Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)


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Shows the standing figure of the kabuki actor Ichimura Kamezo I as Wankyu in the play Furiwakamura suehiro Genji which according to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which has another impression (no.21.8149), was staged at the Ichimura theatre, 11th month, 1760. But I have been unable to verify this. Certainly the date fits as Kamezo became Ichimura Uzayemon IX in 1762. Benizuri-e and a pale blue-grey. Published by Igaya Kan’emon.

 

Very good impression and colour. Very slight surface soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomitsu ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ippitsusai BUNCHO (1763-1840)



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Ichikawa Danjuro V probably as Watanabe Kiou Takiguchi in the play Nue no mori ichiyou no matsu performed at the Nakamura-za in the 11th month of 1770. It was in this month that Koshiro III took the name of Danjuro V. Shows Danjuro in the iconic costume of the Shibaraku scene with the giant mon. Buncho was a connoisseur of paintings ( he wrote Buncho gadan [ Treatise on Painting ] ), and was one of the most important painters and print designers of this period. A fine design and extremely rare.

Fine impression. The background probably “turned” from a pale blue ( as usual ). Trimmed into signature at left, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ippitsusai Buncho 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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MANGETSUDO (Active 1743-1747)



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An hosoban showing a youth impersonated by Onoe Kikugoro I standing outside the Yoshiwara. Above is a cartouche showing a gosho-guruma (a mid-17th century Imperial cart) and above the cartouche the word Kayoi: An allusion to the story of Shosho visiting Komachi. This is the right sheet of a triptych with title Yoshiwara Komachi sambukutsui, “Komachi of the Yoshiwara, Set of Three.” (See Hayashi catalogue, 1902, no. 325 for the complete triptych.) Another impression is illustrated in The Clarence Buckingham Collection Of Japanese Prints, The Primitives, AIC, p. 183, which lacks signature and publisher’s seal. Published by Okumuraya, c 1740. Nothing is known about Mangetsudo, other than he was a follower of Masanobu.

 

 

Very good impression. Some fading, otherwise good condition. Signed Mangetsudo.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Katsukawa SHUNKO (1743-1812)



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An hosoban showing the actor Ichikawa Danzo IV in the role of Tsuribune Sabu in the play Natsu matsuri kagami performed at the Morita-za Theatre, 7/1779.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Exceptional state of preservation. Signed Katsukawa Shunko ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)


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The actor Segawa Kikunojo II as the Tennin (a devine being that is able to fly by means of a feathered kimono) from the play Hagoromo, “The Feathered Mantle.” She stands on Miho Beach, the feathered kimono caught in the tree behind her. The story relates how fishermen find the boa but will only return it if she performs a dance. Published c early 1760s.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour: Benizuri-e with beni, green and blue. Some light toning and soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kiyomitsu ga with kiyomitsu seal.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa YOSHIIKU (1833-1904)


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An Ichikawa Danjuro memorial portrait showing Kawarazaki Gonjuro I (Danjuro IX, 1838-1903) in the Shibaraku role looking up at his father, Danjuro babaa (Ichikawa Danjuro VII [1791-1859]) who had died the previous year. It was some years before Gonjuro finally adopted the Danjuro name in 1874. Published by Ebisuya, 1860.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshiiku ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)



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The actor Sawamura Sojuro III in the role of Lord Ashikaga Yorikane on board the pleasure boat Takaomaru from the play Kimigatede Yoshiwara sodachi performed at the Miyako-za Theatre, 7/1795. This is the right-hand sheet of a famous diptych. The left sheet (showing Segawa Kikunojo III as the courtesan Takao) is illustrated in the Popper collection, no. 245, Parke Bernet sale catalogue, 9/1972. Another impression was in the Vever collection, illustrated in Vever sale catalogue, Sotheby & Co, Part 1, lot 278, p. 260, 26/3/1974. Published by Senichi (Izumi-ya), 1795 when Toyokuni was producing his greatest designs.

 

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Attributed to SEIKOKU (Active c. 1794-1818)




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A kapazuri-e (stencil print) hosoban showing the actor Kataoka Nizaemon VII (1755-1837) as Togoro. A striking design and probably unique. There are similar prints signed by Chorakusai (Seikoku) and the publisher Suharaya Tosuke was active c. 1812-1829 and is known to have published prints by Seikoku. Published c. 1817.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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A hosoban showing the actor Iwai Kiyotaro II as Arakawa Taro and standing above him in an onnagata role Osagawa Tsuneyo II as the lady Koromode Gozen in the play Toki ni oshu Tsubo no ishibuni performed at the Ichimura-za Thatre in the 11th month 1802. At the top right is a seal which reads Inu, “Dog” (for Dog year 1802). Published by Murataya Jirobei.

