Please contact JapanesePrints-London for prices of catalogued items. We also purchase prints, paintings and books individually or as collections. Richard Kruml also appraises and values collections.

 

Dealing in fine Japanese prints, paintings and books since 1968.

 

Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)


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An original painting, sumi and colour on silk, 10.5 x 8.75 in; 26.7 x 22.2 cms. A beauty after a bath. Signed Toyokuni ga with his kakihan. In very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 


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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Four koban surimono-style prints from a set Hyakunin bijo, “One Hundred Beauties.” No publisher’s seal but published by Mikawaya Seiemon (who specialised in these prints), c late 1820s. Kunisada designed a number of such sets in this format.

 

Fine impressions, colour and condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)



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Three koban surimono-style prints from a set Imayo sanjurokkasen, “Thirty-six Selected Pictures.” Published c late 1820s.

 

Fine impressions, colour and condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Kubo SHUNMAN (1757-1820)



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Mishima, or Toi, Province of Settsu. The best desigm from an exquisite set of six prints showing graceful young women, girls and, in two instances, young men representing the Six Crystal (Tama) Rivers. These streams were noted for the purity of their water. The prints are in benigirai style, “red avoiding,” a technique pioneered by Shunman, Eishi and Shuncho. Shows a seated girl fulling cloth (hence Toi which is the alternative name of the river and the word for beating cloth) with three other beauties near the village of Mishima. A light shower passes by in the background. Shunman, a man of great sophistication, designed only a few prints before concentrating on surimono and printing and issuing some of the finest in this format. (See The Japanese Print: A New Approach, J. Hillier, pp. 102-104 where he says “Probably no artist except Choki has achieved so high a reputation on such a small number of prints.”) He also excelled at painting, book illustration and light verse. Published by Fushimiya Zenroku, c 1787. (A later edition was published by Tsutaya with less harmonious colours.) One of the most beautiful 18th century sets, and together with a night triptych showing people returning from a poetry reading, is considered his masterpiece. The complete set (trimmed) is illustrated in the Gale Catalogue Of Japanese Paintings & Prints, J. Hillier, Routledge, 1970, number 133 (a) – (f). Provenance: Originally purchased from me in 2008. Rare.

 

Fine impression. The centre female’s kimono blind-printed. Very good colour: printed only in tones of grey, light yellow and light pink, with touches of light red on the tree. Very small repaired wormhole, otherwise extremely good condition with extra paper at left. Probably untrimmed (whereas illustrated examples all seem to be trimmed somewhere). Signed Shunman with seal Shunman.

 

Status: Available

 

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Kubo SHUNMAN (1757-1820)



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Chobu, Province of Musashi from an exquisite set of six prints showing graceful young women, girls and, in two instances, young men representing the Six Crystal (Tama) Rivers. These streams were noted for the purity of their water. The prints are in benigirai style, “red avoiding,” a technique pioneered by Shunman, Eishi and Shuncho.Shows a girl washing stripes of cloth in the stream. In fact, this design conjoins with the previous print in the set of six prints. Shunman, a man of great sophistication, designed only a few prints before concentrating on surimono and printing and issuing some of the finest in this format. (See The Japanese Print: A New Approach, J. Hillier, pp. 102-104 where he says “Probably no artist except Choki has achieved so high a reputation on such a small number of prints.”) He also excelled at painting, book illustration and light verse. Published by Fushimiya Zenroku, c 1787. (A later edition was published by Tsutaya with less harmonious colours.) One of the most beautiful 18th century sets, and together with a night triptych showing people returning from a poetry reading, is considered his masterpiece. The complete set (trimmed) is illustrated in the Gale Catalogue Of Japanese Paintings & Prints, J. Hillier, Routledge, 1970, number 133 (a) – (f). Provenance: Originally purchased from me in 2008. Rare.

 

Fine impression with some blind-printing. Very good colour: printed only in tones of grey, light yellow and light pink, with touches of light red on the tree. Very small repaired wormhole, otherwise extremely good condition with extra paper at left. Probably untrimmed (whereas illustrated examples all seem to be trimmed somewhere). Signed Shunman with seal Shunman.

 

Status: Available

 

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Katsukawa SHUN’EI (1762-1819)



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Shows the half-Chinese, half-Japanese hero Watonai overcomes a man-eating tiger in China by using a charm from the Ise Shrine. He holds a post with the characters reading Daijinga, “Grand Shrine” used in the inner and outer shrines at Ise. Published by Wakasaya Yoichi (Jakurindo), c 1810. Rare.

