Isoda KORYUSAI (FL c 1764-1788)




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A superb original painting, full colour on silk, showing a beauty running in a late snowfall. Cherry blossom above. A leading artist of his time who produced some of the best bijin and kacho prints of the 1770s before concentrating on painting. Image size 40.25 x 14.25 in; 102.5 x 36 cm. Good condition. Painted c 1778. Signed Koryusai ga with seal Masakatsu, no in.

 

Status: Sold

 




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Utagawa KUNINAO (1793-1854)




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An original painting showing a sumptuously attired parading courtesan. Kuninao was a pupil of Toyokuni, then a follower of Hokusai. Above is a lengthy inscription on the Yoshiwara by Shikitei Sanba ( 1776-1822 ). Together with Santo Kyoden, a professional writer of gesaku fiction. Famous for one of the best known works of the late Edo period; Ukiyoburo or “Bathhouse of the Floating World” ( 1809 ). Full colour on silk, 33.25 x 12.25 in; 84.5 x 31 cms. Slight browning, otherwise good condition. Old mount in good condition. Painting signed Utagawa Kuninao with Utagawa seal. Inscription signed and sealed Shikitei Sanba with date Bunka 9 ( 1812 ).


Status: Sold




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Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)




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A large original painting of one hundred monkeys. Sumi and light red on silk. Image size 57.5 x 32.25 in; 146 x 82 cms. The monkeys – some being white – are painted with great finesse and are shown perched on and scrambling over a large peach tree. Others are seated on rocky ledges around the tree in a mountainous landscape with a waterfall top left. Sosen is considered the best painter of monkeys in Japan, although he also depicted other animals. He is supposed to have lived for a while in the woods to better observe the monkeys. There are many copies of his work. Sosen produced several other one hundred monkey paintings and they are his masterpieces.

 

In very good condition. Signed Sosen utsusu with seal Morizo. A superb painting and extremely rare.

 

Status: Sold

 




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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An original painted fan showing the actor Danjuro VIII. The fan has been used and dismounted from the frame and laid onto Japanese paper, hence the rib marks. Signed Toyokuni fude with red toshidama seal. Painted c 1858. Sold “as is.” Extremely rare.


Status: Sold




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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)




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A fine painting showing Oishi Yoshio (Kuranosuke) with his fellow servants cavorting in a Bon-Odori dance behind him. The famous Chushingura story relates how Yoshio, the principle retainer and counsellor of Asano Takumi no Kami (Yenya), and his colleagues became ronin to avenge the death of their insulted master by eventually decapitating Kotsuke no Suke (Moronao). Kyosai shows Yoshio trying to mislead anyone who thinks they are planning such a revenge by holding a party. Full colour on silk. Image size 46 x 16 in; 116.8 x 40.7 cms. Exceptional condition. Signed Seisei Kyosai ga with seals Joku Kyosai and Kyosai. The former seal is on the fine painting showing Ushiwaka-maru playing the flute for Princess Joruri which is in the Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art and dated to c 1888.

 

Status: Sold

 




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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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An original painting showing what is probably the most famous encounter in Japanese mythology: The scene is evening on Gojo Bridge in Kyoto where the twenty year old Benkei ambushes samurai to steal their swords. He is shown approaching the flute-playing Yoshitsune. A fight ensues which Yoshitsune wins due to his leaping ability taught to him by the mountain tengu. Yoshitsune pardons Benkei and they become loyal friends. This painting, in shades of sumi, beautifully evokes the crepuscular gloom. On silk, 7 x 9.5 in; 17.75 x 24.1 cms. Painted c late 1870s. Signed Yoshitoshi with Taiso seal.


Status: Sold




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Tsukioka SETTEI (1710-1786)




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An interesting large painting, full colour on paper mounted on a wooden frame, 25.5 in; 62cms in diameter showing a bust portrait of a beauty with elaborate coiffure and a white mouse. Although not signed, the attribution is unquestionable, painted between 1767-1773 in Osaka. It appears to have been commissioned to hang in a hairdresser’s or cosmetic shop and has metal eyes at the top. The oxidised silver leaf background was meant to resemble a mirror and the idea of busts reflected in mirrors and silver grounds was later employed by Utamaro and Sharaku. Besides silver, gum and raised painting is applied. Such signboards appear in an illustrated book by Hasegawa Mitsunobu published in Osaka in 1752. This new discovery has been written about by Dr. Yamamoto Yukari in vol.27 of Minzoku Geijutsu (Ethno-Arts) in 2011. Minor surface marks all over but astonishingly good condition given their age and use. Extremely rare.


