Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)


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An original painting, sumi and light colour on silk, 11 x 18 in; 28 x 45.75 cms. Shows the sea off the Miura Peninsula in Sagami Province with Mount Fuji rising above mist in the distance. Hiroshige used the same view for one of his designs for the Thirty-six Views of Fuji set published in 1858. A beautiful painting with a signature dating it to the mid to late 1830s.

 
 

Minor creasing and old mount, otherwise good condition. Signed Hiroshige with Hiro seal.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 


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    Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)



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    A beauty standing beside a stream where wild chrysanthemums grow. A mitate-e (parody) of Kikujido, the Chrysanthemum Boy, who was the favourite of the Chinese Emperor Mu (c. 950 B.C.). However, because of court jealousy, he was banished but had his exile eased by the Emperor who gifted him the ability to read sacred Buddhist texts. He became an immortal, spending his days surrounded by chrysanthemums and inscribing words of peace on the flowers’ petals. This is the second state: The first (private edition) is a calendar print with a signature (of an amateur) Kinga Ko and seal and has the year and its cyclical signs for 1766. These Harunobu calendar prints, printed in small numbers, were commissioned by wealthy individuals between c. 1764 and 1766 and so popular that they were published commercially. Rare.

     
     

    Very good impression and colour Very minor edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Suzuki Harunobu ga.

     
     

    Status: Available

     
     

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      Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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      A geisha partly illuminated by a lantern on a boat from a set Tsuki no kage shinobiau yo, “Secret Meetings by Moonlight.” Published jointly by Izumiya ichibei (as here) and Yamamoto Kyubei, c. 1836-38.

       
       

      Very good impression and colour. Minor creasing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

       
       

      Status: Available

       
       

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        Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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        An original drawing, sumi and colour on thin paper laid onto Japanese paper. A preliminary design for a fan print, the outline indicated in red. Apparently never published. Shows a woman in the box on the left picking mulberry leaves (?), signed Ryusai. And in the box on the right a woman possibly in the process of spinning silk, signed Hiroshige. Good condition.

         
         

        Status: Available

         
         

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          Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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          Spring moon at the shore of Tsukudajima . One of a set of chu-tanzaku prints published by Shogendo, c. 1837. Tsukudajima was one of two islands at the mouth of the Sumida River. Originally a sanbar, it was reclaimed with earth and rocks and given its name by the first Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu, who invited thirty-three fishermen to live there in 1613 in order to provide fish for the rapidly expanding city of Edo. The fishermen came from Tsukudama near Osaka and it was they who became the proprietors of what would become the Tsukiji fish market. It must have been popular during the late Edo period as a place to visit and view the boats from teahouses on the shore because there are many prints depicting the area, especially under a full moon.

           
           

          Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga. n.

           
           

          Status: Available

           
           

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            Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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            Shimotsuke Nikkosan urami no taki, “Back-viewed Waterfall on Mt. Nikko in Shimotsuke [Province].” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshi meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by Koshihei between 1853 and 1856, this being 1853. Figures gaze up at the back of the waterfall which thunders over the path. It is also known with variant colour schemes. Fine design.

             
             

            Very fine impression with strong blind-printing on the fall. Fine colour and condition. Full size. Signed Hiroshige ga.

             
             

            Status: Available

             
             

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              Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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              Looking Itchy: the appearance of a kept woman of the Kaei era [1848-1854]. Shows a beauty emerging from a mosquito net that has apparently not been entirely successful. From a set Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. The set depicts women of different backgrounds and occupations from the Kansei era through to the Meiji era with punning allusions to their situation or mood.

               
               

              Very fine impression with strong blind-printing on the fall. Fine colour and condition. Full size. Signed Hiroshige ga.

               
               

              Status: Available

               
               

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                Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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                Uesugi Kenshin Nyudo Terutora. Shows Uesugi no Terutora (aka Kenshin) riding into battle through clouds of smoke against his long-standing adversary Takeda Shingen. From a set of 33 prints Yoshitoshi musha burui, “Yoshitoshi’s Courageous Warriors.” Published by Kobayashi Tetsujiro between 1883 and 1886, this being 1883. A fine design.