 

Fine impression and colour. One small backed edge wormhole, otherwise very good condition. Signed Shun’ei ga

 

Status: Available

 

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Okumura MASANOBU (1686-1764)



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Shogatsu, “First Month” from a shunga set Someiro no yama neya no hinagata, “Mountains of Dyed Colours, Examples for the Bedroom.” Shows a New Year scene with the master of an opulent household enjoying the holiday with his wife and a young man of his fancy. The poem alludes to the pleasures of both male-male and male-female sex. Published c 1740. Others from the set are illustrated in Tim Clark, Shunga:Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art, BM, 2013, pp. 147-151. Masanobu is one of the most important figures in Ukiyo-e being the proprietor of a shop but also a publisher, an illustrator of books, print publisher, painter, and inventor of the hashira-e and uki-e as well as being at the forefront of advancements in colour printing. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Hand colouring, slightly faded. Minor backed wormage, but otherwise very good condition given the date.

 

Status: Available

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1754-1806)



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The courtesan Hitomoto of the Daimonjiya House, Daimonjiya uchi Hitomoto from a set Yukun gosekku, “Courtesans for the Five Festivals.” She stands beside a clothes rack with an elaborate costume patterned with a suite of armour (probably indicating the Boys’ Festival, 5th day of the 5th month), Published 1805 by Wakasaya Yoichi (Jakurindo).

 

Fine impression. Very good colour with beautiful oxidation of the orange pigment. Probably slightly trimmed at left, otherwise fine condition. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Shotei HOKUJU (Active 1787-1818)



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Kai no kuni Saruhashi no shinsha no zu, “A True View of the Monkey Bridge in the Province of Kai.” An impressive wooden bridge spans a deep chasm. It was called the “Monkey Bridge” because the original rickety plank structure was so precarious that only an agile monkey could cross it. Hokuju produced a number of these westernised landscapes and this is one of the best designs. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi, c 1815. It is also known with variant colour schemes.

 

Very good impression and colour. Slightly trimmed around and imperceptible centre fold. Signed Shotei Hokuju ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Kozuke, Harunasan setchu, “Kozuke [Province], Mount Haruna Under Snow.” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshi meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by Koshihei between 1853 and 1856, this being 1853. A red bridge spans a gorge with precipitous cliffs and a fast flowing river. Fantastic crags point upwards into the sky. In the distance is Mount Haruna – a sleeping volcano.

 

Very fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Shimotsuke Nikkosan urami no taki, “Back-viewed Waterfall on Mt. Nikko in Shimotsuke [Province}.” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshi meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by Koshihei between 1853 and 1856, this being 1853. Figures gaze up at the back of the waterfall which thunders over the path. It is also known with variant colour schemes. A fine design.

 

Very fine impression with strong blind-printing on the fall. Very fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Omi, Biwako Ishiyamadera, “Ishiyama Temple and Lake Biwa in Omi [Province].”From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshi meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by Koshihei between 1853 and 1856, this being 1853. Moonlight on Lake Biwa is one of the iconic Eight Views of Omi.

 

Very fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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Bikunibashi setchu, “Bikuni Bridge in Snow.” From the set Meisho Edo hyakkei, “One Hundred Views of Edo.” The set published by Uoya Eikichi 1856-58 (this being 1858). Bikuni Bridge was known for its cheap restaurants. On the right is a sign advertising that imo are roasted whole. (Yakimono were roasted sweet potatoes.) On the left is another sign advertising yama kujiri, “mountain whale.” (In fact wild boar meat. Whale was considered a fish and therefore not forbidden.)

 

Superb impression of the rare first edition.Very fine colour. Imperceptible centre fold, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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Akasaka kiribatake uchi yukei, “Evening View of the Paulownia Plantation at Akasaka under rain.” From the set Meisho Edo hyakkei, “One Hundred Views of Edo.” The set published by Uoya Eikichi 1856-58 (this being 1859: a replacement print for Hiroshige’s for which the blocks were probably damaged).

 

Very god impression with mica sprinkled across the top. Very good colour. Trimmed close at bottom, otherwise very good condition. Signed Nisei “second” Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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The Dragon’s Maw Mountain, Bizen Province, Bizen tatsu-no-kuchiyama from an unfinished set Shokoku meisho hyakkei, “One Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces” published by Uoya Eikichi between 1859 and 1861 (this being 1861). Shows a lone figure battling a heavy rainstorm in a steep-sided canyon.