Status: Sold




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Utagawa YOSHIHIDE (1832-1902)




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A painting in full colour on silk, 33.75 x 14.4 in; 85.6 x 36.6 cms. Shows a beauty after a bath looking down at her mirror. Yoshihide was a pupil of Kuniyoshi. In extremely good condition. Signed and sealed Sesso. Inscription guarantee on inside of box: “Late February in the 56th Year of the Showa era (1981).” Appraised, signed and sealed by Mr Tosuke Kimura.


Status: Sold




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Tsukioka SETTEI (1710-1786)




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An interesting large painting, full colour on paper mounted on a wooden frame, 25.5 in; 62cms in diameter showing a bust portrait of a beauty with elaborate coiffure hanging paper acrobats. Although not signed, the attribution is unquestionable, painted between 1767-1773 in Osaka. It appears to have been commissioned to hang in a hairdresser’s or cosmetic shop and has metal eyes at the top. The oxidised silver leaf background was meant to resemble a mirror and the idea of busts reflected in mirrors and silver grounds was later employed by Utamaro and Sharaku. Besides silver, gum and raised painting is applied. Such signboards appear in an illustrated book by Hasegawa Mitsunobu published in Osaka in 1752. This new discovery has been written about by Dr. Yamamoto Yukari in vol.27 of Minzoku Geijutsu (Ethno-Arts) in 2011. Minor surface marks all over but astonishingly good condition given their age and use. Extremely rare.


Status: Sold




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE ( 1797-1858 )




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An original painting of the Sumida riverbank at Mimeguri, Toto ( Edo ). A full moon rises above a tori and is reflected in the river. Possibly originally from a makemono. Sumi and light colour on paper, 7.9 x 21.9 in; 20 x 55.5 cms. Sealed with a Ryusai seal used in his later years.



Status: Sold




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Tsukioka SETTEI ( 1710-1786 )




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An original painting showing a beauty sitting on an engawa having picked flowers which she is placing in a wooden bucket beside her. Settei produced many illustrated books but after around 1765 turned towards painting beauties, courtesans and geishas. They are of the utmost refinement – the faces and limbs picked out in red, their costumes often having areas of gold, and invariably have the wide lantern-locks ( toro-bin ) hairstyle. Settei also excelled at shunga painting. Sumi and full colour with details picked out in gold on silk. 30.75 x 11.5 in; 78.1 x 29.2 cms. Minor creasing but otherwise very good condition. An elaborately embroidered mount. Painted c 1770. Signed Tsukioka Settei with seals Shinten’o and Tsukioka shi.



Status: Sold




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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI ( 1839-1892 )




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An original painting showing Fukurokugu – the God of Happiness, Wealth and Longevity and one of the Seven Gods of Good Luck, Shichi-fuku-ji, teasing a cat with the tassle on his fan.  The Seven Gods theme  comes from China, and possibly India as well, apart from Ebisu. Sumi on paper. Light creasing and rubbing at top otherwise good condition. Image size  47.75 x 22.5 in; 121.5 x 57 cms. Painted c 1880s.


Signed Yoshitoshi with seals Taiso Yoshitoshi.


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Katsushika HOKUSAI ( 1760-1849 )




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Hotei with a karako puppet doll. Hotei, the God of abundance and good health, was one of the Seven Gods of Good Luck. The concept originated in India ( except Ebisu ) and came to Japan via China. He is usually shown as a shaven-headed priest in loose Chinese garments, holding a fan and reclining against a large bag. He is often surrounded by children trying to discover what is in the bag. Karako is a Chinese child who is usually depicted with a partly shaven head. These “treasures” were auspicious symbols of prosperity. Sumi and light colour on paper, image size 20.75 in x 13.5 in; 52.6 cms x 34.4 cms. The calligraphy is by Shotochinjin. Signed Gakyo Rojin Manji yowai hachi-go, “From the brush of Manji, old man mad with painting, aged eighty-five. With Katsushika seal. Exhibited in Masterpieces of Paintings by Hokusai School at the Itabashi Art Museum, 2008. . New mount and box with a futo-maki ( a thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage ). In fine condition.


