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)



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The parading courtesan Yosooi of Matsubaya with her kamuro Tomeki and Nioi. Not listed in Brandt. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudo) 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: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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The Dragon’s Maw Mountain, Bizen Province, Bizen tatsu-no-kuchiyama from an unfinished set Shokoku meisho hyakkei, “One Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces” published by Uoya Eikichi between 1859 and 1861 (this being 1860). Shows a lone figure battling a heavy rainstorm in a steep-sided canyon.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A bust portrait of the actor Bando Hikosaburo V as Samezaya Shiroza compared to Lin Chong (from the famed Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan, “Outlaws of the Marsh”) retold by Takizawa Bakin (1767-1848) in his novel “The Water Margin: New Illustrated Edition” published in 1805. There are three groups of three prints with background motifs of Pine, Bamboo (as here) and Plum, being the symbols of longevity. He is shown with a heavily tattooed arm of plum blossom and his coat is decorated with a design of a large eagle enveloping his shoulders. Published by Hayashiya Shogoro, 1859.

 

Very fine impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Ni Konomi Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)



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An amorous couple beside a screen decorated with a large chrysanthemum. From a set of twelve prints Keisei higo, “Secret Words of a Courtesan” published c 1822-25. Although coming under the heading of shunga, each print is an abuna-e design, without any graphic detail. Shows a courtesan with her client. She turns to tie the iwata-sash which indicates she is pregnant.

 

Fine impression. Very fine colour. Fine condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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The brigand Saginoike Heikuro Masatora plunging a short sword into a giant boar. He is usually depicted battling a giant snake. Published c 1834-5 by Sanoya Kihei. Republished by Uedaya Kyujiro. Robinson S1c.17.

 

Very good impression and colour. The title label at extreme left edge trimmed and slight centre fold, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1812-1866)



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The actor Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Torii Matasuke clenching a sword between his teeth in pouring rain. From the play Kagamiyama gonichi no Iwafuji performed at the Ichimura Theatre, 3/1860. The plot centres around Lord Taga who is disloyal to his wife Lady Ume with Oryu. One of Taga’s retainers, Motome, advises him against his actions and is dismissed. Meanwhile Oryu and her husband plan to take over Taga’s domain so a plot is hatched to kill her. However, Motome’s faithful servant, Matasuke, murders Lady Ume by mistake. The design shows Matasuke just prior to his mistake. Published by Kaku-Kin (Kakumotoya Kinjiro), 1860.

 

Fine impression and colour. Some minute restored binding holes and very slight trimming on right, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Shunkosai HOKUEI (FL. 1829-1837)



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A dramatic diptych showing the actor Iwai Shijaku I as Lady Osuma shining her lantern on the actor Bando Jutaro as Sasaya Hanbei from the play Honobonoto ura no asagiri, “Daybreak Hidden on the Bay by Morning Fog.” A revenge drama performed at the Naka no Shibai, Osaka, 9/1832. Hanbei is an accomplice of the villain in the play, Karahashi Daisuke. The confrontation takes place immediately after he has murdered the fiancée of the play’s hero, Kowari Dennai, by throwing her off a cliff. He makes his escape by throwing shuriken (star-shaped throwing blades) at Osuma.

 

Very fine impression. This is a de-luxe edition of the first state “surimono-style.” The hand-stamped block cutter’s seal “surimono cut by Kasuke” bottom left of second sheet. A later edition missing seal was published by Iden. Fine colour with burnished pattern on Osuma’s costume and the poem above is written in metallic pigment. Fine condition. Signed Shunkosai Hokuei ga with seal fumoto no yuki.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1812-1866)



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A diptych showing the strong woman Oiko of Takashima. The story tells how the wrestler Saeki Urinaga spies her one day fetching water from the river. He lecherously reaches for her only to have his arm pinned down by her as she nonchalantly carries on walking. She leads him home for a wrestling match. From a set Shinsen azuma nishikie, published by Tsunashima between 1885 and 1889 (this being 1889).