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga. e actor Kataoka Nizaemon VII (1755-1837) as Togoro. A striking design and probably unique. There are similar prints signed by Chorakusai (Seikoku) and the publisher Suharaya Tosuke was active c. 1812-1829 and is known to have published prints by Seikoku. Published c. 1817.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1768-1825)




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An actor print showing Ogino Isaburo II as the bandit Kaido Saburo standing with axe, and Matsumoto Koshiro V as Taira no Masakado in the play Otoko narikeri onna Masakado, “What Men ? A Female Masakado” performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre, 11/1801. Published by Izumiya Ichibei.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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The actor Sawamura Tossho II as Sasaki Gennosuke from the play Hana ayame katami ezoshi. From the last great actor set which was planned as a monument to his career and used only the most expensive materials. An untitled set (but known as Konjaku kabuki meiyo, “Actors Portraits Past and Present.”) Seventy-two prints were completed from an intended one hundred and fifty, with twelve of them being by Yoshitora. Published by Ebisuya Shoshichi (Kinshodo) between 1860 and 1869 (this being 1863).

 

Very fine impression on thick hosho. Very fine colour with burnishing and blind-printing. Fine condition. Signed Nanajuhassai Toyokuni hitsu, “By the ninety year old Toyokuni.”

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A bust portrait of the actor Bando Hikosaburo V as Samezaya Shiroza compared to Lin Chong (from the famed Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan, “Outlaws of the Marsh”) retold by Takizawa Bakin (1767-1848) in his novel “The Water Margin: New Illustrated Edition” published in 1805. There are three groups of three prints with background motifs of Pine, Bamboo (as here) and Plum, being the symbols of longevity. He is shown with a heavily tattooed arm of plum blossom and his coat is decorated with a design of a large eagle enveloping his shoulders. Published by Hayashiya Shogoro, 1859.

 

Very fine impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Ni Konomi Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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A diptych showing the actor Otani Tomoemon V as the firefighter Kurikara Denji in the play Fuji to mimasu suehiro soga performed at the Morita-za Theatre, 2/1866. Interestingly, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has the original playbill, acc. no. 11.28195. Firemen were usually heavily tattooed demonstrating their masculinity. Published by Otaya Takichi, 3/1866.

 

Very good impression and colour. The pigments have oxidised somewhat giving a nice patina. Very good condition. Signed Kunichika fude.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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The actor Sawamura Tossho II in the Okazaki no ba, “Okazaki Scene” from Okazaki no neko, “The Cat of Okazaki.” This episode from the famous play takes place in an old temple at Okazaki on the Tokaido. An old cat witch haunts the temple attacking young women. Published by Daikokuya Kinzaburo, c. mid 1860s. Rare.

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Kunichika hitsu.

 

 

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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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: Sold

 

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KATSUKAWA SCHOOL



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The actor Iwai Hanshiro IV probably in a new year Soga play. Unidentified publisher, published c late 1780s.

Fine impression. Exceptional colour. Fine condition.

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOMASU II (Fl. c 1720s -1760)



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An exceptional Primitive showing the onnagata actor Yamashita Kinsaku I looking down at the actor Sawamura Sojuro I who is holding a kettle and teacup. Published by Sagami-ya Yohei c late 1720s.

Very good impression. Urushi beni-e with hand-applied colour: Tan, yellow, light and dark beni and green. Lacquered sumi over an embossed pattern and gold powder. Minor soil and small nick out of bottom edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomasu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOTOMI (FL. c 1720 -1740)



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The actor Ogino Isaburo I looking down on the onnagata actor Fujimura Handayu II. An inscription above Ogino Isaburo states: Kyo Shijo kudari, “Coming from Shijo (Fourth Street) from the Capital.” Indicating the actor was on tour in Edo. Kyoto was considered the capital at that time and the Kabuki theatre was located on Fourth Street in Kyoto. Published by Igaya Kan’emon (Bunkido) c mid 1720s.

Very good impression. Urushi beni-e with hand-applied colour: Tan, yellow, light and dark beni and blue. Lacquered sumi over an embossed pattern and gold powder. Some soil and expertly repaired wormage, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyotomi hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Tamura SADANOBU (Fl. c 1720s-1730s)



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The An artist who seems to have specialised in triptychs. Shows the actor Ichikawa Monnosuke I shielding his head with a large sedge hat (kasa). The middle sheet (naka) of a triptych with title: Hana shobu irotagai sannpukutsui, “A Triptych of Irises in Alternating Colours.”(Possibly following the colours irises come in: Blue, purple, white.) On the sleeves are the auspicious characters denoting long life. Published by Murataya Jirobe (Eiyudo), c mid 1720s.