Status: Sold




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Kitagawa SHIKIMARO ( active c 1810 )




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An original painting, full colour on silk, image size 37.75 in x 15 in; 96 cms x 38 cms.
This pupil of Kitagawa Tsukimaro is known for his prints of full length beauties. Paintings by him are extremely rare and this is possibly the finest example. Shows a Kagi-zu, a geisha who entertained by playing the shamisen. Her attendant is seen behind her holding the three-stringed instrument. The shamisen came originally from China via Okinawa and underwent certain changes. It was adopted by the geisha culture in 1750 and took a number of years to master. New mount and box with a futo-maki ( a thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage ). In fine condition. An exceptional painting – especially the rendering of the acolyte’s face. Signed Toto ( Eastern Capital ) Shikimaro ga with red kakihan.


Status: Sold




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A fine original Hiroshige painting showing ayu or ai, river trout, swimming in a stream or lake. The rocky bank overhangs and is reflected in the water. The ayu ( Plecoglossus altivelis ), or Japanese sweet fish, is synonymous with Gunma Prefecture. Although Hiroshige made other paintings of ayu, this is a rare subject. Also the subject of the best print from the first fish series published by Eijudo c 1832-4. Sumi and light colour on the ubiquitous grey silk Hiroshige liked to use, 15.25 x 21 in; 38.75 x 53.25 cms. Signed Hiroshige ga with Ichiryusai seal.


Status: Sold




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An important and fine original Hiroshige painting showing a view of Mount Fuji from Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture. Minimalist and very subtle, this is one of the best Hiroshige paintings I have had. The near trees float above bands of mist and clouds hang at the base of Fuji. This is the same view that he used for the design Kazusa Kuroto no ura from the Thirty-Six Views of Fuji published 1858. There is also a drawing in a Hiroshige sketch book in the British Museum. Sumi and very light colour on paper, 49 x 17.75 in; 124.5 x 45 cms. Newly remounted and in fine condition. New box and futo-maki ( thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage ). Signed: Kamiusa Kurotonoura no zu Hiroshige ga with Ichiryusai seal.


Status: Sold




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Katsushika HOKUGA (Fl. c 1820s to 1830)




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An original fan painting showing a seated beauty holding a fan. Full colour on mica- covered paper. 6.5 x 18.5 in; 16.5 x 47 cms. Hokuga was a pupil of Hokusai and produced paintings and surimono. Good condition. Laid onto Japanese paper. Signed Hokuga hitsu.


Status: Sold

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Katsukawa SHUNCHO (Fl. c 1780-1801)




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An original painting showing a standing beauty inserting a hairpin. An important print artist who produced many fine diptychs and triptychs. Paintings by him are rare. Studied under Shunsho, then Kiyonaga and Shumman. Full colour on silk, 30.75 x 10.5 in; 78 x 26.5 cms. Signed Shien Shuncho with unread seals.



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Katsushika HOKUGA (Fl. c 1820s to 1830)




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A fine original painting showing a beauty on the snow-covered dock used by boats to the Yoshiwara. Hokuga was a pupil of Hokusai and produced paintings and surimono. Full colour on silk, 37.5 x 11.25 in; 92.75 x 28.5 cms. Two repaired wormholes, otherwise very good condition. Box with title “Beauty Standing on Dock” with painting guaranteed on the underside of lid by Narasaki Muneshige. Illustrated in Ukiyo-e Paintings in Japanese Collections, vol. 7: the Manno Art Museum, edited by Kobayashi Tadashi. The inscription above is by Ota Nampo – Shokusanjin ( 1749-1823 ). Signed Karyosai Hokuga fude.


