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: , , ,