Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




 Click here to view image full size.

The actor Ichikawa Yaozo III as Umeomaru, the loyal retainer of Kan Shojo in the Kuruma biki, “Pulling the Carriage Apart,” scene from the play Sugawara denju tenarai kagami, “ Sugawara’s Secrets of Calligraphy” performed at the Miyako Theatre 7/1796. This is one of the most celebrated scenes in Kabuki, showing the stand-off between the brothers Umeomaru and Sakuramaru and Matsuomaru and Shihei. Of the utmost rarity. Toyokuni also designed prints of Matsuomaru and Shihei ( see this website ) and a triptych of the scene from the same play. One of ukiyoe’s great portraits. Umeomaru ( ume, “plum” ) is shown with the red sugi guma makeup of the impetuous hero, and plum blossom on his costume. Published by Yamaguchiya Tadasuke, 1796.


Fine impression. Mica-ground. Probably trimmed at top or bottom but I cannot, at the moment, locate another impression to compare. Some fading and other minor marks; small edge restoration. The role annotated top left in sumi ( as are other famous designs – possibly by the same collector ). As I cannot locate another impression and it’s unlikely there are more than a few, at best, impressions extant, a certain compromise on condition is necessary. Signed Toyokuni ga.



Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769–1825)




 Click here to view image full size.

The actor Kataoka Nizaemon VII as the evil Minister of the Left Fujiwara Shihei in the Kuruma biki, “Pulling the Carriage Apart,” scene from the play Sugawara denju tenarai kagami, “ Sugawara’s Secrets of Calligraphy” performed at the Miyako Theatre 7/1796. This is one of the most celebrated scenes in Kabuki, showing the stand-off between the brothers Umeomaru and Sakuramaru and Matsuomaru and Shihei. Of the utmost rarity: Another impression illustrated in Ukiyoe Taikei, vol. 9, no. 19 and also used for the cover of the book and slip-case. Toyokuni also designed mica-ground prints of Matsuomaru and Umeomaru ( see this website ) and a triptych of the scene from the same play – all excessively rare. One of ukiyoe’s great portraits. Published by Yamaguchiya Tadasuke, 1796.


Very good impression. The eyes with brass powder applied. Trimmed heavily top and bottom and very slightly at side. Some fading, soil and other minor marks. The role annotated in sumi top left. Other famous designs are known with these inscriptions ( by the same hand ? ). However, given the rarity and that, at best, there can only be a few impressions extant, a certain compromise is necessary. Signed Toyokuni ga.



Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

An important album of 26 original sumi shijo-style drawings by Kuniyoshi folding out to 10.5 x 15.5 in; 26.5 x 39.5 cms. Various subjects. Red kiri seal on last drawing of Hotei and Kuniyoshi signature pasted onto end of album ( signature c 1847 ). The only similar album by Kuniyoshi I have seen was one I sold about 20 years ago. An important addition for any Kuniyoshi collection. Some stains and minor marks, but generally good condition.


Status: Sold




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.

Tags: , ,

 

Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

A beauty powdering her face. From Kuniyoshi’s finest set of fan prints. An untitled series of at least eight designs showing young women in a state of dishabille at their toilette in front of mirrors, the corners partly concealed with cloth covers. Published c 1843-5 by Ibaya Sensaburo. For obvious reasons, uncut uchiwa-e are scarce. Indeed, there appears to be only one other impression of this design illustrated in an Exhibition of Ukiyo-e by Kuniyoshi, Riccar Art Museum, 1978, no. 172 and elsewhere ( from the Museum of Fine Arts, Bidwell Collection, Springfield USA ). The other known prints from this rare set are: 1) A beauty applying rouge to her lips; 2) A beauty shaving her forehead; 3) A beauty suckling a child; 4) A beauty adjusting her hair with scissors; 5) A beauty playing with a cat; 6) A beauty combing her hair; 7) A beauty about to brush her teeth.


Very good impression and colour. One small repaired wormhole, otherwise good condition. Uncut. The rich blue grounds on this series have added mica. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


Status: Sold

Tags: , , ,

 

Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1780)




 Click here to view image full size.

