Ishikawa TOYONOBU (1711-1785)




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A very fine original painting, sumi and colour on paper with extensive laquer and a large emossed gold floral pattern on the bijin’s kimono; other areas in gold. Image size 35.25 x 17.75 in; 89.5 x 45 cms. Shows an elegant beauty holding up an haori to slip it over the shoulders of a seated nobleman. There is a great feeling of tenderness between the couple in this beautiful painting. In fact Toyonobu produced a print of this exact subject but showing the actors Nakamura Kiyosaburo I as Okiku and Ichimura Kamezo I as Kosuke, a pair of lovers, who were in the play Fujito nikki in 7/1751. Toyonobu must have liked the design and produced this painting but of just the protagonists. See this link in google
for the published print.

Toyonobu was a pupil of Nishimura Shigenaga and his style is also indebted to Okumura Masanobu. Produced some of the most exquisite kakemono-e, hashira-e and large obans of this period which, when they come onto the market, fetch considerable sums of money. (See, for example, Christies auction, N.Y., 18/9/2002, lot 6, ex Vever collection.) For a fine collection of his work, see The Clarence Buckingham Collection of Japanese Prints. The Primitives, 1955, A.I.C., pp. 199 – 229, nos. 1 – 58. Signed Ishikawa Shuha Toyonobu zu with seals Ishikawa uji and Toyonobu. Illustrated in colour in the exhibition catalogue of the Fuchu Art Museum, Artists of the Three Capitals-Learning About Edo Through Kyoto and Osaka, Kaneko, Nobuhisa, Oto, Yumiko, 2012, No. 67, p. 92. The cataloguing gives the play as Hiyoku no kagamon but this is most likely a dance that served as the finale. Hiyoku can mean “wings abreast” and hiyoku no tori, the “hiyoku birds” were a mythical couple who shared a single pair of wings, i.e. two lovers. In fine condition, especially given the age. Painted c. 1751.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa KUNITSUGU (1800-1861)




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An original painting, sumi and colour on silk with extensive splashed and applied gofun. Image size 29.25 x 13.25 in; 74.25 x 33.75 cms. A rare pupil of Toyokuni. Another fine painting by him is in the Minneapolis Institute of Art showing Lady Tokiwa fleeing with her children in the snow. Gift of the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, 2013.29.170. Shows an eloping (?) couple standing in heavy snow shielded by his umbrella. Signed Kunitsugu fude. Seal unread. Very good condition.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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Two volumes complete Yakusha sugao natsu no Fuji, “Portraits of Actors Compared to Fuji in the Summer.” (In other words, without white makeup.) Vol. one: Preface signed Santoan Kyozan. Frontispiece illustration showing Mt. Fuji and nine double-page illustrations of actors and their acolytes in a variety of pursuits offstage. Postscript dated Bunsei 11 (1828). Vol: two: Preface by Tsuruya Namboku IV dated 9/1827. Frontispiece illustration showing a washbowl and fan and nine double-page illustrations of actors from Edo, Kyoto and Osaka. Postscript signed Kochoro Utagawa Kunisada ga with seal Gotokan to tekichoku ko and the publishers: Tsuruya Kiemon; Yamamoto Kyubei; Eijudo (Nishimuraya Yohachi); Kansendo (Izumiya Ichibei); Kinrindo (Moriya Jihei). This fascinating book shows actors in and around their residencies. Replaced title slips and covers. Fine impressions and very good colour. Minor marks and thumbing. Rare.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)




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An hosoban showing the actor Ichimura Uzaemon IX in the role of Hanako performing the famous dance in Musume Dojoji, “The Maiden at Dojoji Temple.” Hanako is allowed to dance before the new bell at the temple only to reveal herself as the spirit of Kiyohime who killed the priest Anchin hidden beneath the first bell. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi c 1765.

 

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Torii Kiyomitsu ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)




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A chuban shunga print showing the occupant of a kago in flagrante with one of the porters, having seized the opportunity of a stop on the journey. Published late 1760s. Rare.

 

 

Very fine impression on thick hosho: The outlines raised in certain areas. Fine colour and condition.

 

 

Status: Available

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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.

 

 

Status: Available

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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.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Travellers viewing Mount Asama. Usui-toge yori Asama o miru zu, “A View of Mount Asama from Usui Pass.” From Kuniyoshi’s best landscape set. Of the utmost rarity with most extant impressions differing. This and the impression in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are similar, without the smoke coming from the cone of Asama (the most active volcano on Honshu). Other impressions are in: The British Museum, 1948, 0410, 0. 108, which has gradation up the left side of the mountain; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, JP 1424, which has gradation down from the summit; and Worcester Art Museum which is similar to the Mets, 1901. 692. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, c. 1836.