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Gessai GABIMARU (Fl. c 1810)




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A beautiful painting of a parading courtesan. A follower of Chobunsai Eishi in the Bunka period. There are works by him signed Chobunsai, so he may have been related to Eishi. Full colour on silk, 29.5 x 5.75 in; 75 x 14.5 cms. Painting in good condition. Mount is old and the painting should either be framed or remounted. Signed Gessai Gabimaru ga.


Status: Sold




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Shiokawa BUNRIN et al




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A fine Kyoto gassaku painting. ( A collaborative work by a group of friends. ) Shows a lobster by Shiokawa Bunrin ( 1808-1877 ), a pupil of Toyohiko; clams by Hasegawa Gyokuho ( 1822-1879 ) a pupil of Keibun; a sea bream by Yokoyama Seiki ( 1792-1864 ) a pupil of Keibun; and a stingray by Murase Soseki ( 1822-1877 ), a pupil of Keibun and Seiki. Four masters of the Shijo school. A large painting in full colour on silk in very good condition, 52.5 x 27.5 in; 133.5 x 70 cms. Mount in very good condition.


Status: Sold




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A large and important painting showing a view of the Sumida River through the piles of the Ryogoku Bridge. In the distance the ofunagura, “boat houses,” boats on the river and the Shogun’s official horses – goyouba – being taken out by samurai to the shoal outside the ofunagura-mae, the Shogun’s dock, to be cooled off. This masterpiece appears to be from a series of views of the Sumida as there is another – a view of Mimeguri, Sumida river bank in snow – in the Bato Hiroshige Museum of Art. The size, signature and seal is the same. Sumi and light colour on paper, 21.25 in; 54 cms. x 37 in; 94 cms. In very good condition. Old mount and box. Signed Hiroshige ga with Ichiryusai seal.


Status: Sold




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Kono BAIREI (1844-1895)




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A fine painter of kacho-ga and landscapes. Born and lived in Kyoto. Studied under Raisho and Bunrin. Especially well known for his teaching: In 1878 he began to work towards the establishment of an art school that opened in 1880 as the Kyoto Prefectural School of Painting. Contributed to numerous books from Bairei hyakucho gafu, 1881 to Bairei kacho gafu, 1881, Bairei hyakucho gafu zoku hen, 1884, Bairei gafu, 1886 et al. Shows a shoal of red sea bream, Pagrus major, and an octopus. Full colour on silk, 42.75 in; 108.5 cms. x 14 in; 35.5 cms. Probably original mount. Several small insect marks, otherwise very good condition. Signed Bairei with seals Naotoyo and Bairei.


Status: Sold




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Taki KATEI (1830-1904)




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A fine and decorative painted silk folding hand-fan by the Meiji artist Taki Katei. He lived in Tokyo and studied painting under Araki Kankai; also studied Chinese painting in Nagasaki. A fine kacho-ga painter. He contributed a lot to the medium of books and was the principle artist on three gafu: Kokotan gato, 1883; Kacho gafu, 1883 and Tanjo ippan, 1887. Shows a Japanese lobster, sea bream and shells with various flowers on one side and a hydrangea in a Chinese basket with various lilies on the other. The fan is in very good condition; the silk flecked with gold; the ribs are bamboo, the exterior decorated with floral designs in raised lacquer. The fan is contained within what is probably the original brocade case and has the original tassles. Fully open the fan measures 20.5 in; 52 cms. across and 11.25 in; 8.5 cms. in height. Fully signed and sealed on both sides Katei Taki.


Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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An important original painting showing a taro plant and balloon flowers. This statuesque plant is known as the village potato in Japan ( satoimo ) for its edible corms and “elephant ears” when grown ornamentally. Above is a poem by Ota Shokusanjin ( Ota Nampo ), a famous late Edo period poet and writer. The poem reads:


Aki chikoo saitsuru hanano koikaze ni


Kaburiwo fureru imoha arashina


Shokusanjin



Interestingly, Shokusanjin’s calligraphy is often at a slant. Why this should be I cannot say. The taro appears in other Hokusai paintings and there is another close version of this painting illustrated in the Special Exhibition, Hokusai, Nagoya City Museum, 1991.10.26 – 1991.11.24, no. 210. Hokusai often duplicated subjects as he was near to destitution many times. The painting employs the tarashi- komi – Rimpa technique of colours dripped or brushed into wet ink. Sumi and light colour on silk, 42.5 in; 108 cms x 11 in; 28 cms. Newly remounted and in fine condition with new box and futo-maki ( thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage ). Signed Iitsu hitsu with seal Iitsu. Sold together with what is probably the original box.