A hosoban benizuri-e print in beni, yellow and blue showing the actor Segawa Kikunojo II ( bottom left ) in the role of musume Kagekiyo and Ichimura Uzaemon IX ( top right ) as Osu … possibly Osutoko. “Musume” means “daughter”, while Kagekiyo was the famous general of the Heike clan. However, if Kikunojo were playing Kagekiyo’s daughter then it would be written Kagekiyo musume. ( His daughter was named Hitomaru and she does indeed feature in many plays about him. ) But in this case, it perhaps refers to a female version of Kagekiyo although no information on this is to hand. However, if Kikunojo is playing Kagekiyo’s daughter after all, and it’s just written the other way round for some reason, then it would identify the performance and date nicely: the play would be Soga yawaragi Soga performed at the Ichimura-za in the 1st month of 1767. Published by Nishimura, Eijudo han. Extremely rare. ( Many thanks to Paul Griffith for the elucidation above. )


Fine impression and colour. Slight vertical fold and small expertly restored wormhole near bottom edge. Signed Torii Kiyomitsu ga.


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Ishikawa TOYONOBU (1711-1785)




 Click here to view image full size.

A wide hashira-e ( 27.5 x 10 in; 70 x 25.5 cms ). Urushi-e, hand-coloured in beni, blue, yellow, mustard and lilac. These early majestic Toyonobu prints are amongst the masterpieces of Ukiyoe. Of the utmost rarity: From a set of three prints of Beauties of the Three Capitals. Sanpukutsui Keichu, “ A Set of Three: Within Kyoto.”The other two designs show women from Edo and Osaka. The only other impression is illustrated in the Bulletin of the Worcester Art Museum, April, 1915, p. 8. There is also a hosoban triptych of same subject by Toyonobu, c 1750s, in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, accession number: 11.19672. This cheaper production follows the designs of the larger prints closely and was obviously intended to cash in on their popularity. Other similar designs were in the Vever sales, Sothebys, 26/3/1974 and 26/3/1975. Shows a standing courtesan with a pipe, her acolyte holding her tobacco tray. Published c 1747 by Mura ( Murata-ya ) hammoto.


Fine impression with extremely fine and delicate hand-colouring. Very slight creasing and very slight browning but otherwise in exceptional condition. Signed Tanjodo Ishikawa Shuha Toyonobu zu. Seals Toyonobu and Ishikawa uji.



Status: Sold




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.

Tags: , ,

 

Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




 Click here to view image full size.

The fish trap in Chikugo Province from Rokuju yoshu meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-Odd Provinces.” The set published by Koshimuraya Heisuke between 7/1853 and 3/1856 (this being 9/1855). This is the extremely rare first edition and possibly one of the genuine first pulls as it is earlier than the Pulverer first edition. See my blog.


Superb impression of the earliest state with beautiful bokashi and woodgrain showing on all blocks. Fine colour. Two small paper flaws at top, otherwise fine condition. Full margins. Signed Hiroshige ga.


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




 Click here to view image full size.

Onoe Kikugoro V as the Hag of Adachi Moor from the Kabuki play Adachigahara (aka Hitotsuya, “The Lonely House”) performed at the Ichimuraza Theatre 4/5/1890. One of a series of three triptychs showing half-length portraits of actors based on the Snow, Moon, Flowers theme. This being Flowers represented by the yugao,”gourds” – moon-flowers. Considered to be amongst Yoshitoshi’s best designs. The Hag was a cannibalistic old woman who preyed on travellers – especially pregnant women. Published by Akiyama Buemon, 1890.


Very fine impression. Mint condition. The best example I have seen. Signed Okokkeidoju Yoshitoshi ga


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




 Click here to view image full size.

The actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX in shibaraku role. A fine triptych, Kabuki juhachiban no uchi/shibaraku, “The Eighteen Famous Kabuki Plays: Shibaraku.” Published by Fukuda Kumajiro, 8/1895.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Oju Kunichika hitsu.


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




Click here to view image full size.

A triptych showing Danjuro IX as Yanone (arrowhead) Goro (Soga Goro). Published 1882 by Kamiyama Seishichi. Poem by Sansho the 9th (Danjuro).

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Oju (“by special request”) Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Rekisentei EIRI (active 1790-1810)




 Click here to view image full size.

