Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)


Ichiryusai-HIROSHIGE-1797-to-1858-beauties48

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Full moon at Takanawa. A bijin seated beside her palanquin at a tea house. A mitate set: Edo Murasaki meisho Genji, “Murasaki’s Genji in Famous Places of Edo.” Based on the Genji Monogatari with stylised clouds above and below in Yamato-e style. Published by Kinseido c1849-53. A very rare set: Late impressions being unknown.

Fine impression and colour. Light crease in left and right margin, otherwise fine
condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

Status: Sold

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    Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)


    Tsukioka-YOSHITOSHI-1839-to-1892-beauties47

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    “Looking Suitable: The Appearance of a Brothel Geisha of the Koka Era” ( 1844-1848 ). From the set: Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888.

    Very fine impression, colour and condition of the first edition. This design is difficult to find in good condition as the [ oxidised ] silver of the first edition on the peacock feathers invariably migrates to other parts of the design, especially if it comes from an album. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

    Status: Sold

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      Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)


      Ichiyusai-KUNIYOSHI-1797-1861-beauties46

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      An uchiwa-e ( fan print ) showing a young girl leaning over the side of a boat and wetting a towel. “Cool” from a set of six prints: Imayo rokkasen, “Six Modern Choises for Summer”. Published 2/1853. Unidentified publisher.

      Superb impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

      Status: Sold

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        Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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        Looking chilly: The appearance of a concubine of the Bunka Era ( 1804 – 1818 ). From the set: Thirty – two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888.

        Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

        Status: Sold

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          Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)


          Taiso-YOSHITOSHI-1839-to-1892-beauties44

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          Preparing to take a stroll: A married woman in the Meiji Period from the set: Thirty –two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. This popular print shows a lady dressed in the latest western attire.

          Fine impression. First edition, second state. Fine colour. Very good condition. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

          Status: Sold

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            Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)


            Kikugawa-EIZAN-1787-to-1867-beauties43

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            A beauty ascending a staircase with a large black samisen case from a set: Furyu bijin soroi, a “Collection of Fashionable Beauties”. One of Eizan’s finest designs. Unidentified publisher.

            Fine impression and colour on thick totally untrimmed deluxe hosho. Fine condition. Signed Kikugawa Eizan fude

            Status: Sold

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              Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)


              Kitagawa-UTAMARO-1753-to-1806-beauties42

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              The courtesan Imose of the Yoshiwara House Akatsuta-ya parading with her kamuro. Published by Yamaguchi Tobei, c early 1800’s.

              Fine impression and colour. Minor edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Full size. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

              Status: Sold

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                Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)


                Keisai-EISEN-1790-to-1848-beauties40

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                Oiso from the set: “Bijin Tokaido” comparing beauties to the 53 Stations. Published by Tsutaya c 1830’s. The best design from the set.

                Very fine impression, colour and, apart from minor trimming, fine condition. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.

                Status: Sold

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                  Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)


                  Keisai-EISEN-1790-to-1848-beauties39

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                  Okitsu from the set: “Bijin Tokaido” comparing beauties to the 53 Stations. Published by Tsutaya c 1830’s. A fine design.

                  Very fine impression, colour and, apart from minor trimming, fine condition. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.

                  Status: Sold

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                    Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)


                    Kitagawa-UTAMARO-1753-to-1806-beauties38

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                    The Asahiya widow ( by reading the picture-riddle in top left box ) from Komei bijin rokkasen, “Renowned Beauties Likened to the Six Immortal Poets”. Published by Omiya Gonkuro c 1795-6. This is the first edition ( there being two later states: See The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro, Shugo Asano and Timothy Clark, no 228, p 169 ). Fine early design.

                    Fine impression. Some fading and trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

                    Status: Sold

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                      Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)


                      Kikugawa-EIZAN-1787-to-1867-beauties37

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                      A rare complete pentaptych showing a princess and her retinue on two boats being ferried across a river. Published c 1810’s by Izumiya Ichibei.

                      Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Kikugawa Eizan hitsu.

                      Status: Sold

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                        Suzuki HARUNOBU (1725-1770)


                        Suzuki-HARUNOBU-1725-to-1770-beauties36

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                        A beautiful composition of a courtesan emerging from a mosquito net. Published c 1760’s. Ex collection Hayashi. Rare: not in Pins or Yoshida.

