Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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A design from a rare set of ten untitled landscapes showing a poet on the seashore contemplating the view: An aizuri landscape with salt water gatherers and the beams of a setting sun. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, 1832.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight centre fold and backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An uncut fan print showing the actor Sawamura Chojuro V as Ono no Tofu (aka Ono no Michikaze) in the play Ono no Tofu aoyagi suzuri performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre, 3/1850. Shows the character holding a large umbrella. Published by Ibaya Senzaburo, 1850 (who seems to have specialised in fans).

 

Extremely fine impression and colour with extensive burnishing. Minimal soil at bottom, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1797-1861)




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A fine and interesting original painting, full colour on silk, 11.25 x 20.25 in; 28.5 x 51.5 cms. Shows a reclining beauty looking up at a cuckoo (hototogisu) flying in clouds. The cuckoo is the harbinger of the summer months. This painting, made c 1830, reflects Kunisada’s study, together with Ikkei, of the work of Hanabusa Itcho (1652-1724). Indeed, Ikkei gave Kunisada the name Hanabusa Ittai and this painting is signed Hanabusa Itcho Kunisada ga with seal Hanabusa Ittai Kunisada no in. To the bottom left is an inscription reading “A disciple of Utagawa Kunisada drawn on request [the cuckoo].” There is a small seal but it is undecipherable.

 

Minor marks but in generally very good condition. Touches of gold and the gofun on the face well retained. Newly mounted with new box.

 

Status: Available

 




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An uncut fan print showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro VIII in the role of Hanakawado no Sukeroku from a set: Mitate gonin otoko go-hiiki omoizashi, “A Parody of the Five Chivalrous Commoners, a Cup of Sake from their Fans.” Shows the actor holding a number of pipes; a shakuhachi protruding from his back. Published by Yama-Ta, 2ic/1852.

 

Extremely fine impression and colour. Minimal soil at bottom, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A fine original fan painting showing a woman of Ohara; a mountain village north of Kyoto. These Oharame collected brushwood and firewood in the fall to sell in Kyoto. They are often depicted and obviously caused a stir when they entered Kyoto to ply their trade. The custom has evidently been going on since the 12th century. She is shown holding a flower and sitting on her bundle of firewood.


 

Full colour on prepared paper mounted as a fan, 6.5 x 17in; 16.5 x 43.2 cms (paper area). In very good condition. Signed Kunisada ga with indistinct seals, probably Kuni Sada. A charming painting.

 

Status: Available

 




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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Moon from a set Furyu settsugekka, “A Fashionable Snow, Moon, Flower.” An uncut fan print showing the actor Iwai Kumesaburo III as Shirai Gonpachi. Kumesaburo last played this role in the play Kakitsubata tamuke no harakawado performed at the Kawarasaki-za theatre in 3/1850. Published by Kojima Jubei (who specialised in fans) in 3/1853.

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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An exceedingly rare fan print showing a bust portrait of Ichikawa Danjuro VII as Soga no Goro wearing the iconic kuruma bun wig. This famous story has many versions but basically it tells how Kawazu Sukeyasu was murdered by his cousin Kudo Suketsune. Sukeyasu left two sons and his widow remarried a man called Soga. He adopted the two children and they waited patiently for an opportunity to kill Suketsune which came when he was hunting near Mt. Fuji. They killed him but were themselves slain in the ensuing battle. Published c.1827 by Maru-Mata, a publisher who seems to have only produced fan prints for a few years. Possibly Kunisada’s finest actor design in this format. A design I have never seen and probably unique.

 

Very good impression. Good colour. Dismounted from a fan and sold “as is” with all imperfections. Signed Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1785-1865)



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An uncut fan print showing the actor Bando Takesaburo I in the role of the Sumo wrestler Shirafuji Genta from a set: Mitate gonin otoko go-hiiki omozashi, An Imaginary Five Commoners.” Published by Yama-Ta, 2ic/1852.

 

Superb impression with mica added to sky and burnishing. Superb colour and condition: From a group of such fans that are as the day they were first printed and must have been put together by a fan collector. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1785-1865)



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An uncut fan print showing the actor Bando Shuka I: “Snow” from a Furyu settsugekka set of Snow, Moon , Flowers. Published by Kojima Jubei (who specialised in fans) in 3/1853.