Status: Sold




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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)




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A fine original painting by one of the best known Ukiyo-e artists. This high ranking individual produced some of the most refined prints during the late 1780s and the 1790s. He had many pupils including Eisho, Eiri and Eisui. Shows a standing beauty painted c. late 1790s. One hand adjusts a hairpin, while the other holds a partly concealed letter. Image size 35.25 x 13 in; 89.5 x 33 cms. Exquisitely painted in full colour on silk. In very good condition with futo-maki ( thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage ) and fine new mount and box. Signed Chobunsai Eishi hitsu with Eishi seal.


Status: Sold




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)




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A free-style painting showing a basket with vegetables and a kasago, spotted rock fish or scorpion fish ( Sebasticus marmoratus ); a Japanese half-beak or snipe fish ( Hemirhamphus sayori ); shiba-ebi, shrimp, and a fugu or pufferfish ( Sphoeroides ). Hiroshige II ( Shigenobu ) was the adopted son of Hiroshige. On his death he married his daughter. Full colour on paper, image size 14 x 23 in ; 35.5 x 58.5 cms, c early1860s. Very good condition. Mounted and with box. Signed Hiroshige with Ichiryusai seal.


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Suzuki SHONEN (1849-1918)




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A large painting for the year of the Dragon 1880 ( Meiji 13 ). Suzuki Shonen was a major Kyoto-based Nihonga artist of the late Meiji period. The son of Suzuki Hyakunen, the founder of the Suzuki school of painting, whom he succeeded. He seems to have been a somewhat flamboyant character and was known as the “modern Soga Shohaku.” Shows the Dragon of the Storm descending above turbulent water. A mythological creature that dominated Chinese and Japanese art. It was a scaly four-legged serpent with dorsal spines, the head having two horns, long feelers, and flame-like streamers at the shoulders and hind quarters. Painted in sumi with light touches of red on paper. Image size 56 x 25 in; 143 x 64 cms. Newly mounted. Very good condition. Signed Suzuki Shonen with date seal.



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Okumura MASANOBU (1686-1764)




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A newly discovered painting by one of the most influential artist in Ukiyo-e. His long life covered hand-coloured prints through to full colour printing in the mid 1760s and he was one of the first to use the block-printing process after 1740 and pioneer the benizuri-e picture. Extremely innovative: he pioneered the uki-e print, pillar prints and ishizuri-e. Not only was he a print artist, he also illustrated books, albums and produced paintings. He started his own publishing house, Okumuraya, which gave him greater control over the printing process. The popularity of his work led to many copies by other publishers, and he had to certify his work as “genuine.” Shows a standing beauty, Tachi bijin-zu. She carries a cherry branch and her gorgeous costume is decorated with grasses and flowers with cages for collecting insects and above various colourful butterflies. Full colour on paper, image size 35.75 x 12.25 in; 91 x 31 cms. Fine new mount with futo-maki ( thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage ) and box. Fine condition. Ex collection Raizou Kanda. Signed Hogetsudo Tanchosai Okumura Masanobu with seals Masanobu and Okumura. Although long lived, genuine paintings by him are rare.