An uki-e “perspective view” of a Kabuki theatre Edo Sakai-cho Shibai no zu showing Danjuro VII as Gongoro in the play Shibaraku “Wait a Moment.” He is shown on the hanamichi, the “flower path” walkway. His impressive costume consists of foot-high clogs, gigantic sleeves stretched out on bamboo struts and a seven or eight foot sword. The mimasu, “three rice measure” personal crest is clearly visible. Published c early 1800s by Izumiya Ichibei.


Very good impression and colour. Slight soil down right edge. Signed Rekisentei Eiri ga.


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




 Click here to view image full size.

A fine late single bust of Matsumoto Koshiro V as Tsurugisawa Danjo Saemon in the “Beneath the Floor” scene of the play Shikisemono Soga no Datezome performed at the Morita-za in the 1st month of 1813. Here the arch villain Danjo, master of the black arts, has just risen on a stage lift in a cloud of smoke, having transformed back into human form from that of a giant sewer rat. His hands are still held in the position of a magic spell as he confronts the loyal warrior Otokonosuke who was standing guard in the cellar beneath his lord’s quarters. This print is one of a pair (not a diptych), the other showing Ichikawa Danjuro VII as Otokonosuke. (See Boston MFA for a much trimmed impression of this design acc. No 11.25348.)


Fine impression. Slight turning of the purple towards the edge. Some uneven trimming also into signature, otherwise good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




 Click here to view image full size.

A double bust portrait showing Onoe Matsusuke I (above) as the evil lady-in-waiting Iwafuji and Iwai Kumesaburo I as Ohatsu, maidservant to lady-in-waiting Onoe, in the “Inner Garden” scene of the play Kagamiyama Kokyo no Nishiki-e performed at the Ichimura-za in the 3rd month of 1803. In this scene the loyal maid Ohatsu finally avenges the shame brought upon her lady Onoe and her subsequent death, by fighting and killing the evil Iwafuji. The latter is one of Kabuki’s great female villains and the role is often given to an actor of male roles to emphasise her unattractive nature. Another impression was in the Succo collection. Illustrated in Toyokuni, Friedrich Succo, R.Piper & Co, 1913, no 523, p. 80. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi, 1803.


Fine impression. Some oxidation, otherwise very good colour. Light album backing and very small binding holes. Very good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)




 Click here to view image full size.

The actor Nakayama Bunshichi. . Kiyomitsu was the final flowering of the Torii School and a pioneer of the polychrome print. Harunobu went on to fully exploit the technique using a variety of unusual pigments and overprinting to produce a yet larger palette unsurpassed in the following years. This print has all the hallmarks of a “proof” impression with best quality hosho and extra paper left and top. Printed in beni, yellow ochre, orange ( yellow over beni ), puce, light blue-grey and a grey ground. Published c 1768.


Perfect preservation as the day it was printed. Superb impression, colour and condition. Immaculate keying of the blocks. Signed Torii Kiyomitsu ga.


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)




 Click here to view image full size.

The actors Ichikawa Yaozo II as the samurai Gunsuke, a retainer of the Yoshida family, and Nakamura Nakazo I as Hitokai Sota in a play performed at the Nakamura Theatre, spring 1770. Not listed by F.W. Gookin. Annotated top right by a fan of the theatre. A superb hosoban from Shunsho’s prime.


Very fine impression with the body outlines gauffraged. Fine colour and condition. Signed Shunsho ga with tsubo seal.


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)




Click here to view image full size.

An extremely rare hosoban showing the oiran Hanaogi with her two kamuro from the House of Ogi. This appears to have been from a series as I had another design from the set in my Catalogue 8, 1972, no 38, showing Hinazuru of Choji-ya. Another Eishi hosoban appeared in the Sotheby sale catalogue, July 1963, lot 195. A rare format for anything other than actor prints during this period. Published c 1792. Ex Mellor and P & L Warnock collections. Illustrated in The Floating World Exhibition: Japan’s World of Transient Pleasures, The Art Gallery of South Wales, Sydney, 1994, no. C6.


Very good impression and colour. Printed in tones of pale mauve and grey with details in yellow. Light yellow ground. Some slight soil. Signed Eishi ga.


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




 Click here to view image full size.