 

Superb impression with mica added to sky. Superb colour and condition: From a group of such fans that are as the day they were first printed and must have been put together by a fan collector. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A long surimono showing a fan with an image of Ichikawa Danjuro VII as Soga no Goro in the play Yanone, “The Arrow Head.” To the left a fan shape with a poem by Sansho VII (Ichikawa Danjuro VII) and irises. Extremely rare. This impression sold by me in 1997. Issued c 1814. These long surimono were published with the poems attached but were invariably removed by collectors as being a distraction from the image.

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor soil, otherwise good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga. A name bottom left corner reads Onishi Tokuzo II.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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A complete setsugekka koban surimono-style set of triptychs: Snow, Moon, Flowers. Each triptych shows actors in the snow (from left: Matsumoto Koshiro V; Iwai Kumesaburo II; Ichikawa Danjuro VII); in moonlight (Iwai Shijaku I; Bando Mitsugoro III; Iwai Hanshiro V); and admiring the spring blossoms ( Onoe Kikugoro III; Segawa Kikunojo V; Seki Sanjuro II). Published by Mikawaya Seiemon (who specialised in these koban surimono-style prints) c 1825. Extremely rare. One other complete set is in the Harvard Art Museum, acquisition numbers 206831; 207183; 207139.


 

Very fine impressions. These are not true surimono, although they are listed in some books and catalogues as such. However, they are printed with the same delicacy with beautiful blind-printing. Fine colour. Small nicks out of the corners, otherwise fine condition. Each sheet signed Oju Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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Kaido-maru (Kintoki) with his forest companion, a bear-cub, attacking a giant white monkey. The chubby Kintoki is always shown red-hued and wielding a giant axe. In this case he heaves a tree above his head. Published by Moritaya Hanzo, c 1827. Rare.

 

Very good impression. Fine colour. Slightly trimmed, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858) and Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych showing Mitsuuji, the romantic hero of the Inaka Genji (“A Rustic Genji”) accompanied by a beauty looking out across a snow-covered garden to where a group of girls are building a giant snow rabbit. Hiroshige and Kunisada collaborated on a number of these Genji triptychs in the 1850s and this is one of the most charming. Published by Moriya Jihei of Kinshodo, 12/1854 (and therefore probably in anticipation of the following year, which was a Year of the Rabbit).

 

Fine impression. The early state with gradation behind the rabbit and bokashi on stream and in the sky. Fine colour. Fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga on two outside panels and Yuki no kei oju, “Snow landscape by request” Hiroshige hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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The actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII as the medicine peddler in the play Uiro-uri and Ichikawa Danjuro IV in the votive panel above as Kagekiyo in the play of the same name. Both these plays are included in the Kabuki Juhachiban ” Eighteen Favourite Plays” chosen to illustrate the special art of the Danjuro line of actors. The lower half of Kagekiyo’s costume includes the characters “Dragon King” “Ryu-o” suggesting the date 1820. The upper half has the Gogawa hour-glass poetry club symbol.


Very fine impression. Fine colour with gold and silver. Fine condition. Signed Kunisada ga.



Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Taira no Tadamori (1096-1153) grappling with the oil thief from a set: Honcho komei kagami, “A Mirror of our Country’s Renowned Heroes.” Published by Joshuya Kinzi, c 1835. The story relates how the Emperor Shirakawa was perturbed by a monster in the precincts of the Mido Temple at night. The samurai Taira no Tadamori was ordered to kill the beast only to discover a harmless old monk who steals a little oil from the stone lanterns. Kunisada designed a number of sets like this around this date.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very slightly trimmed, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1785-1865)



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A surimono showing the actors Ichikawa Monnosuke III (right) and Ichikawa Danjuro VII walking in the emado of Asakusa Temple in Edo. This was a pavilion at the Shinto shrine used for displaying votive tablets. This seems to be part of a three or five sheet set showing a continuous procession of Ichikawa actors at the shrine. Provenance: From my Catalogue 15, 1975, no. 67.