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Kubo SHUMMAN (1757-1820)




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A fine painting showing a seated girl fulling cloth ( a process of beating which eliminated the dirt and other impurities ) with another standing beauty holding beaten cloth in a wooden tray on her head. This scene represents Mishima, or Toi, Province of Settsu. One of the Six Crystal ( Tama ) Rivers. ( Toi is the alternative name of the river and the word for beating cloth. ) This was probably Shumman’s most celebrated subject. He produced a set of six prints on this theme published by Fushimiya Zenroku, c 1787. One of the most beautiful 18th century sets, and together with a night triptych showing people returning from a poetry reading, is considered his masterpiece. The prints and the known paintings of this subject use the benigirai style, “red avoiding” pioneered by Shumman, Eishi and Shuncho. Shumman, a man of great sophistication, designed only a few prints before concentrating on surimono and printing and issuing some of the finest in this format. ( See The Japanese Print A New Approach, J. Hillier, pp. 102-104: “Probably no artist except Choki has achieved so high a reputation on such a small number of prints.” ) He also excelled at painting, book illustration and light verse. Painted on silk in tones of sumi, very light green, gofun and a small touch of red on the girls’ lips. Image size: 36 x 12 in; 91.5 x 30.5 cms. Other versions of this subject are in the BM ( 1922.2-13.01 ) and the Freer Gallery of Art ( FI903.62 ), gift of Charles Freer. Painted c early 1790s. Slight loss of gofun and very minor spotting, but otherwise in very good condition. Interesting old mount. Exhibited in 1995 at Shunsen Museum in Nanamashi prefecture, Nikushitsu ukiyoe meisaku ten, hosted by Mr Keizaburou Yamaguchi, p. 40, no, 37. Painting guaranteed by Mr Narazaki, the box being signed and dated 1988 by him. Signed Shosado Shumman, with circular Shumman seal.



Status: Sold




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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A wonderfully delicate study using light washes showing a Japanese carrot, mushrooms, a Japanese cucumber ( which have knobbles or spikes as opposed to our smooth-skinned varieties ), aubergines and long beans ( possibly yardlong beans ). Obviously from a large album of such studies ( it has a light centre fold ) which would have been signed and/or sealed at the end.


Full colour on paper. Fine condition. 11.5 x 18.5 in; 29.5 x 47 cms.


Status: Sold




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A fascinating specially commissioned painting by Hiroshige showing a large carp windsock ( koinoburi ) and Boys’ Day banners. Fuji is seen in the distance. The centre banner shows Shoki, the Demon Quellor, exorcising an oni. Shoki images were popular in houses to ward off evil during the Boys’ Day Festival, Tango no sekku, held on the 5th May. The carp was displayed outside homes of families with boys and their strength and character was symbolised by the determination of the carp swimming upstream. See also the print Suido-bashi, Surugadai from the Meisho Edo hyakkei, “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo,” published 1857 where Hiroshige uses the same large carp windsock. Sumi and full colour on silk. Extensive use of gold on the banners, the clouds below and the carp. The eye of the carp lacquered. 28.25 x 11.62 in x 72 x 29.5 cms. Original mount removed. The painting can either be framed and glazed or remounted. Very good condition. Signed Ojyu ( “commissioned” work ) Hiroshige fude. Seal Ichiryusai.


Status: Sold




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Kubo SHUMMAN (1757-1820)




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A fine painter and renowned for his surimono, and for supervising the design and carving of them for fellow poets. Produced some refined prints and contributed to kyoka anthologies. Changed the character with which he wrote “Shun” of Shunman from”Spring” to “Excel” in 1782. Shows a Botangesyohaku ( poet ) holding a peony and riding an ox. The kyoka poem above is by Ota Nampo ( 1749-1823 ), a leading light of popular literature who often collaborated with Shumman. Sumi and light colour on silk. 36 x 12 in; 91.5 x 30.5 cms. Old mount and box. In very good condition. Signed and sealed Shumman.


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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A pair of narrow paintings showing fringed pinks on one side and a hanging basket with ferns on the other. Sumi and colour on paper. 35.5 x 5.62 in; 90 x 14.2 cms each. Painted in semi-Shijo style. Fine condition. Framed and glazed. Signed Ryusai and sealed Ichiryusai on each.