                        Very good impression and colour. Very slight soil but in very good condition for a pillar print of this period. Signed Harunobu ga..

                        Status: Sold

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                          Eishosai CHOKI (Fl. c 1756-1808)


                          Eishosai-CHOKI-fl-c-1756-to-1808-beauties35

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                          The lovers Okiku and Yosuke play cat’s cradle. ( A children’s game in which two players alternately take from each other’s fingers an intertwined cord so as always to produce a symmetrical figure.) Published c 1804 by Takatsuya Isuke. A similar print with same signature and publisher is illustrated in Sadao Kikuchi, A Treasury of Japanese Wood Block Prints, 1963, ill. No. 644 ( from the Tokyo National Museum ). I cannot, at the present moment, locate another impression of this design. Choki prints are rare and his finest designs are the most prized possessions of any collection. Ex collection Sidney C. Ward.

                          Very good impression with extremely good colour. Light grey ground. The cutting and colouring of the pattern on the boy’s kimono is particularly fine. Minor creases, otherwise extremely good condition. On heavy hosho. Signed [ Momogawa ] Shiko ga.

                          Status: Sold

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                            Kitao MASANOBU (Santo Kyoden) (1761-1816)


                            Kitao-MASANOBU-1761-to-1816-beauties34

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                            The most famous double oban design from Yoshiwara keisai shin bijin awase jihitsu kagami, “A Mirror Comparing the Handwriting of New and Beautiful Courtesans of the Yoshiwara”. Published by Tsutaya Jusaburo, 1784. One of the most important and sumptuous publications. Shows the courtesans Hitomoto and Tagosode with their shinzo and kamuro. The first edition with the publishers’s address “Omonguchi” above seal and the only design fully signed. Jack Hillier’s copy of this print is illustrated in colour in his book Japanese Colour Prints, Phaidon, 1972, pl.25.

                            Fine impression with gauffrage. Very good colour. Slight soil but otherwise very good condition. Heavy hosho. Signed Kitao Rissai Masanobu ga.

                            Status: Sold

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                              Kitao MASANOBU (Santo Kyoden) (1761-1816)


                              Kitao-MASANOBU-1761-to-1816-beauties33

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                              A double oban design from Yoshiwara keisai shin bijin awase jihitsu kagami, “A Mirror Comparing the Handwriting of New and Beautiful Courtesans of the Yoshiwara”. Published by Tsutaya Jusaburo, 1784. One of the most important and sumptuous publications. Shows the courtesans Azumaya and Kokonoe of the Matsugane-ya house with their shinzo and kamuro. Second edition with revised palette.

                              Fine impression and colour. A few expertly repaired wormholes, otherwise very good condition.

                              Status: Sold

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                                Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)


                                Taiso-YOSHITOSHI-1839-to-1892-beauties32

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                                Looking chilly: the appearance of a cocubine of the Bunka era from the set Fuzoku sanjuniso, the “Thirty-Two Types of Beauty in Daily Life” published by Tsunashima 1888. The first edition.

                                Very fine impression and colour. Full size with extra paper left and top. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

                                Status: Sold

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                                  Okumura MASANOBU (1686-1764)


                                  Okumura-MASANOBU-1686-to-1764-beauties31

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                                  A pair of lovers. Obviously one sheet from a shunga album. A sumizuri-e print with careful hand-colouring. Although possibly not contemporary the colouring certainly has considerable age. Published c 1710s.

                                  Very good impression. Slight offsetting of sumi and other minor soil and backed wormholes. Centre fold.

                                  Status: Sold

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                                    Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)


                                    Kitagawa-UTAMARO-1753-to-1806-beauties30

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                                    A seller of fan-papers ( Jigami-uri ) and a young beauty from an untitled series of eight prints published c1797 by Tsuruya Kiemon. The idealised itinerant merchant has black fan-shaped lacquer boxes perched on his shoulder. In his hand he holds a fan with an image of Daruma eyeing the couple. The set has some excellent designs: see The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro, Shugo Asano and Timothy Clark, 1995, no. 263, p. 141, for another. Two other illustrated ( trimmed ) examples of this print are in: Ukiyo Zuten, Kiyoshi Shibui, No 13, p.77, no.2 and Utamaro Zenshu, Yoshida, p.127

                                    Fine impression. Extremely good, unfaded colour. Full size. Extremely good condition. Au verso small Japanese collector’s seal and a dealer’s seal and description. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

                                    Status: Sold

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                                      Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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                                      A kakemono-e showing a full length beauty representing Moon from a set: Snow, Moon and Flowers of the Floating World. Published c1844.