                 
                 

                Very fine impression of the first edition. (Which should have a three-colour cartouche; two red seals and the publisher’s address in blue in the left margin.) It was reprinted by Tsunajima Kamekichi in 1886 and there are many late printings of the set. Fine colour and condition. Full size with extra paper at left. Signed Taiso Yoshitoshi ga.

                 
                 

                Status: Available

                 
                 

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                  Utagawa KUNIYASU (1794-1832)



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                  Shows a beauty after a bath. The poem above compares her to the young green shoots of the willow tree in spring. Published by Omiya Heihachi, c. 1820.

                   
                   

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

                   
                   

                  Status: Available

                   
                   

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                    Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1798-1861)



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                    Cao Cao (Jap. Shuso) and Pang De (Jap. Hotoku) in the Han river during the battle with Guan Yu. From a set of Chinese warrior prints: Tsuzoku sangokushi eiyu no ichinin, “Heroes of the Popular History of the Three Kingdoms.” Published by Joshuya Kinzo, c. 1836. Robinson S10.8 (although only known as a key-block proof). Rare.

                     
                     

                    Superb impression. Very fine colour and condition. As the day it was printed. Signed Chooro Kuniyoshi ga.

                     
                     

                    Status: Available

                     
                     

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                      Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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                      A diptych showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Kamakura Gongoro Kagemasa in the drama Shibaraku, “Just a moment.” The large sansho (three square) motif was the symbol of the Danjuro clan and is repeated around the border. In the background are peonies, also associated with the Danjuro clan. Published by Tanaka Katsuzo, 1878.

                       
                       

                      Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Oju Toyohara Kunchika hitsu.

                       
                       

                      Status: Available

                       
                       

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                        Isoda KORYUSAI (1735-1790)



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                        A pillar print, hashira-e, of a beauty after a bath cooling herself with a fan. A cat looks up adoringly from below. Above her is a temple bell wind chime, often hung in the summer. Masanobu laid claim to have invented the pillar print format. Roger Keyes has suggested that, because many large format prints from the 1740s were printed using two blocks of wood, there was a tendency for the blocks to separate during use, giving rise to the hashira-e shape. Probably the most interesting format in that the restrictions often led to creative compositions. And figures sometimes partially exit or enter from the side, giving weight to the theory of separating blocks of wood. Certainly, these prints were hung on pillars in houses, and because of this they often come browned, faded or damaged. Koryusai was the artist par excellence when it comes to pillar prints. Rare.

                         
                         

                        Very good impression and colour. Slight toning, but in very good condition for such a print. Signed Koryusai ga.

                         
                         

                        Status: Available

                         
                         

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                          Utagawa YOSHITORA (1836-1887)



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                          A triptych showing the warrior Inukai Genpachi (the famous character from the Hakkenden) confronting a cat monster which has emanated from a horse on Mount Koshin. Other cat monsters stare in amazement. Published by Kojimaya Jubei, 1850.

                           
                           

                          Very fine impression. Fine colour. Imperceptible small binding holes, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichimosai Yoshitora ga.

                           
                           

                          Status: Available

                           
                           

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                            Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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                            A triptych from a set Bidan musha hakkei, “Eight Views of Warriors’ Fine Tales.” This design Togakushi no seiran, “Clearing Weather of the Togakushi Mountains.” Princess Sarashina, who is actually a female oni called Momji, “Maple Leaves,” having transformed herself, is seen screaming from behind a giant drum and raising a high wind scattering maple leaves against Taira no Koremori Ason who draws his sword to kill her. Published by Sanoya Tomigoro, 1868.

                             
                             

                            Extremely fine impression of the earliest state. Fine colour. Slight marks on first sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gekko Yoshitoshi hitsu.

                             
                             

                            Status: Available

                             
                             

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                              Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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                              An untitled 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 a leaping dog but leaves the background figures in silhouette. Published by Mikawaya Seimon, c. mid 1820s. A fine design.