Very good impression. Urushi beni-e with hand-applied colour: tan, blue and beni. Lacquered sumi over an embossed pattern and gold powder. Slight loss of the sumi, otherwise very good condition. Signed Tamura Sadanobu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOMASU II (Fl. c 1720s -1760)



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The onnagata actor Ichimura Takenojo IV standing and combing the hair of a fashionable young man played by Sanjo Kantaro II. Above, left, is the title printed in gold: Kamisuke, “Hair-combing.” These romantic scenes show the tenderness and love between a man and a woman. There is another version of this scene with the same actors by Okumura Toshinobu. Published by Igaya Kan’emon (Bunkido) c early 1730s.

Very good impression. Urushi beni-e with hand-applied colour: Lilac, beni and yellow. Lacquered sumi over an embossed pattern and gold powder with sprayed blue bands around title. Light soil and small expertly repaired wormhole, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomasu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOMASU II (Fl. c 1720s -1760)



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Shows the actor Sodesaki Miwano I as a proprietress of a house of assignation (kasha). He holds a puppet of the actor Ichikawa Monnosuke I dressed as a fashionable young man visiting the pleasure quarter holding a sedge hat to hide his face. Published by Igaya Kan’emon (Bunkido) c late 1720s.

Very good impression. Urushi beni-e with hand-applied colour: beni, yellow, lilac and pale green. Lacquered sumi over an embossed pattern and gold powder. Light soil and expertly repaired wormage, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomasu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOMASU II (Fl. c 1720s -1760)



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Shows a high-class courtesan emerging from a tea-house with slashed curtains. Possibly one sheet of a triptych. Published by Igaya Kan’emon (Bunkido) c mid 1720s.

Very good impression. Urushi beni-e with hand-applied colour: tan, light beni, light green and yellow. Lacquered sumi and gold powder (mostly lost). Light soil and expertly repaired wormage, otherwise good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomasu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Okumura TOSHINOBU (Fl. c 1717-1750)



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Shows a beauty whisking tea in front of an alcove. Published by Emiya Kichiemon c late 1720s.

Very good impression. Urushi with hand-applied tan colour. Lacquered sumi over an embossed pattern. Browned and some thinned areas, otherwise good condition. Signed Yamato gashi Okumura Toshinobu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Snow from the set Setsugekka no uchi, “Snow, Moon and Flowers” published by Akiyama Buemon, 1890. Shows half-length portraits of famous actors, in this case Onoe Baiko V ( Onoe Kikugoro V, 1844-1903 ) as the priest Iwakura Sogen. Various versions of the story and play exist concerning Sogen’s infatuation with Irokotohime. First edition ( the second state titled “Iwakura Sogen in the Hermitage Scene from Hanafubuki” ). And with variegated cartouche.

Fine impression and colour. Very small corner repair, otherwise very good condition. Ample room for joining of sheets. Signed Yoshitoshi.

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 TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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The actor Segawa Roko III as the Lady Onoe in the play Yanoji Musubi hana no gyoretsu, performed at the Nakamura-za Theatre, 4/1806.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor creasing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Natori SHUNSEN (1886-1960)



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An original watercolour on cartridge paper of the actor Onoe Kikugoro VI as Tomomori. Shunsen is famous for his print series of actors published by Watanabe from 1916 until 1954. 39.2 x 28.5 cms; 15.5 x 11.25 inches. Signed and sealed Shunsen. Minor foxing, otherwise good condition.

Status: Sold

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Yurakusai NAGAHIDE (fl. c. 1804-1848)



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A hosoban kappazuri print (stencil print) showing the actors Ichikawa Danzo IV, Yoshizawa Iroha I, and Arashi Kichisaburo II as Shurinosuke, his wife, and Toshihiro. Exceptionally rare: Seemingly the only other impression known is illustrated in 200 Years of Kamigata Ukiyo-e, 1975, no. 39. Published 1803. Publisher unread.

 

Very good impression. Fine colour. Very good condition. Signed Nagahide.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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A triptych showing courtesans enjoying themselves on a balcony overlooking Tokyo bay. Furyu minami eki shiohi, “Fashionable South Station at Ebb Tide.” In fact, clam digging at low tide which can be seen in the background. This is a play on words as clams had erotic connotations. Shiohigari, “clam gathering” season is March to June with the peak coinciding with Golden Week at the end of April beginning of May. Published by Maruya Jinpachi, c. late 1810s.