                                      Very good impression and colour. Light backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kunisada aratame ( “changed his name to” ) nidai ( “the second” ) Toyokuni ga.

                                      Status: Sold

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                                        Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)


                                        Ichiyusai-KUNIYOSHI-1797-1861-beauties28

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                                        Chapter 51, Ukifune, from Nazoraye Genji kyokun dzuye, “Illustrations of Moral Conduct Compared with the Chapters of Genji”. A girl holding an umbrella on a snow covered bridge. Published by Maru-ya Jimpachi c1843. One of the best designs from the set.

                                        Very good impression and colour. Light album backing. Very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

                                        Status: Sold

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                                          Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)


                                          Ichiyusai-KUNIYOSHI-1797-1861-beauties27

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                                          Chapter 41, Maboroshi, from Nazoraye Genji kyokun dzuye, “Illustrations of Moral Conduct Compared with the Chapters of Genji”. A girl watches returning geese against a full moon. Published by Maru-ya Jimpachi c1843. One of the best designs from the set.

                                          Very good impression and colour. Light album backing. Very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga

                                          Status: Sold

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                                            Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)


                                            Kikugawa-EIZAN-1787-to-1867-beauties26

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                                            A kakemono-e showing a promenading beauty.

                                            Fine impression. Almost perfect colour and condition. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.

                                            Status: Sold

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                                              Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)


                                              Kikugawa-EIZAN-1787-to-1867-beauties25

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                                              A young beauty with child from a set Furyu kodakara rokkasen, “Six Poets in Modern Days with Darling Children”.

                                              Very good impression on thick hosho. Very good colour and condition. Completely untrimmed. Signed Kikugawa Eizan fude.

                                              Status: Sold

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                                                Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)


                                                Kochoro-KUNISADA-1786-to-1865-beauties23

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                                                A fine composition showing the upper and lower floors of a brothel in the Yoshiwara. Natsu no bu, Summer, from a set of four prints: The View of Four Seasons in Modern Times. Published by Kikakudo 3/1856.

                                                Fine impression, colour an condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

                                                Status: Sold

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                                                  Utagawa TOYOHIRO (1773-1828)


                                                  Utagawa-TOYOHIRO-1773-to-1828-beauties22

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                                                  A pillar print showing a young nobleman arranging irises in a vase. One of the most elegant pillar prints. Another (trimmed) impression, ex Ficke, is illustrated in Jacob Pins, The Japanese Pillar Print, mo 923, p326.

                                                  Fine impression. Minor marks and slight fading but generally very good condition for a design in this format,. Signed Toyohiro ga.

                                                  Status: Sold

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                                                    Okumura TOSHINOBU (active 1717-1750)


                                                    Okumura-TOSHINOBU-1717-to-1750-beauties21

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                                                    A hoso-e showing three beauties representing the three major Japanese cities: Kyoto; Osaka, and Edo. Published c1729.

                                                    Very good impression. Urushi-e, coloured by hand in mustard, lilac, green, beni, gold and heavy sumi over embossed pattern. Some toning, otherwise good condition. Signed Yamato gwako Okumura Toshinobu hitsu.

                                                    Status: Sold

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                                                      Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)


                                                      Taiso-YOSHITOSHI-1839-to-1892-beauties20

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                                                      Wanting a stroll. A Meiji beauty in western-style dress from the set Fuzoku sanjuniso, the “Thirty-Two Types of Beauty in Daily Life” published by Tsunashima 1888. The first edition.

                                                      Very fine impression and colour. Full size with extra paper left and top. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

                                                      Status: Sold

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                                                        Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)


                                                        Taiso-YOSHITOSHI-1839-to-1892-beauties19

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                                                        Smoky. A housewife from the Kyowa era fanning a fire from the set Fuzoku sanjuniso, the “Thirty-Two Types of Beauty in Daily Life” published by Tsunashima 1888. The first edition.