 

Fine impression with extensive gold and silver. Fine colour and condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1785-1865)



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A surimono showing Ichikawa Danjuro VII and Bando Mitsugoro III as Soga no Goro and Asahina no Saburo in the armour-pulling (kusazuri-biki) scene from the play Tsukisenzu haru gohiki Soga. Issued 1827. The story relates how Soga no Goro was feasting at a banquet when he learns of a plot to assassinate his brother, Juro. He rushes off to don his armour. Asahina, the liege of his enemy, tries to prevent him by pulling at his armour. Poems by Yukinoya Takane and Hoshitei Masunari. Rare.

 

Fine impression with extensive silver and gold. A gold ground. Fine colour. Some loss of the gold ground as is the case with other known impressions of this surimono. This appears to be the best preserved copy. Very good condition. Signed Oju Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A surimono showing the strong woman of Omi, Okane, stopping a runaway horse from a temple by holding its tether down with her geta. Published for the year of the Horse, 1834.

 

Fine impression and colour. Areas of gold and silver. Some slight crinkling, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych showing Prince Genji (far right) on a stone terrace looking out at Suma Beach, Akashi, thronged with visitors enjoying themselves. Two of his party look as though they are going to collect shells. A mitate of Chapter XIII of the Genji Monogatari where Genji is exiled at Akashi, Akashi no ura shiogari no zu. There was a proliferation of sets based on the original Genji Monogatari and the Ryutei Tenehiko (1783-1842) update at this time. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, 1/1855.

 

Fine impression and colour. Bokashi on the edge of the bay at top (missing on later editions). Fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An extremely rare and unusual surimono: I have only seen two impressions – both of which have passed through my hands, and one of which was gifted to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Shows the most famous playwright of his age – Tsuruya Nanboku IV (1755-1829). His crest is clearly visible on his shoulder. He died on the 27th of the 11th month, 1829 and this surimono must date from shortly after that: A sort of shini-e – very unusual in surimono form. He wrote the most famous Kabuki ghost story: Yotsuya kaidan, “Yotsuya Ghost Story” (1825) as well as the quick-change play Osome no nanayuki (1813).

 

Fine impression and colour. The poems above printed in gold. Slight soil. Very small restored binding holes at left edge, and slight trimming at bottom. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A rare diptych, Kansho Tempaizan mangan. This famous tale (with different versions) is the basis for the play Sugawara denju tenarai kagami, “Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy” which was performed at the Kawarazaki Theatre, Edo, 9/1832. This Mt. Tempai scene shows Kan Shojo (Sugawara no Michizane), a Heian politician and poet, transforming himself into a demon and invoking a storm. Umeomaru , a former retainer of Kan Shojo is seen climbing the mountain on the left sheet. There is also a fine vertical surimono diptych of this subject issued by Kunisada in 1832. Published by Yamaguchi Tobei. A fine design I have not catalogued before.

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold, otherwise fine condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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Winter from a set of the four seasons showing Prince Genji and attendants in the snow-covered grounds of a palace. Published by Enshuya Hikobei, c 1849-50.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858) and Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych showing Mitsuuji, the romantic hero of the Inaka Genji (“A Rustic Genji”) accompanied by a beauty looking out across a snow-covered garden where a group of girls are building a giant snow rabbit. Hiroshige and Kunisada collaborated on a number of these Genji triptychs in the 1850s and this is one of the most charming. Published by Moriya Jihei of Kinshodo, 12/1854 (and therefore probably in anticipation of the following year, which was a Year of the Rabbit).

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga and Yuki no kei oju, “Snow landscape by request” Hiroshige hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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Matsumoto Koshiro V as the evil retainer Nikki Danjo who plots to overthrow his lord in the play Meiboku sendai hagi, “Precious Incense and the Bush Clover of Sendai.” From the last great actor set which was planned as a monument to his career and only used the most expensive materials. An untitled set with seventy-two prints completed on his death. ( One hundred and fifty were intended and some are in fact by Yoshitora. ) This is one of the best designs from the set showing a fine profile of an actor who was nicknamed Hanataka Koshiro, “Big-nosed Koshiro.” He made this role very much his own and to this day many actors still wear a mole on their foreheads in his honour. Published 1863 by Kinshodo.


