Torii KIYOMASU (FL. c. 1696-1720)




 Click here to view image full size.

An overlarge oban, 19.5 x 12.25 in; 49.5 x 31 cms. Coloured by hand with tan and mustard yellow. Shows the emporium of Daikokuten, the God of wealth and one of the Seven Lucky Gods (Shichifukujin). He is shown at the top seated in front of a pair of scales. Seated before him, to the left, is Benzaiten, the Goddess of love and music. On the right is Ebisu, God of fishermen and good luck. Behind him is Fukurokuju, the God of happiness and wealth, using an abacus. On the far right is Jurojin, the God of longevity. Below him, next to the cart, is Bishamonten, the God of war and warriors. At the bottom, stepping from the boat, is Hotei, the God of happiness. All the Gods are helping, together with rats, to unload bales of rice. The earliest depictions of the Seven Gods are in the second half of the 17th century and are amalgams of Indian and Chinese lore. This early rendition still hasn’t the fully developed characteristics of the Gods – especially Hotei – which we see in the 19th century. Published by Komatsuya (who published c. 1707-1734) c. 1710-1715. Little is known of Kiyomasu’s early career. He may have been the brother of Kiyonobu. An important painter and print artist. Of the utmost rarity: probably the only impression extant.

 

Very good impression. Some expert edge restoration, otherwise very good colour and condition. Signed Torii shi with Kiyomasu seal.

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Kesai EISEN (1790-1848)




 Click here to view image full size.

An aizuri-e vertical oban diptych with touches of red and green. A response to censorship bans which were promulgated to curtail excessive extravagance. (In this case the use of multiple blocks.) The bans were extended to the theatre and other areas that the Shogunate deemed to be susceptible to degeneration. Shows a sumptuously attired courtesan. Published by Sanoya Kihei, c. 1830s.

 

Superb impression: The cutting and printed of the block for the costume is of the highest order. Very fine colour and condition. Signed Kesai Eisen ga.

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




 Click here to view image full size.

A triptych showing two beauties and a maidservant lighting their way with a lantern and carrying a shamisen box. The beam of light from the lantern illuminates the foreground figures and the leaping dog but leaves the background figures in silhouette. A lovely design. Another impression is illustrated in The Baur Collection, Matthi Forrer, 1994, volume 1, G266. Published by Mikawaya Seiemon, c. mid 1820s.

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Yashima GAKUTEI (1786?-1868)



 Click here to view image full size.

A sailing junk caught in stormy seas, driving rain, and under a threatening sky. The masterpiece from a set of six prints issued in album form with title Naniwa meisho, Tempozan shokei ichiran, “A Famous Place in Osaka, Selected Views of Mount Tempo.” Published in Osaka, 1834, by Shioya Kisuke. In the circular cartouche: Osaka Tempozan yudachi no kei, “View of a Storm at Tempozan, Osaka.”Gakutei is best known for his many surimono. He was also a kyoka poet and painter. Unfortunately he produced few landscapes. Other impressions illustrated in Michener, Japanese Prints, no. 198; Mellor sale catalogue, Sotheby, July 1963, pl. XXXI; and Grabhorn, Landscape Prints of Old Japan, pl. 30. SC I/344. One of the great 19th century landscapes.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Slight trimming at bottom and backed centre fold (as usual as it was published in folding album form), otherwise good condition. Signed Gogaku with seal Go.

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNINAO (1793-1854)




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.

A pair of original paintings: One showing a beauty being followed by her servant down a jetty into a waiting boat. He protects her with an umbrella in one hand and carries food on a tray with the other. The whole scene under heavy snow. The other painting shows a beauty composing a poem. Above a wild goose flies before a full moon. Probably originally two of three setsu-getsu-ka, “Snow, Moon, Flowers.” A theme popular with ukiyo-e artists and originally derived from China. Kuninao studied under Toyokuni and then Hokusai and is also known for many illustrated books. His paintings now rare. Each painting full colour on silk, image size 36.5 x 12.75 in; 92.5 x 32.5 cms. In excellent condition. Beautifully presented with new mounts. One painting signed Kohsoen hitsu with seal Shohzan.

 

Status: Available

 




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1826-1869)




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.

A pair of original kakejiku with two paintings on each. Possibly from the front and back cover pages of a first edition “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” set. Sumi and colour, image size of each painting 13.5 x 8.75 in; 34.25 x 22 cms. Shows top left a bowl with – possibly – turnips and a poem. Below a wicker basket and bowl with a miniature plum tree and an adonis plant (the most popular plants for the New Year). On the right, at the top are two chidori with poem and below a sake barrel and a plum branch. The bottom two paintings are signed Hiroshige with Ichiryusai seal. In fact, there is another version of the chidori painting associated with a painting of a kago and lantern illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, Hiroshige – A Poetic Ukiyo-e Artist, Fukushima Minpo, 1971, no. 16. These are also possibly from the ends of a first edition set of prints. Hiroshige and Hiroshige II were known to make these paintings, presumably for special clients. Provenance: Ex Takeoka Toyota collection (1844-1931). The box dated (Taisho 11, 1922) and guaranteed by him. He was a famous collector from the Meiji to early Showa era. Paintings and mounts in very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.

Tags: , , ,

 

Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




 Click here to view image full size.

