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.


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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.


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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.



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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.



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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.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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The best design from Toyokuni kigo kijutsu kurabe, “A Contest of Magic Scenes by Toyokuni.” Shows the actor Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Mo’un Kokushi. The story is based on the Takizawa Bakin and Hokusai Chinsetsu yumiharizuki. The magician is seated on a rocky promontory with exploding rocks emanating from behind his head. A stunning design. 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. Extra paper at left and top. Signed The 79 year old Toyokuni hitsu.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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The actor Bando Mitsugoro III as Washi no Osaburo disguised as Yamagatsu Kumao in Kawaranu hana Genji no kaomise performed at the Ichikawa Theatre in 11/1827. The left sheet of a surimono triptych probably issued for the new year of 1828. The complete set is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London ( E.3909-1916 ). A variant of the Kabujki play Seki no to in which two actors battle with giant axes.


Fine impression with gold and silver. Slight fading, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An original painting on grey silk of an actor in a female role ( Segawa Kikunojo III ? ). Executed in fine detail – almost as a surimono with gold, silver and heightened gofun. Probably one of a set tipped into an album and commissioned by a wealthy patron of his favourite actors. Pin-ups of their day. 8.5 x 7 inches, 22 x 18 cms. Minor damage. Signed Ichiyosai Toyokuni hitsu, c. 1852.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An aizuri-e ( with red lightning ) fan print showing the actor Bando Mitsugoro IV as Kan Shojo in the play Sugawara denju tenarai kagami, “Sugawara’s Secrets of Calligraphy” performed at the Nakamura Theatre, 5/1832. This is the Mt Tempai scene where Kan Shojo, in a rage, transforms himself into a demon surrounded by a thunderbolt. A famous scene, indeed the play was repeated at another theatre just four months later. Published by Ibaya Sensaburo, 1832. Rare: Most probably the only impression extant of this fine design.


Fine impression. Minimal soil and trimmed to fan shape. Signed Kunisada ga.


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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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Bust portraits of girls from a set of fan prints with title “A Parody of Six Elegant Selections”, comparing these beauties to inset view of blooms.


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



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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Bust portraits of girls from a set of fan prints with title “A Parody of Six Elegant Selections”, comparing these beauties to inset view of blooms.


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



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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Bust portraits of girls from a set of fan prints with title “A Parody of Six Elegant Selections”, comparing these beauties to inset view of blooms.


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



Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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Bust portraits of girls from a set of fan prints with title “A Parody of Six Elegant Selections”, comparing these beauties to inset view of blooms.


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



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A tripyych showing a party of women and a child running in the rain towards the entrance of the Mimeguri Shrine. Mimeguri no yudachi, “An Evening Shower at Mimeguri.” This famous shrine was on the bank of the Sumida at Mukojima and a short ferry ride from Asakusa. The shrine is also associated with prayers for rain. Kunisada was the most prolific 19th century artist, but amongst his vast output are real masterpieces. Published c 1830. A fine design.


Superb impression. Very fine colour. Small edge discolouration and small backed binding holes, otherwise fine condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A triptych showing two beauties and a maidservant lighting their way with a lantern and carrying a shamisen box. The beam of light from the lantern illuminates the foreground figures and the leaping dog but leaves the background figures in silhouette. A lovely design. Another impression is illustrated in The Baur Collection, Matthi Forrer, 1994, volume 1, G266. Published by Mikawaya Seiemon, c. mid 1820s.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A triptych showing a party of women and a child running in rain towards the entrance of the Mimeguri Shrine. Mimeguri no yudachi, “An Evening Shower at Mimeguri.” This famous shrine was on the bank of the Sumida at Mukojima and a short ferry ride from Asakusa. The shrine is also associated with prayers for rain. Kunisada was the most prolific 19th century artist, but amongst his vast output are real masterpieces. Published c 1830. A fine design.


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


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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)


Utagawa-KUNISADA-1786-to-1865-beauties3


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A rare nagaban series of full length bijin published by Kinrindo (Moriya Jihei) c.1835-37.


Very good impression and colour; slight soil, otherwise good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An aizuri-e (blue print) showing the courtesan Hanaogi of the Ogi-ya House parading with her two kamuro. Published c 1840 by Enomotoya Kichibei. See my blog.