 

Superb impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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The best design from Genji kumo Ukiyoe awase, “Ukiyoe Comparisons of the Cloudy Chapters of Genji.” A set comparing famous warriors to the Chapters of the Genji Monogotari written by Lady Murasaki Shikibu (c 973-1025). This design is for Chapter 22, Tamakatzura. Shows the pearl diver, Tamatori-hime, who has reclaimed the precious pearl stolen by the Dragon King. She is pursued by a host of his aquatic retainers including a giant octopus before finally returning the jewel to her husband Fujiwara no Kamatari, albeit buried in her chest for safety and causing her death. A popular subject with Kuniyoshi who designed a number of other oban prints and triptychs on this subject. The Dragon King’s Palace can be seen beneath the waves in the background. Published by Iseya Ichibei, 1843-5.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight crinckling in margins, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Shunkosai HOKUSHU (Fl. c 1808-1832)



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The actor Nakamura Utaemon III as Kan Shojo in the play Sugawara denju tenarai kagami, “Mirror of Learning and Transmitting Sugawara’s Secrets of Calligraphy.” In fact based on stories relating to Sugawara Michizane (845 – 903, scholar, poet and politician). Government regulations prohibited the use of the names of real people in Kabuki. He is shown on a wood votive tablet. The play was performed at the Kado no Shibai Theatre, Osaka, 3/1823. In fact, Utaemon is supposed to have sensationally played 7 roles in this play. Poem above by Shikan (Utaemon’s poetry name). Published by Toshikuraya Shinbei (inscribed bottom left).

 

Fine impression. This is a wonderful example of kimetsubushi printing whereby the grain of the wood is exposed with stiff brushes or pads to enable the grain to be printed. Very good colour and condition. Signed Shunkosai Hokushu ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)



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A triptych showing the Shinto Storm God Susanoo about to slay the eight-headed dragon, Yamata no Orochi, at the head of the Hi River in pouring rain. The dragon devoured virgins and had eaten the seven daughters of two earthly deities, seen top right. The eighth, Kushi-inada-hime, also on the right, is saved by Susanoo who encourages the dragon to drink eight-times brewed sake from eight vats which intoxicates it enough to be killed. Rare: Chikanobu is not known for this type of subject. Published c 1870s.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Mica applied to sky and the rain printed in silver. Full size. Signed Yoshu Chikanobu hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)



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A triptych Furyu onna ryoushi, “Fashionable Fishing Women.” Shows beauties on the seashore collecting fish and loading them onto a boat for market. In the background, fishermen with nets. Published by Iwatoya Kisaburo (Eirindo), c 1817. The Japanese love seafood and, being surrounded by water, there is an abundance of fish and crustaceans as anyone who has visited the central fish market in Tokyo can attest to.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Small areas of expertly repaired wormholes, otherwise very good condition. Signed Eizan hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)



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A triptych showing three courtesans from the Tamaya House: On first sheet Koyuki playing the kokyu; on the second Hanamurasaki playing the koto; and on the third Hanakazura playing the shamisen. Published c 1830.

 

Fine impression with excellent colour. Some expert edge restoration, otherwise very good condition with extra paper around.

 

Status: Available

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A triptych showing an exploding land-mine throwing bodies and horses into the ether. Taiheiki Masakiyo nansen no zu, “Masakiyo’s Difficult Battle from the Taiheiki.” Figures identified in the print are the 14th century warriors Sato Shukei no Kami Masakiyo and Shimura Masazo Katsutoyo, but by way of avoiding censorship, it is actually showing Kato Kiyomasa (1562-1611) and Kimura Matazo Shigekatsu. It may also be that the design alludes to the rogue samurai in Choshu Province during the summer of 1866. Published by Yamashiroya Jinbei, 1866. One of Yoshitoshi’s great designs. In fact, this is a reworking of a similar composition in a book early in his career, Ehon jitsugokyo dojikyo yoshu of 1853.