                               
                               

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

                               
                               

                              Status: Available

                               
                               

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                                Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                A large original drawing, sumi on thin paper, 15 x 20 in; 38 x 51 cms. Shows a large group of actors in front of a theatre. Most likely two sheets for an intended triptych. There appears to be the publisher’s seal Kiya Sojuro brushed-in at the bottom who was active c 1851-1904. Provenance: Ex collection Dr. Julius Kurth (1870-1949), an eminent scholar who wrote extensively on Japanese and Chinese art. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

                                 
                                 

                                Status: Available

                                 
                                 

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                                  Nagasawa ROSETSU (1754-1799)



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                                  An original fan painting, sumi on treated paper, 17 x 6.25 in; 43 x 16 cms. Shows two needlefish (family Belonidae).Rosetsu is considered one of the most important artists of the late Edo period but little is known of his short life – he died at forty-five, apart from the fact that he studied and was one of the top disciples of Maruyama Okyo. He is labelled an “eccentric” painter as he defies easy classification. His brushwork is a tour de force and he is known for his expressive depictions of animals. Signed Rosetsu with his Gyo (fish) seal. Framed and glazed with the fan mounted onto Japanese paper. Good condition, apart from the obvious fan folds.

                                   
                                   

                                  Status: Available

                                   
                                   

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                                    Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                    The actor Onoye Kikugoro III as the ghost of Oiwa from a production of Yotsuya kaidan at the Morita Theatre, 1836. Probably the most famous Japanese ghost story. It was adapted by the playwright Tsuruya Nanboku IV for his friend Kikugoro in 1825. The left panel of a diptych (the right panel being boring and usually ignored). A scene on Snake Mountain showing Oiwa, disfigured by poison, emerging from a burning lantern to haunt her husband, Tamiya Lemon, who had murdered her father. Published by Kawaguchi-ya Chozo, 1836.

                                     
                                     

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

                                     
                                     

                                    Status: Available

                                     
                                     

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                                      ANONYMOUS (Late 18th century)



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

                                       

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                                        Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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                                        A vertical diptych showing a multitude of cranes flying up from a cresting wave to a large red sun. In fact this diptych was used by an Edo publisher as end sheets to albums – usually sets of Hiroshige landscapes. Rare: Invariably it is impossible to match the two sheets as the bottom design is always graded blue at the top. Another matching impression is illustrated pl. 143 in Four Hundred Ukiyoe Woodblock Prints From The Museum Of Art, Rhode Island School Of Design, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Collection Of Japanese Prints, 1990. Another impression is known with a large red seal at a slight angle bottom right. (This may be the first state but rather spoils the design.) Published 5/1858.

                                        Fine impression and colour. Small expertly repaired binding holes, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu with Ichiryusai seal.

                                        Status: Sold

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                                          Utagawa SADAHIDE (1807-1873)



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                                          An aizuri fan print. Shows two travellers admiring the view of the Tama River and Mt. Koya in Kii Province. Published c 1849. Sadahide produced a considerable number of fan prints and it seems to have been a speciality of his. Rare.

                                          Very good impression and colour. Minor edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Uncut. Signed Gountei Sadahide ga.

                                          Status: Sold

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                                            Utagawa SADAHIDE (1807-1873)



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                                            An aizuri fan print. Shows travellers arriving at Inba Marsh in Shimosa Province. This is now an important wetland habitat for wild birds. Published c 1849. Sadahide produced a considerable number of fan prints and it seems to have been a speciality of his. Rare.

                                            Very good impression and colour. Minor edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Uncut. Signed Gountei Sadahide ga.

                                            Status: Sold

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                                              Utagawa SADAHIDE (1807-1873)



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                                              An uncut fan print showing Otsu-e pictures. (These were cheaply and quickly produced folk images, beginning in the 17th century, sold at an important road junction at Otsu, a port on Lake Biwa. Hence the nomenclature.) Published by Ibaya Senzaburo, c 1849. . Sadahide produced a considerable number of fan prints and it seems to have been a speciality of his. Rare.

                                              Very good impression and colour. Slight edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Uncut. Signed Sadahide ga (on three of the Otsu-e).