Very good impression, colour and condition. (With only the hint of red on the lips.) Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)


Utagawa-KUNISADA-1786-to-1865-actors9


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Shiragikumaru from the play Tsuruya Namboku riding the back of an enormous
prehistoric-looking sea animal. From the set: Toyokuni kigo kijutsu kurabe, “A Contest of Magic-scenes by Toyokuni” published by Hiranoya Shinzo 12/1864. One of the best designs from the set.


Superb deluxe impression with burnishing, mica, splashed gofun and best-quality pigments. Perfect colour. Very slight trimming, otherwise fine. On deluxe hosho. Signed Shichijuku-sai Toyokuni hitsu, “The seventy-nine year old Toyokuni drew.”



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A lively design showing Ichikawa Danjuro VII in the role of the loyal warrior Arajishi Otokonosuke Terumitsu fighting a giant rat in the cellar beneath the women’s quarters of the Ashikaga Palace. This scene, Yukashita no Ba, is from the play Date kurabe okuni Kabuki performed at the Kawarasaki-za Theatre, 3/1829. Shortly afterwards, the rat escapes down a hole in the hanamichi pathway, only to re-emerge in a cloud of smoke as the arch-villain and master of the black arts, Nikki Danjo. Published by Eikyudo (Yamamoto Kyubei) 1829.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition on an extra large sheet of hosho. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A fine surimono showing the actor Danjuro VII casting roasted beans from a tray he holds in his left hand. This ritual called setsubun, “end of winter” was performed in the precincts of temples in the Spring (although now takes place in February). He wears the well known Shibaraku costume with the large mimasu crests. Two poems above by Shiseido Sutena and Hoichitei Masunari. The latter being a member of the Taiko-ren, Drum poetry club. Their symbol top right corner. Issued c 1822. Illustrated in colour on the front cover of Art of the Surimono, Theodore Bowie, Indiana University Art Museum, 1979. Rare.

 

Superb impression with extensive gold and silver. Perfect colour. Light Japanese backing and slightly trimmed at left. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An exceptionally rare original double-sided woodblock. On one side is the key-block showing Ichikawa Danjuro VII as the strongman, “chikaramochi,” Ura no Kingo. On the other is the key-block showing Iwai Kumesaburo II as the female acrobat, “karuwazashi,” Tamamoto Kosan. The play is Fujikawabune noriai banashi performed at the Nakamura-za Theatre, 5/1826. The block measures 8.5 x 10.75 x .75 in; 21.6 x 27.3 x 2 cms. The two images signed Gototei Kunisada ga. In very good condition but with obvious minor damage. Sold “as is.”


 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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A complete set of five prints of otokodate ( chivalrous men ) showing the champions: Kanoko Kanpei; Kanto Koroku; Hon’machi Amigoro; Shimano Shinpei; and Benkei Tazaemon.


This is a complimentary set to a series “Complimentary Stripes Woven to Order” of bijin busts also showing strong textile backgrounds commissioned to advertise the latest fabrics for the beginning of the New Year. Published by Miyakozawa 1844-6.


Fine impressions and colour. Slight trimming and light album backing. Very good condition. Signed Oju ( by order ) Toyokuni ga.



Status: Sold




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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Ichikawa Danjuro VII as Urashima Taro, seated with his fishing rod and the black box behind him that contains his old age. Urashima Taro saved a giant tortoise and was rewarded by a visit to the Dragon King’s palace beneath the sea by the Dragon’s daughter Otohime. Published for the Taiko-gawa poetry group ( red drum seal top right ) in 1820.


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



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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Ichikawa Danjuro VII ( crouching below ) as Konoshita Tokichi and Segawa Kikunojo V as Princess Otohime. This does not illustrate a particular play, but was obviously intended for the year 1820 as Otohime was the daughter of the Dragon King ( 1820 being a dragon year ).


Fine impression. Very good colour. Extensive gold and silver. Fine condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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Two sheets ( of three ) showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII ( left ) in the role of Minamoto Yorimasa holding a firebrand to better see the giant Nue and Bando Mitsugoro III as Tametomo with his giant bow. The complete set is in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. It appears to be a mitate as these three actors did not act together. The dragon-patterned border indicates the dragon year 1820. The bright blue grounds make for striking compositions.


Very fine impressions. Some slight loss of metallic powders, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kunisada ga on each.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1864)




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An extremely rare surimono showing a seated beauty.