 

Fine impression and colour. Lovely oxidation of the orange pigment. Fine condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Kubo SHUNMAN (1757-1820)


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An original painting, sumi and colour on silk, 37 x 13 in; 94 x 33 cms. Shows a parading courtesan wearing a kimono of subdued colouring, being painted in sumi hues. She provocatively raises the hem of her monochromatic dress to reveal a bright red under-garment. Shunman, a man of great sophistication, designed only a few prints before concentrating on surimono and printing and issuing some of the finest in this format. (See The Japanese Print: A New Approach, J. Hillier, pp. 102-104 where he says “Probably no artist except Choki has achieved so high a reputation on such a small number of prints.”) He also excelled at painting, book illustration and light verse. Above is a poem by Ota Nampo (Shokuzanjin), a famous poet and fiction writer (1749-1823), as well as an occasional painter. In very good condition, signed and sealed Shunman.

 

Status: Sold

 


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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)


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An original painting, sumi and light colour on silk, 14.5 x 22 in; 36.8 x 55.9 cms. Labelled on the right Hakone no kosui, “The Lake of Hakone.” Shows the reflection of Fuji in Lake Kawaguchi with the Misaka mountain range. A similar view could be seen from Lake Ashi. Hokusai produced a version for for the Thirty-six Views of Fuji set and this area was the subject of a number of Hiroshige prints. Signed Hiroshige with Ichiryusai seal. In very good condition.

 

Status: Sold

 


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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Kii Wakanoura, “Waka Bay in Kii [Province}.” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshi meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by Koshihei between 1853 and 1856, this being 1855. Shows cranes taking off from the bay.

 

Very fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Shinano, Sarashina tagoto no tsuki Kyodaisan, “The Moon Reflected in the Sarashina Paddy-fields, Mt. Kyodai, Shinano [Province}.” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshi meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by Koshihei between 1853 and 1856, this being 1853. It was a popular outing to view the multiple images of the moon reflected in the pools.

 

Very fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Shows Musashibo Benkei carrying the stolen giant Mii Temple bell up Mount Hiei to the Enryaku-ji, the Tendai-sect temple of the San-mon, “Mountain Order.” He is usually depicted dragging the half-ton bell, but here he is shown carrying it with the help of his kanabo, iron war club. Published by Daikokuya, c 1830-39. Another impression is in the British Museum, 1906,1220,0,1054. Rare.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsukawa SHUN’EI (1762-1819)



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Shows the hirsute samurai Saito Tadanobu about to strike an adversary with a go board. This was a popular story relating to his death: He was attacked while playing go and used the heavy board to fight off his enemies. Published by Wakasaya Yoichi (Jakurindo), c 1810. Rare.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Shun’ei ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)



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An hosoban showing the actor Iwai Hanshiro IV in an unidentified female role holding a letter beside a palanquin. What appears to be another version by Shunsho is in the Met, acc. number JP2783. Published c 1773.

 

Fine impression. Extremely good colour. Very good condition. Signed Shunsho ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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The actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII as the half-Chinese, half-Japanese hero Watonai in a production of the play Kokusen’ya kassen staged at the Nakamura-za Theatre, 8/1816. Shows a popular scene from the play where Watonai overcomes a man-eating tiger in China by using a charm from the Ise Shrine. He holds a post with the characters reading Daijinga, “Grand Shrine” used in the inner and outer shrines at Ise. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi 1816. Extremely early and rare.

 

Fine impression and colour. Trimmed at left, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Okumura MASANOBU (1686-1764)



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A large benizuri-e oban (16.75 x 12 in) showing a pair of lovers in the guise of komuso (medicant monks). They walk in high geta and have a black monk’s stole draped around their shoulders. They are playing the classic komuso tune renbo nagashi on their shakuhachi. He wears the deep sedge tengai hat. A hokku verse is on the right. Provenance: Ex collection Henri Vever, sealed bottom right. Sold Sothebys, Highly Important Japanese Prints from the Henri Vever Collection: Final Part, 30/9/1997, lot 6. Extremely rare: Probably the only recorded impression.

 

Very good impression and colour. Wormhole expertly repaired at right edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hogetsudo Tanchosai Okumura Bunkaku Masanobu shohitsu with two seals Tanchosai and Okumura Masanobu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych from a series Imayo mitate shi-no-ko-sho, “An Up-to-Date Parody of the Four Classes.” Here: Shokunin, “Artisans.” Shows the whole process of print production, albeit in reality women did not do this work. Published by Uoya Eikichi, 8/1857. A must for any serious collection of Japanese prints. There are only two other designs showing the process of producing prints. Extremely rare.

 

Very good impression. Some fading and trimming, but generally good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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