                                                        Very fine impression and colour. Full size with extra paper left and top. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

                                                        Status: Sold

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                                                          Hishikawa RYUKOKU (Fl. c1808-16)


                                                          Hishikawa-RYUKOKU-fl-c-1808-1816-beauties18

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                                                          A rare artist working in the style of Utamaro. Shows the courtesan Sugawara of Tsuruya with a brush in her hand and an acolyte bringing ink. Unidentified publisher.

                                                          Fine impression. Very good colour. One light crease otherwise very good condition. Signed Ryukoku fude.

                                                          Status: Sold

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                                                            Attributed toTorii KIYOTSUNE (Active c1757–1779)


                                                            Torii-KIYOTSUNE-1757-to-1779-actors-40

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                                                            A quarter-block, 5 x 6 in; 12.5 x 15 cms print showing the actors Segawa Kichiji III ( right ) in an onnagata role ( unread ) and Bando Matataro IV as Harada Rokuro in the play Kono hana yotsugi no hachinoki performed at the Ichimura-za in the 11th month of 1771.

                                                            Fine impression with perfect colour. Small binding holes, otherwise fine condition.

                                                            Status: Sold

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                                                              Attributed to Torii KIYOTSUNE (Active c1757–1779)



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                                                              A quarter-block, 5 x 6 in; 12.5 x 15 cms print showing the actors Nakamura Sukegoro II ( right ) as Yamana Sozen and Nakamura Juzo II as Fuwa Banzaemon in the play Fukikaete tsuki mo Yoshiwara performed at the Moita-za in the 11th month of 1771.

                                                              Fine impression with perfect colour. Small binding holes, otherwise fine condition.

                                                              Status: Sold

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                                                                Attributed to Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726–1792)



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                                                                The actor Ichikawa Danjuro V possibly as Moriya no Daijin disguised as Rokuju-rokubu in the play Miya-bashira iwao no butai, performed at the Morita 7/1773. Ex collection Walter von Scheven, 1878 – 1950, and bought by him from Aoyama, Paris in 1929.

                                                                Fine impression, colour and condition. Unsigned.

                                                                Status: Sold

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                                                                  Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769–1825)



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                                                                  The centre sheet of a hosoban triptych possibly showing Danjuro VI as Ashikaga Takauji or Prince Takahiro. Ex collection Walter von Scheven, 1878 – 1950, and purchased by him at Altkunst, Berlin in 1929. A fine design.

                                                                  Fine impression and colour. Very small repaired binding holes, otherwise fine condition. Unsigned.

                                                                  Status: Sold

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                                                                    Ippitsusai BUNCHO ( Fl. c. 1765 – 92 )


                                                                    Ippitsusai-BUNCHO-1765-to-1792-actors36

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                                                                    A fine full length hosoban portrait of the actor Ichikawa Benzo I in the role of Kuretake in the play Tenjiku Tokubei kokyo no torigashi performed at the Nakamura-za in the 8th month of 1768. A very damaged example is illustrated in Exhibition of Ukiyo-e by Ippitsusai Buncho, Riccar Art Museum, 1978, no. 23.

                                                                    Very good impression. Background turned, otherwise very good colour. Slight toning, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ippitsusai Buncho ga.

                                                                    Status: Sold

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                                                                      Torii KIYONOBU II (1706-1763)



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                                                                      A fine urushi-e hosoban showing the actors Sawamura Sojuro I ( above ) and Yamamoto Kiyoshiro I wrestling amongst bales of rice. It is impossible to be certain of the performance as records are scant, but Sojuro is probably playing the role of Sano Genzaemon and Kiyoshiro is probably playing Sano Genta in the play Miyakozome kaoru hachinoki performed at the Nakamura-za in the 11th month of 1739. Kiyoshiro was from the Kamigata region and only arrived in Edo in this month. He left for Osaka the following year. Although he did visit Edo once before this date, he did not act with Sojuro at that time.

                                                                      Very good impression. The hand-applied colours well retained. Small restorations to the sumi/brass, otherwise good condition. Signed Torii Kiyonobu hitsu.

                                                                      Status: Sold

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                                                                        Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)



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                                                                        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

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                                                                          Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769–1825)



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                                                                          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

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                                                                            Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                                                            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




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                                                                              Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                                                              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

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                                                                                Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1780)



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                                                                                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

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