 

 

Very fine impression and colour. Impeccable condition. Signed Kikugawa Eizan hitsu.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)



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A very fine portrait of the actor Ichikawa Danjuro VI in kumadori make-up and assuming an aragoto stance. The quality, date, style and publisher are the same as for his finest set of Portraits of Actors on Stage published 1794 – 6 although this design appears not to be from the set and I cannot locate another impression. There is a bust of Danjuro, probably in the same role, by Toyokuni in the same year – 1796 in the Achenbach, San Francisco. Published by Senichi.

Extremely fine impression and colour. Grey ground. A seal at bottom which appears on many Toyokuni I and Toyoshige prints and is probably a book and/or print seller ( it gives an address ). Very small binding holes at left edge. Full size. Fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYONAGA (1752–1815)


Torii-KIYONAGA-1752-to-1815-actors29

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A fine actor design from a series of at least 31 such degatari prints ( showing singing or chanting at a theatre ). A scene from Shosa Hatsuhige yakko tanzen, played at the Ichimura-za theatre, November 1783. Shows Nakamura Nakazo as Tanzen seated with fan looking at Onoe Matsusuke as a young lady ( in reality a white fox ). To the right Ichimura Uzaemon as a yakko. The chanters Tomimoto Buzen-dayu and Tomimoto Itsuki-dayu at the back accompanied by Namizaki Tokuji. Published by Nishimura 1783. See Hirano, Kiyonaga, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, no. 544, pl. LXXX.

Very good impression and colour. Slight soil, otherwise very good condition. Full size. Signed Kiyonaga ga.

Status: Sold

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Katsukawa SHUN’EI (1762-1819)



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An extremely rare yellow-ground aiban showing the actor Sawamura Sojuro III in the role of Nagoya Sanza in the play Keisei sanbon karakasa performed at the Miyako-za, 7/1794. In fact Shun’ei designed another print of the same actor and role, see the Walter Amstutz collection, Sothebys, 1991, lot 98. Shun’ei – the originator of the ‘Big Head’ – was something of an eccentric and a great lover of the theatre and sumo.

Fine impression with unfaded colour. Slight soil with small backed areas and slight horizontal creases, but generally very good. Signed Shun’ei ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)



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Shows Iwai Hanshiro IV as the wet nurse Masaoka and Sawamura Tozo as the evil serving lady Yashio in the play Omiura date nebiki performed at the Nakamura-za, 2/1799. Published by Eijudo. Light grey ground.

Fine impression, and condition. Perfect colour and completely untrimmed. Signed Toyokuni ga.

Status: Sold

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Kinoshita HIRONOBU I (Active c1851-1870)



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A large head oban print of the actor Onoe Shogyoku in an unknown role from a rare set: Zen (?) kurabe nishiki utsushie, “A Comparison of Virtuous Pictures.” Published c1859. This is the first deluxe edition with extensive burnishing, gold and silver. The set was reissued without these embellishments.

Very fine impression and colour. Some soil, offsetting and slight trimming. Signed Hironobu ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyosai YOSHITAKI (1841-1899. Active c1854-1885)


Ichiyosai-YOSHITAKI-1841-to-1899-actors25

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A large head oban print of the actor Nakamura Kanjaku II as Takeda Katsuyori (?) from a rare set: Zen (?) kurabe nishiki utsushie, ‘A Comparison of Virtuous Pictures.’ Published c1859. This is the first deluxe edition with extensive burnishing, gold and silver. The set was reissued without these embellishments.

Very fine impression and colour. Some soil, offsetting and slight trimming. Signed Yoshitaki hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Kinoshita HIRONOBU I (Active c1851-1870)


Kinoshita-HIRONOBU-I-1851-1870-actors24

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A large head oban print of the actor Otani Tomomatsu I as Yaegaki hime from a rare set: Zen (?) kurabe nishiki utsushie, ‘A Comparison of Virtuous Pictures.’ Published c1859. This is the first deluxe edition with extensive burnishing, gold and silver. The set was reissued without these embellishments.

Very fine impression and colour. Some soil, offsetting and slight trimming. Signed Hironobu ga.

Status: Sold

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Kinoshita HIRONOBU I (Active c1851-1870)


Kinoshita-HIRONOBU-I-1851-1870-actors23

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A large head oban print of the actor Arashi Tokusaburo II ( or III [?] ) as Hangari on’na from a rare set: Zen (?) kurabe nishiki utsushie, “A Comparison of Virtuous Pictures.” Published c1859. This is the first deluxe edition with extensive burnishing, gold and silver. The set was reissued without these embellishments.

Very fine impression and colour. Some soil, offsetting and slight trimming. Signed Hironobu ga.

Status: Sold

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