A small original painting of an old sage (possibly the poet Saigyo Hoshi [1118-1190]) seated, holding a bamboo pole and with a large hat on his back. He looks up wistfully at a mountain range with what appears to be a hanging bridge over a gorge. Light colour on silk; predominantly the pink, brown and sumi tints he was fond of. Image size 7.5 x 5.75 in; 19 x 14.5 cms. Provenance: From the estate of Jeanne Nicole Ledoux, daughter of Jean Pierre Ledoux, who was the son of the famous ukiyo-e collector Louis V. Ledoux. Mounted as a kakemono. In good condition. Signed Hachijukyusai Manji hitsu, “Brush of old man Manji, aged eighty-nine years.” And with seal Hyaku (“Hundred”). A fan painting in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, acc. No. 11.7470, has the same seal and signature.

 

Status: Available

 




 Click here to view image full size.

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



 Click here to view image full size.

Nihonbashi no hakuu, “Light Rain on Nihon Bridge.” From a Toto meisho set of 21 designs published between c. 1832 and 1839 by Kikakudo. The set was subsequently enlarged. Shows figures crossing Nihonbashi in rain, one figure carries an umbrella with the publisher’s name. Warehouses in the background and a distant view of Fuji. A beautiful print and very difficult to find in early impression: The title cartouche had a plug inserted beside the bottom three characters of the title on the left. This damage seems to have occurred when the block was cut and over time the spigot gradually slipped out leaving an unprinted area (which is sometimes painted in). In the earliest impressions the plug is hardly visible (as here). Also, the publisher’s seal at the bottom right should be in red, later editions having it in black. There was also an early variant edition with a yellow sky.

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold, also near the right edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




 Click here to view image full size.

A complete Tokaido set of 56 prints printed four-to-a-sheet on fourteen sheets, uncut. Each sheet has an indication of where it is to be cut. Published by Aritaya Seiemon, 1845. Extremely rare complete.

 

Fine impressions and colour. Centre folds and some soil at bottom on some sheets. One sheet restored, but overall in good condition. Each design signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)



 Click here to view image full size.

The elongated figure of the famous oiran Marino Yoyoharu parading with her kamuro Ikeno Yoyoume. Above, on a banner hanging from a tree, is the name and address of the courtesan’s location in the Yoshiwara: Sumimachi, Matsubaya uchi. Published by Tsuraya Juzaburo, c. 1796, Toyokuni’s best period. This courtesan was also depicted by Eisui and Utamaro and others around this date.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming and edge soil, otherwise good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




 Click here to view image full size.

A fine original fan painting showing a woman of Ohara; a mountain village north of Kyoto. These Oharame collected brushwood and firewood in the fall to sell in Kyoto. They are often depicted and obviously caused a stir when they entered Kyoto to ply their trade. The custom has evidently been going on since the 12th century. She is shown holding a flower and sitting on her bundle of firewood.


 

Full colour on prepared paper mounted as a fan, 6.5 x 17in; 16.5 x 43.2 cms (paper area). In very good condition. Signed Kunisada ga with indistinct seals, probably Kuni Sada. A charming painting.

 

Status: Available

 




 Click here to view image full size.

Tags: , , ,

 

ANONYMOUS (Late 18th century)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 




 Click here to view image full size.

Tags: , , ,

 

Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

SESSHUNSAI (Dates unknown but active c 1800)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Jokei RYUKOSAI (Fl. c 1772-1816)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Jokei RYUKOSAI (Fl. c 1772-1816)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

TOGAKUSAI (Active c 1782)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 




 Click here to view image full size.

Tags: , , ,

 

Kubo SHUNMAN (1757-1820)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Totoya HOKKEI (1780-1850)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)




 Click here to view image full size.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




 Click here to view image full size.

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




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




here to view image full size.




here to view image full size.

Tags: , , ,

 

Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




 Click here to view image full size.

An original painting, Hokosorori zu, showing Sorori Shinzaemon (at bottom) and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598). Sororai was a sword sheath maker and otogishu to Hideyoshi (storyteller to attending provincial lords). “Sorori” means smooth and quiet, the name given to him because any sword fit his sheaths so perfectly. The episode depicted concerns Hideyoshi lamenting the fact that his face looked like a monkey. Sorori cleverly tells him that he is lucky that monkeys respect him to such a degree that they try to look like him. Hideyoshi enjoys the reply and inquires what he would like as a reward. Sorori asks him for a grain of rice to be doubled-up every day for one hundred days. After this period Hideyoshi realises his mistake and demands that Sorori change the reward.


Full colour on silk, image size 34.75 x 11.5 in; 88.2 x 29.2 cms. In very good condition. Beautiful mount. Signed Yoshitoshi with Taiso seal.


Status: Sold




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.

Tags: , , ,

 

Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




 Click here to view image full size.

The courtesan Hanaoka of the Sanomatsuya House in the Shin Yoshiwara looking out at the rain and holding a poem slip. Episode Amagoi from a Seven Komachi set: Shin Yoshiwara yugimi nana Komachi. The set based on the seven episodes in the life of the famous 9th century poetess Ono no Komachi. Published by Tsuta-ya, c 1830.


Very good impression. This is the first state with gradation in the sky and at the end of Hanaoka’s robe. Superb, unfaded colour. Fine condition; full size. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.


Status: Sold

Tags: , , ,