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A snow scene: Yushima Tenjin sakaue chobo, “Hilltop View, Yushima Tenjin Shrine.” The shrine is dedicated to scholars and is near Ueno Park. From the set Meisho Edo hyakkei, “One Hundred Views of Edo.” The set published by Uoya Eikichi 1856-58 (this being 1856). The set comprises 118 prints by Hiroshige and another by Hiroshige II. However, three prints are dated 10/1858, the month following Hiroshige’s death, and these are thought to be by Hiroshige II as well. They are: Ueno Yamashita, Ichigaya Hachiman and Bikunibashi.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A snow scene: Fukagawa kiba, “Fukagawa Timber Yards.” The yards date back and are the result of the Meireki fire of 1657. Large amounts of wood was required for expanding Edo and the wood yards were moved to this area of swampland east of the Sumida River. From the set Meisho Edo hyakkei, “One Hundred Views of Edo.” The set published by Uoya Eikichi 1856-58 (this being 1856). The set comprises 118 prints by Hiroshige and another by Hiroshige II. However, three prints are dated 10/1858, the month following Hiroshige’s death, and these are thought to be by Hiroshige II as well. They are: Ueno Yamashita, Ichigaya Hachiman and Bikunibashi.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Koganeibashi no sekisho, “Evening Glow at Koganei Bridge.” From a fine and rare early set Edo kinko hakkei, ”Eight Views in the Environs of Edo.” This area was famous for its cherry trees and visitors are seen cherry viewing. It is also where the Tamagawa-josui was made to draw water from the Tama River into Edo. This set was first published privately for the Taihaido Poetry Club by the publisher Sanoya Kihei (Kikakudo) c 1837-8. (Similar to Hiroshige’s first set of fish prints.) For obvious reasons examples of these prints are of the utmost rarity. An entire set is in the Baur Collection, Matthi Forrer, 1994, nos. G492 – G499, this being G495. They have the copyright owner’s name in the left border, Taihaido Nomimasu, who was the head of the poetry club. They also have three poems on each design. The commercial edition, as here, has one or two poems and loses the Taihaido name. (Again, similar to the fish series.) These prints, initially not intended for commercial consumption, are more refined with a greater degree of care taken with the cutting of the blocks. Contrary to later sets, figures are small, pigments are subdued and large foreground objects are not in evidence yet. One of Hiroshige’s finest sets. Rare.

 

 

Very fine impression. Fine colour. Small edge nibble on top border and minimal edge soil, otherwise fine condition with large margins. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Reserved

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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Shows the actor Onoe Shoroku I as Osakabehime, Princess Osakabe, a phantom who haunted the battlements of Himeji Castle. The character appeared in the play Matazoro Shoroku Osakabe banashi performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre from 22/5/1814. But this is probably a shini-e published the following year as it bears the information that Shoroku was 71 when he died (10/1815). Shoroku was renowned for his ghost roles. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei who also published an impressive Kunisada vertical diptych of the same subject in 1814.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The death of the Daimyo Imagawa Yoshimoto (1519-60) by Oda Nobunaga during the battle of Okehazama which was fought at night during an intense downpour and was the culmination of the feud between the Imagawa and Oda clans. The battlefield is now a park and a national historical site. The best design from a set Yobu hakkei, “Military Brilliance of the Eight Views.” Each print relates to the famous Eight Views theme, in this case Narumi yau, “Night Rain at Narumi.” Published by Enshuya Hikobei, 1852.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size with extra paper left and top, which is unusual as these prints are normally trimmed from albums. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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“Flood” from a series Seiu kandankei, “A Barometer of Emotions.” Shows Nakamura Shikan III as Abe Bungo no Kami riding his horse through waves. Published by Okura Magobei 1876-77 (this being 1876). A rare set with some striking designs comparing actors in theatrical roles with meteorological phenomena.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise fine condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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A vertical diptych Seigen daraku no zu showing the priest Seigen of the Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto and the beautiful Sakura-hime (Princess Sakura). Several versions of the story exist. In one, Sakura-hime is Seigen’s long-deceased lover reincarnated as a young priest called Shiragiku. In another, Shiragiku is the dead lover reborn as Sakura-hime. The main thrust of the tale is that Seigen’s lust gets the better of him resulting in his removal from the temple. It was the basis of the play Sakura Hime azuma bunsho premiered 3/1817. This is the rare first state of the first edition published by Matsui Eikichi, 1889. It was republished by Hasegawa Tsunejiro in 1889 with the publisher and date in left border and on most impressions a seal at top left reading “Reproduction not allowed.”

 

 

Very fine impression with hand-applied colour to the eyes, teeth and nails with gum overlay to eyes on Seigen. Fine colour. Minor edge wear to right, otherwise fine condition. Ample room for joining. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

 

Status: Available

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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A triptych showing courtesans enjoying themselves on a balcony overlooking Tokyo bay. Furyu minami eki shiohi, “Fashionable South Station at Ebb Tide.” In fact, clam digging at low tide which can be seen in the background. This is a play on words as clams had erotic connotations. Shiohigari, “clam gathering” season is March to June with the peak coinciding with Golden Week at the end of April beginning of May. Published by Maruya Jinpachi, c. late 1810s.

 

 

Very fine impression and colour. Impeccable condition. Signed Kikugawa Eizan hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa YOSHIYUKI (Active 1848-1864)




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A triptych showing one of the great combats of the Gempei wars during the battle of Ichi-no-Tani to the west of Kobe in 1184. In the centre the Taira leader Satsuma no Kami Tadanori holds down the Minamoto Okabe Rokuyata Tadazumi. On the left Gennai Saemon Hidekata and on the right Adachi Saburo Munetaka. Tadanori was a renowned warrior and distinguished poet. Published by To c. 1848.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichireisai Yoshiyuki 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.

 

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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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