Fine impression and colour. The background blind-printed with a textured pattern. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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A print with title: Kaso-zaiku, “Bamboo Basket Work”. Shows a peacock, an oni, cat, and shishi lions built of bamboo by the craftsman Naniwa ( Osaka ) Kazuda Shohichiro. An early and possibly unrecorded Kunisada print. Published by Kawaguchiya Heikichi c 1820’s.


Good impression. Slightly trimmed, backed and some fading. Signed Oju ( “ by special request” ) Kunisada ga.



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Utagawa KUNISADA ( 1786-1864 )




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An uncut fan print showing a bust portrait of the actor Nakamura Shikan II as Matsuomaru in the scene Kuruma-biki from the play Sugawara denju tenari kagami, “Sugawara’s Secrets of Calligraphy” performed at the Nakamura-za theatre, 5/1832. This episode gives rise to one of Kabuki’s most celebrated scenes involving Matsuomaru’s two brothers and the carriage of Shihei. Extremely rare. Published 1832. Publisher not identified.


Very good impression and colour. Slight vertical crease and small edge wormage at top, otherwise good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.


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Utagawa KUNISADA ( 1786-1864 )




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The actor Nakamura Shikan II as Shoki, the demon queller. One of the nine roles in the hengemono dance Kyo kokonoe yayoi no hanamichi performed at the Nakamura-za theatre, 3/1833.Shoki ( Chin: Chung K’uei ) is said to have visited the sick T’ang dynasty emperor, Ming Huang, when he was tormented by fever demons. He recovered and Shoki told the emperor he had promised to rid the country of evil to repay the respect given him by a past emperor after he committed suicide. A favourite character in Japan, he is often depicted in red to ward off evil spirits and shown fighting demons. Paintings of Shoki were hung on Boy’s Day. Published by Yamamoto Kyubei, 1833. Rare.


Very good impression and colour. Slight soil and edge crease at left edge, otherwise good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.


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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A bust portrait of the famous quick-change actor Bando Mitsugoro III as Kajiwara Genta Kagetoki. Performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre in the 3rd month 1811 ( Bunka 8 ). From Kunisada’s finest set: Oatari kyoden no uchi, “Great Performances.” A set of seven prints of celebrated roles of the previous eight years selected from the Oatari kyogen, “Big Hits.” Sumptuously produced with mica grounds which had not been used for twenty years. The expressive poses hark back to similar prints by Toyokuni I and Kunimasa. Exceedingly rare, on a par with many Sharaku prints. Published by Fukusendo, c 1815. Another impression is in the Rietberg Museum, Zurich.


Fine impression. Slightly trimmed left side towards the top and repaired binding holes at top, otherwise good condition. Very good colour with the mica well retained. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.


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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An early and apparently unrecorded chuban triptych showing, on first sheet, an awabi diver near Enoshima surfacing to supply a party on a balcony, far left. Published c.1810s.


Expert repairs in sky, otherwise good impression, colour and condition. Unsigned.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A bust portrait of the famous onnagata actor Iwai Hanshiro V in the machi musume, “town maiden” role of Oshichi. A greengrocer’s daughter, she burned down most of Edo in order to be with her lover Kichisaburo. He first performed the role at the Morita-za Theatre in 3/1809 in Sono mukashi koi no edozome. From Kunisada’s finest set: Oatari kyoden no uchi, “Great Performances.” A set of seven prints of celebrated roles of the previous eight years selected from the Oatari kyogen, “Big Hits.” Sumptuously produced with mica grounds which had not been used for twenty years. The expressive poses hark back to similar prints by Toyokuni I and Kunimasa. Exceedingly rare, on a par with many Sharaku prints. Published by Fukusendo, c 1815. Other impressions in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam ( 1956:667 ) and illustrated in Ukiyoe Taikei, vol. 10, no. 146, p. 99.


Fine impression. Completely untrimmed. Very good colour with the purple intact and only slight turning at the edge. Slight loss of mica ( as usual ) and minor soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.


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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A surimono showing the kabuki actors, top right: Ichikawa Danjuro VII holding up a war banner decorated with a sasarindo (bamboo grass and gentian), the mon of the Minamoto clan and Iwai Hanshiro V wielding a large knife in an unidentified play. The poem mentions the Iwai and Ichikawa family names. Published c 1827-30.


Fine impression and colour with blind-printing, silver and gold. Signed in gold on the blue ground Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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