                                              Status: Sold

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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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                                                  Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)


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                                                  An original painting, light colour on paper, 13 x 16.5 in; 33 x 42 cms. Shows a sparrow flying over a flowering plum tree. Light soil and creasing, but in generally good condition. Signed Hokusai suichu hitsu, “Hokusai painted while drunk.” Sealed Katsushika. (One of his better-known seals. He used different versions of it throughout his career.)

                                                  Status: Sold


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                                                    Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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                                                    An original fan painting, sumi on treated paper, 17.5 x 5.5 in; 44.5 x 14 cms. Shows two dogs – possibly Chin. In very good condition: As nearly always, showing the rib folds of the fan. Tipped onto gold-speckled board. Signed and sealed Yoshitoshi.

                                                    Status: Sold

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                                                      Uegaki HORYU (Fl. c 1716-1736)



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                                                      An original painting, full colour on paper, 36.5 x 15.5 in; 92.75 x 39.4 cms. Shows a full-length courtesan. It appears there are at least four other Horyu paintings known: Two in the Tokyo National Museum: C0041812 and C0041813; one in the Cleveland Museum of Art; and another in the MFA, Boston, Acc. no. 11.7482. Horyu worked in parallel (and in competition) with the Kaigetsudo atelier. Signed Nihon-e Uegaki Horyu kore o gasu with one Horyu seal; the other unread. The lid of the box is inscribed: Kaigetsudo-ha Uegaki Horyu-hitsu tayu tachi sugata, “A standing figure of a top courtesan brushed by Uegaki Horyu of the Kaigetsudo school.” And on the inside of the lid: Showa hinoto’u uzuki gekan, “Late April of the Fire Rabbit Year [Showa 62/1987].” Appraised by Kimura Suetsuke (a dealer and Ukiyo-e expert). Areas of restoration at bottom and one or two other small areas, but otherwise in very good condition for a painting of this period.

                                                      Status: Sold




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                                                        Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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                                                        The great Sanjo Bridge, Kyoto. Number 55 from the Tokaido: Gojusantsugi published by Marusei, c 1848-49. Also known as the Reisho Tokaido. Shows figures on the bridge including Oharame carrying firewood and ladies with katsugi garments. In the distance is Higashiyama and Mt. Hiei.

                                                        Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

                                                        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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                                                            Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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                                                            Shimotsuke Nikkosan urami no taki, “Back-viewed Waterfall on Mt. Nikko in Shimotsuke [Province}.” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshi meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by Koshihei between 1853 and 1856, this being 1853. Figures gaze up at the back of the waterfall which thunders over the path. It is also known with variant colour schemes. A fine design.

                                                            Very fine impression with strong blind-printing on the fall. Very fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

                                                            Status: Sold

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                                                              Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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                                                              Musashi, Sumidagawa, yuki no ashita, “Musashi [Province], Sumida River, Morning after Snow.” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshi meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by b Koshimuraya Heisuke between 1853 and 1856, this being 1853.

                                                              Very fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

                                                              Status: Sold

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                                                                Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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                                                                Tosa, kaijo katsuo tsuri, “Tosa [Province], Bonito Fishing at Sea.” Fishermen used fishing rods, rather than nets, to reduce the stress on the fish and maximise taste. Tosa, located on the southern coast of the island of Shikoku, was famous for its bonito. From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshi meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by b Koshimuraya Heisuke between 1853 and 1856, this being 1855.

                                                                Very fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. 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 surimono from a series: Fuzoku onna Suikoden hyakuhachiban no uchi, “Modern Women as the One Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Suikoden.” Shows a beauty leaning on a fulling block beside a stream. She gazes at a flowering cherry tree with a village in the distance beneath a full moon. Each design is based on one of the characters from the Suikoden; in this case Shinkigunshi Shubu (Zhu Wu), the “Resourceful Strategist.” The series was inspired by a new translation of the 12th century Chinese novel Shui huchuan, “All Men are Brothers” which relates the deeds of a group of outlaws. Commissioned by the Hisakatayaren Club for the New Dragon Year 1832. Surimono were usually issued by these poetry clubs or for specific occasions, although individuals also commissioned them. They could employ every artifice available to the printers and engravers: metal powders, mica, blind-printing and burnishing, and were printed on the best, thick hosho. They were not issued in large numbers as conventional Ukiyo-e and are usually of a smaller format. Presumably ambitiously planned as 108 prints but never completed. Rare.