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A triptych from a set of ten: Dai Nippon shiryaku zue, “Short Illustrated History of Great Japan.” Each print is in the form of an unrolled makimono. This design shows the third son of the twelfth century Emperor Keiko, Yamato Takeru no mikoto (Wo-usu). His father was constantly sending him on dangerous missions making him suspect that he wished his death. One such journey was to the Emishi in northeast Japan. On complaining about this to his high-priestess aunt, Yamatohime, she gave him the famous sword Ame no murakumo no hoken to aid him. On his arrival, the ruler of the Emishi lured him onto open grassland which he set on fire. Wo-usu used his sword to cut the grass, evade death, and start new fires to kill his enemy. Published by Kobayashi, 1880. A fine design.

 

Fine impression of first edition. Fine colour. Very slight crease bottom margin of centre sheet, otherwise fine condition. Signed Taiso Yoshitoshi.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A triptych showing the famous battle on Gojo Bridge. The story relates how Benkei only needs one more blade to add to the 999 he has wrenched from samurai attempting to cross the bridge in order to fashion an invincible weapon. He meets Ushiwaka Maru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune’s childhood name) and challenges him to a fight on the bridge. Yoshitsune is aided by Sojobo, King of the Tengu (white-bearded in the centre) and other yamabushi tengu. Benkei loses the fight and becomes Yoshitsune’s loyal retainer. Published by Enshuya Hikobei, 1847-50. Robinson T194.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. A lovely copy of this triptych. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)



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A triptych with title Taiheike Yakiyama-Goye no zue, “Picture of the Slope of Burning Mountain in the Taiheiki.” Shows the Japanese Daimyo Sato Masakiyo (Kato Kiyomasa), who was a leading general in Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea, far left, and his men encountering a monstrous serpent surrounded by bats, tengu and flying goblins on a haunted mountain. Published by Kagaya Kichibei, 1861.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. A lovely copy of this triptych. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A triptych Taira Kiyomori hi no yamai no zu, “The Fever of Taira no Kiyomori.” Kiyomori’s wife, Niidono, dreams that the King of Hell, Ema, is coming for Kiyomori for his crime of burning the Rushana Buddha. His family gather around him and pray but to no avail. He dies on the 4/2/1181. Shows Niidono and her son beside a convulsed Kiyomori. Behind are visions of hell with Ema and figures who may have been Kiyomori’s victims. Published by Akiyama Buemon, 1883.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. A lovely copy of this triptych. Signed Yoshitoshi 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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Ichiyusai HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)




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Suo Iwakuni Kintaibashi, “The Bridge of the Brocade Sash at Iwakuni in Suo Province.” From an uncompleted set: Shokoku meisho hyakkei, “One Hundred Views of the Provinces.” Published by Uoei between 1859 – 1861 (this being 1859). Shows the beautiful five-arch bridge spanning the Nishiki-gawa under heavy snow. The village of Nishikimi in the foreground. The bridge was built in 1673 using massive stone pilings because earlier bridges had been swept away. It was destroyed in 1950 due to a typhoon but rebuilt in 1953. The best print from the set and probably Hiroshige IIs finest design.

 

 

Fine impression of the first edition with mica applied. Fine colour. Minor edge discolouration, otherwise very good condition. Later editions lack the variegated cartouche and the colour-banded publisher’s seal in left margin. Signed Hiroshige ga.

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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Katsukawa SHUN’EI




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An hosoban showing Iwai Hanshiro IV in a “Shibaraku” role, probably as Akita Jonosuke Yoshikage from the play Mieiko nori no hachi no ki performed at the Kawarazaki Theatre in the 11th month, 1791. The highly stylised and dramatic Shibaraku costume gave rise to some of the best ukiyo-e designs. Originally staged by Ichikawa Danjuro I in 1697, it quickly gained popularity and was included in the kaomise celebrations at Edo theatres. Published by Harimaya Shinshichi. Ex Beres collection, sold Paris 2002, lot 39.

 

 

Fine impression, very good colour and condition. Beres seal au verso. Signed Shun’ei 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.

 

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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.

 

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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).

 

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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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