An original double-sided wood-block showing on one side the busts of three wrestlers with a title cartouche Ozumo tozai kurabe, “A Sumo Contest Between East and West.” On the other side is a sumi key-block for a set Kurikara kongo den, “Legends of the Dragon Sword and the Thunderbolt of Absolute Truth.” Shows Benkei Taikumon heaving (presumably) the large bell of Mii Temple. The set was published in 1863. Interestingly, the heads on the sumo side have been altered by plugging-in new wrestlers.
Generally in good condition with the usual edge damage. Sold “as is.” Rare.
The cat witch Ama Myochin. The best design from the set Hakkenden inu no soshi no uchi, biographies of the Eight Dog heroes. She peeps between two bamboo curtains, the silhouette of her true self – large hairy body and huge claws – being revealed through the curtains. Cherry blossom floats down. Published 1852 by Tsutaya Kichizo. The Hakkenden, Bakin’s famous novel, was a popular source for ukiyo-e artists.
Very good impression and colour. Slightly trimmed round. Signed Ichiyosai Kunisada ga.
An original shita-e drawing showing a high-ranking courtesan parading below cherry blossom on Yoshiwara’s great central avenue ( Nakanocho ). From a set “Superior Women Today.” The publisher’s name is blacked out but it has the censor seal for 1861. In good condition. Sold “as is.” Rare. Signed Kunisada ga.