                                                                    Very fine impression and colour with silver and gold. Slightly trimmed top and bottom, otherwise very god condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga with the red seal of the printer Suriko Shinzo (which is removed on some impressions).

                                                                    Status: Sold

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                                                                      ANONYMOUS



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                                                                      An unusual and rare surimono showing a matsutake, pine mushroom, and an akagai, red clam. Obvious sexual connotations due to their similarity to the human anatomy. The inscription is enigmatically signed Master In-The-Clouds or Humourously related by the Master who is relaxing and drinking while living in the clouds. With a reference to the Chinese immortal sage Yunzhongzi. Surimono were usually issued by poetry clubs or for specific occasions, although individuals also commissioned them. They could employ every artifice available to the printers and engravers: metal powders, mica, blind-printing and burnishing, and were printed on the best, thick hosho. They were not issued in large numbers as conventional Ukiyo-e and are usually of a smaller format.

                                                                      Very good impression and colour. Slight soil, otherwise very good condition.

                                                                      Status: Sold

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                                                                        Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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                                                                        A triptych showing Yamauba on the left and Kintaro about to wield a large axe to break a large Kaga mimochi, mirror rice cake. This is a traditional Shinto rite in January. January 11th is also the day the wealthy opened their storehouses to air their precious possessions (Kurabiraki). Published by Akiyama Buemon 1891.

                                                                        Very fine impression with extensive burnishing. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

                                                                        Status: Sold

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                                                                          Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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                                                                          A design from the set Azuma no nishiki ukiyo kodan, “Tales of the Floating World on Eastern Brocade.” Kodan (traditional storytelling) raconteurs narrated Japanese folk stories, sometimes accompanying themselves with wooden blocks clapped together or a fan giving rhythm. The Kodan text is shown above. Having been popular from around 1700 (and known as Koshaku), these performances gained renewed popularity in the 1850s with the classic standards augmented by contemporary stories of heroes and villains. Shows Lady Masao from Osasahara surrounded by curling snakes who force her to reveal her true identity – the Fox Spirit. Various publishers from 1867-68, here Omiya Kyojiro, 11/1867.

                                                                          Fine impression. Very good colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condtion. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

                                                                          Status: Sold

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                                                                            Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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                                                                            A design from the set Azuma no nishiki ukiyo kodan, “Tales of the Floating World on Eastern Brocade.” Kodan (traditional storytelling) raconteurs narrated Japanese folk stories, sometimes accompanying themselves with wooden blocks clapped together or a fan giving rhythm. The Kodan text is shown above. Having been popular from around 1700 (and known as Koshaku), these performances gained renewed popularity in the 1850s with the classic standards augmented by contemporary stories of heroes and villains. Shows Mukokizu Yosa stabbing Komori Yasu (Yasu the Bat); so-called because of the bat-like birthmark on his cheek. A gruesome scene with Yasu covered in blood. Various publishers from 1867-68, here Omiya Kyojiro, 11/1867.

                                                                            Fine impression. Very good colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condtion. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

                                                                            Status: Sold

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                                                                              Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



                                                                              Click here to view image full size.

                                                                              A design from the set Azuma no nishiki ukiyo kodan, “Tales of the Floating World on Eastern Brocade.” Kodan (traditional storytelling) raconteurs narrated Japanese folk stories, sometimes accompanying themselves with wooden blocks clapped together or a fan giving rhythm. The Kodan text is shown above. Having been popular from around 1700 (and known as Koshaku), these performances gained renewed popularity in the 1850s with the classic standards augmented by contemporary stories of heroes and villains. Shows Azekura Jushiro slashing Hinotama no Sangoro who is covered in blood. Various publishers from 1867-68, here Sanoya Tomigoro, 9/1867.

                                                                              Fine impression. Very good colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condtion.

                                                                              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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