Very fine impression. Fine colour with extensive burnishing to the hair. On thick hosho and with the extra large margins of the first issues before being bound into albums. Slight soil at edge of margins, top and bottom, otherwise very good condition. Signed Nanajuhassai ( “At the age of seventy-eight” ) Toyokuni ga.



Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An untrimmed aiban fan print showing the actor Nakamura Shikan II on an outing to view the summer fireflies. Ukiyo hotarugari, “Firefly Viewing in the Floating World.” Published by Ibaya Kyubei, 1831.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An original woodblock for printing the centre sheet of a triptych showing Ame no Tajikarao pulling the giant stone away from the Ama-no-Iwato cave where Amaterasu (the Sun Goddess) had ensconced herself thereby depriving the world of light. The block cut by the publisher Moriya Jihei, 6/1857. The block in very good condition. On the reverse side is the yellow block. Sold with a modern pull from the block. Signed Toyokuni ga.


 

Status: Sold

 




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A dai-oban print showing the actor Kawarazaki Gonjuro I (Ichikawa Danjuro IX) in the role of Hanakawado no Sukeroku, an otokodate (chivalrous commoner) in the play Sukeroku yukari no Edo zakura, “Sukeroku, the Flower of Edo.” This play was performed at the Ichimura Theatre, Edo in 3/1862 and this print was published by Ebisuya Shoshichi the previous month to advertise the play. The storyline is based after the exploits of Soga no Goro and was one of the Kabuki juhachiban compiled by Ichikawa Danjuro VII for the family repertoire.

 

Fine impression with burnishing on the costume. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Untrimmed. Signed Ki-o Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)





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A rare 6-sheet design: Odori keiyo gakuya no zu, Odori keiyo nikai-iri no zu, “View of the Backstage and Dressing Rooms, Backstage at a Newly Opened Theatre.” The 1855 earthquake and resulting fire destroyed the Edo theatre district. Only five months later the first theatre – the Ichimura Theatre – was reopened. This print, issued the previous month, was an advertisement for the opening. A number of actors are recognisable by their mons. Published by Izumiya Ichibei, 1856, 2nd month.

 

Very good impression and colour. Some trimming, otherwise very good condition. This design is invariably trimmed as the designs that have survived are from albums where the top triptych had to fold down into the album. Signed Toyokuni ga.


 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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A preparatory drawing sold together with the published print showing the actor Sawamura Sojuro III as Oboshi Yuranosuke from the play Kanadehon Chushingura. [Yakusha mitate] Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi: Nihonbashi Shinagawa no aide, Takanawa, Yuranosuke, “Actors at the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido: Takanawa between Nihonbashi and Shinagawa, Yuranosuke.” The drawing is from a group of 43 that were sold by a Milanese gallery in 1981. The set was published by Takadaya Takezo in 1852. Seal bottom right of the collector Kaoen. Three other drawings from this group are illustrated in Kunisada, Robert Schaap, Hotei Publishing, 2016, nos 103-105.

 

The drawing is laid down (as all were), sumi with light red and blue to the face. There are numerous annotations indicating the colours to be used. There are some differences between the drawing and the published print, mainly in the background landscape. The print is in good condition. The drawing is signed Toyokuni ga.


 

Status: Sold

 




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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A fine original shunga drawing showing a couple copulating. Probably a preliminary design for an obon illustrated book. Sumi on thin Japanese paper, 7.5 x 10.5 in, 19 x 26.5 cms. A nice example unlike the many poor unattributed examples available.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An original Kunisada shunga drawing showing a couple having sexual congress. Most likely a preliminary design for a koban print. Sumi on thin Japanese paper lightly attached at edges to an album leaf, 5.25 x 7.25 in, 13.5 x 18.5 cms. Probably intended to be printed four-to-a-sheet. A very good quality drawing, unlike the many poor unattributed examples available.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An original Kunisada shunga drawing showing an old man ravishing a young woman. Most likely a preliminary design for a koban print. Sumi on thin Japanese paper lightly attached at edges to an album leaf, 5.25 x 7.25 in, 13.5 x 18.5 cms. Probably intended to be printed four-to-a-sheet. A very good quality drawing, unlike the many poor unattributed examples available.



Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An original Kunisada shunga drawing showing an old man ravishing a young woman. Most likely a preliminary design for a koban print. Sumi on thin Japanese paper lightly attached at edges to an album leaf, 5.25 x 7.25 in, 13.5 x 18.5 cms. Probably intended to be printed four-to-a-sheet A very good quality drawing, unlike the many poor unattributed examples available.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An original Kunisada shunga drawing showing an old man ravishing a young woman. Most likely a preliminary design for a koban print. Sumi on thin Japanese paper lightly attached at edges to an album leaf, 5.25 x 7.25 in, 13.5 x 18.5 cms. Probably intended to be printed four-to-a-sheet. A very good quality drawing, unlike the many poor unattributed examples available.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An uncut fan print with title: Furyu yami no kaori, “A Refined Date in the Dark.” Shows a beauty holding a pipe and contemplating a dusky garden and her hidden lover. From a set published by Kojimaya Jubei, with date seal 3/1852.


Fine impression and colour. Small paper fibre on woman’s cheek, otherwise fine condition. Signed Konomi ni ujite ( “With my taste” ) Toyokuni ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An apparently unrecorded horizontal diptych, each panel measuring 6.5 x 15 in; 16.5 x 38 cms. Two groups meet in a snowy landscape and the children, boys on left and girls on right, start a snowball battle. An early surimono-style design, published c 1826-7. Publisher unread ( Kagaya Kichibei ? ) A beautiful rarity.


Fine impression. Extremely good colour. Slight vertical folds, otherwise very good condition. Untrimmed, with ample space for joining. Signed Kunisada ga.


Status: Sold




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An extremely rare surimono: I have only seen one other impression and that was one I purchased around 20 years ago. Shows the most famous playwright of his age – Tsuruya Nanboku IV ( 1755 – 1829 ). His crest is clearly visible on his shoulders. He died on the 27th of the 11th month, 1829 and this surimono dates from shortly after that. This appears to be a sort of shini-e – very unusual in surimono form. He wrote the most famous Kabuki ghost story: Yotsuya kaidan, “Yotsuya Ghost Story” ( 1825 ) as well as the quick-change play Osome no nanayuki ( 1813 ).


Very good impression. Some creasing along laid lines and small restoration at top edge. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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A nagaban ( 20 x 9 in; 51 x 23 cms ) print showing a rear view of General Bacho ( Chinese Ma Chao ) on horseback carrying a huge axe. One of the Five Tiger Generals, heroes of the Chinese Ming Dynasty “Romance of the Three Kingdoms.” A set of five prints with title Goku saishiki go hon nobori no uchi, “Five Brightly Coloured Banners.” Published by Moriya Jihei, c 1835-7 and complements another nagaban set of the same date but showing female warriors. Extremely rare, partly due to their size.


Fine impression and colour. Minor soil towards bottom and almost undiscernable centre fold. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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The best design from Rien kyokaku-den, ” The Story of a Chivalrous Man in the Theatrical World.” Shows the actor Kawarazaki Gonjuro as Danshichi, a fishmonger and otokodate ( “chivalrous commoner” ) in the play Natsu matsuri Naniwa kagami. “Summer Festival: Mirror of Osaka.” He is shown washing off the mud from his heavily tattooed body after killing Giheiji. Published 1863 by Hiranoya Shinzo.


Superb impression of the first de-luxe edition with every embellishment: mica, embossing and the finest pigments. Fine colour. Very slight trimming and light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Nanajuhachi sai ( “78 year old” ) Toyokuni hitsu.



Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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Arashi Kichisaburo III as the bandit Akatsuki Hoshigoro, the son of of Nitta Yoshisada. Originally performed as Yotuya kaidan Chushingura. One of the best designs from Toyokuni kigo kijutsu kurabe, “A Contest of Magic Scenes by Toyokuni.” A night scene showing the bandit seated on the back of a giant bat, a large spider’s web above and holding a lantern in his right hand. Published by Hirayano Shinzo, 1863.


Superb impression, colour and condition. The deluxe first edition on thick hosho and every refinement of printing using the finest pigments, burnishing, mica and gofun. Signed The 78 year old Toyokuni hitsu.



Status: Sold

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