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Utagawa TOYOHARU (1735-1814)




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An extremely fine large painting by Toyoharu – the founder of the Utagawa School and teacher of Toyokuni and Toyohiro. Show a group comprising a high-ranking courtesan, her two kamuro ( attendants ), and her manservant carrying a lantern with either the crest of the Yoshiwara House or the crest of the courtesan. They are probably venturing out to meet wealthy customers in the teahouses of the Yoshiwara. The ample girth of the courtesan is typical of Toyoharu’s style at this time. Her surcoat ( uchikake ) is wonderfully decorated with breaking waves; the theme repeated on the coat of the front attendant. Little is known of his beginnings but it is thought he studied under the Kano-school master Tsuruzawa Tangei. He then went to Edo around 1763 where it is thought he was the pupil of Shigenaga and Sekien. Amongst his achievements was the development of the uki-e or perspective print. He gave up print design in the 1780s. Full colour on paper, 48.75 x 21.75 in; 124 x 55.5 cms. Fine new mount and double box. Perfect condition. Painted in his prime, c 1780. Although prolific ( something like 100 paintings are known by him ), this is probably the finest example extant.



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Katsushika HOKUGA (active 1804-1818)




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A painting of a bamboo whisk seller. Hokuga was a pupil of Hokusai. A vigorous painting. Sumi and light colour on paper. 10.75 x 14 in; 27.5 x 35.5 cms. Nicely mounted and in fine condition. New box. Signed and sealed Hokuga.


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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A small drawing taken from an album of an old pine tree. Sumi and light colour on paper. Image size, 23.25 x 11 inches; 59 x 28 cms. Mounted as a painting. Very good condition. Signed Hiroshige.


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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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An important painting: Nanadaime Danjuro sugata-e, “Portrait of Danjuro VII.” Painted at the end of the Bunka period ( c. 1815 ), it shows the young Danjuro after his succession. He wears the Danjuro mimasugoshi, Danjuro’s triple-plaid kimono pattern. His favourite tobacco pouch with the bat-shaped catch is hanging at his waist. He is looking at two butterflies. An allusion to the famous story of Zhuang Zhou who dreams of being a butterfly, only to wake and wonder if he is, in fact, not a butterfly dreaming of being Zhuang Zhou. The story symbolizing the evanescence of life. A similar painting of Nakamura Utaemon II dated 1812 is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, acc. No. 11.7864. Full colour on silk. Image size 23.25 x 11 inches; 59 x 28 cms. Two repaired wormholes not affecting image, otherwise very good condition. Interesting old embroidered and hand-painted mount. Signed Utagawa Toyokuni ga with seals Ichiyosai and Toyokuni.



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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A fine and rare painting: Gunkaku zu, “A Flock of Cranes.” Hiroshige designed many fine kachoga during the 1830s through to the 1850s but there exist few paintings. This was a commissioned work from Hiroshige. The tancho ( “red crest” ) Japanese Crane, Grus japonensis, is the second rarest crane in the world, migrating to East Asia in the fall to spend the winter. There is also a resident flock in Hokkaido. Much loved by the Japanese, the crane was a symbol of luck, longevity and fidelity. Full colour on silk, image size 34.5 x 15.75 inches; 88 x 40 cms. In perfect condition with a futo-maki ( thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage ). New box. Signed Ojyu ( “commissioned” work ) Ichiryusai hitsu. ( A rare form of the signature used c. Tenpo 10 to 11 [ around 1839 – 40 ]. ) The Ichiryusai seal is also a rare form used around mid Tenpo period.


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Miyagawa CHOSHUN (1682-1752)




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The pre-eminent painter of the first half of the eighteenth century but not better known because neither he or his pupils are known to have designed any prints. His subjects were invariably beautiful girls and women, which makes this painting especially interesting. Shows two new year manzai dancers. These performers would go from house to house in the new year dancing, singing and engaging in knock about routines. The left figure sings and plays a small drum while his companion holds a fan and dances to the beat. Behind, a typical new year pine tree decoration. Full colour on paper, image size 38.25 x 15.25 in; 97 x 38.75 cms. The costumes are exquisitely detailed with outlines in gold. In very good condition with new mount, old lacquer jiku and old box. Signed Nihon-e Miyagawa Choshun hitsu and with blurred seal but reading Choshun no in. Kyoho – Kampo eras. One of the masterpieces of the British Museum’s Ukiyo-e painting collection is a pair of Choshun handscrolls.


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