The well-muscled bodyguard Narukami Kajinosuke played by Sawamura Sojiro IV in the play Sugata no hana azuma no date-zome performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre, 3/1812. Published by Suzuki Ihei,1812. There is a companion design to this print showing Bando Mitsugoro as Kaminari Tsurunosuke.


Fine impression and colour. Very slightly trimmed at bottom, otherwise good condition. Minimal soil. Signed Toyokuni ga.


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




Click here to view image full size.

A spirited original drawing showing a warrior brandishing a sword and holding a club. Sumi over the typical red underdrawing Yoshitoshi often employed. On thin paper laid onto Japanese paper. Image size 8 x 6 in; 20 x 15 cms.

Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Shibata ZESHIN (1807-1891)




 Click here to view image full size.

A fine original drawing in sumi and colour for the series Hana kurabe, “A Comparison of Flowers” published by Shugyokudo between c 1875 – 1890. The set of 120 prints was issued in groups of 12 enclosed in paper wrappers. This design shows new year Adonis flowers, Fukujuso, together with a trowel and flower pot. On thin paper, 7.5 x 10.5 in; 19 x 26.5 cms. An indication for where the Zeshin seal is to go. Sold together with the published print in good condition sealed Zeshin.


Status: Sold





 Click here to view image full size.

Tags: , ,

 

Shibata ZESHIN (1807-1891)




Click here to view image full size.

A fine original drawing in sumi and colour for the series Hana kurabe, “A Comparison of Flowers” published by Shugyokudo between c 1875 – 1890. The set of 120 prints was issued in groups of 12 enclosed in paper wrappers. This design shows plants and bonsai trees seen through a window in an old cracked wall. On thin paper laid onto Japanese paper, 7.25 x 10.25 in; 18.5 x 26 cms. Sold together with the published print in good condition. Signed and sealed.

Status: Sold




Click here to view image full size.

Tags: , ,

 

Shibata ZESHIN (1807-1891)




Click here to view image full size.

A fine original drawing in sumi and colour for the series Hana kurabe, “A Comparison of Flowers” published by Shugyokudo between c 1875 – 1890. The set of 120 prints was issued in groups of 12 enclosed in paper wrappers. This design shows a mouse crouching on the top border looking down on pussy willow. On thin paper, 7.5 x 9.5 in; 19 x 24 cms.

Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI ( 1797-1861 )




 Click here to view image full size.

One print from a set of four with title Miburi juni omoi gatsu, “Gestures for the Twelve Months.” Each “gesture” or “caricature” is being performed by a Kabuki actor: So here the 6th month is Nakamura Tsuruzo imitating the serpent of Mt Fuji ( upper right ); 7th month is Otani Tomoemon IV as the gargoyle Onigawara ( lower left ); 8th month is Ichikawa Kuzo II as the turtle-like water sprite Enko ( lower right ); 9th month is Onoe Kikujiro II as the chrysanthemum butterfly. Published c 1847-48 by Ebisuya Shoshichi. Rare.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi giga, “Drawn for fun.”


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI ( 1839-1892 )




 Click here to view image full size.

A rare diptych showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Saijo Takamori ( = Saigo Takamori ) in the play Okige no kumo harau asagochi by the playwright Kawatake Shinshichi II performed at the Shintomi-za Theatre from the 23rd of the second month, 1878. Saigo Takamori was leader of the rebellion against the Meiji government in 1877. Published by Tsuda Genshichi and dated the 15th of the second month, so it was issued as pre-publicity.


Very fine impression of the first edition with variegated cartouche; colour wiped across the background, and the Danjuro 3-chocolate coloured Mimasu bands around the border. The background is also fnely blind-printed. I have located several other impressions ( one in the Bunka digital library ) that are later printings, lacking the embellishments listed above. Fine colour and condition. Signed Oju Taiso Yoshitoshi ga.


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

A poem by the Heian waka poet Fujiwara no Okikaze , one of the Thirty-Six Immortals of poetry. Shows the poet with a lantern walking along the shore of Takasago Bay past one of the famous pines, all in heavy rain. His famous poem refers to the pine. From a set Hyaku-nin isshu, “The Hundred Poets.” The series published by Yebi-Ne, 1840-2.

 

Fine impression. (This appears to be the first edition with the pine printed lightly in two tones.) Fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,