Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)


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An original painting, sumi and light colour on silk, image size 32 x 11.5 in; 81.3 x 29.2 cms. His life is not well documented but he is known to have studied under the Kano artist Yamamoto Joshunsai (? -1781) before being drawn into Mauyama Okyo’s (1735-1795) artistic circle and his style is more Shijo than anything else. His animal paintings were evidently highly valued by Okyo. He was an immediate favourite with eastern collectors because of his monkey paintings at which he excelled, although he was more versatile than literature implies and highly accomplished at drawing other animals. But his images of monkeys take precedence and he is considered the pre-eminent painter, east or west, on this subject. It is alleged that he lived in the woods for three years eating fruit and nuts to study the monkeys and other animals and is also supposed to have had a cage of monkeys at the back of his house to better observe them. Shows two Japanese macaque monkeys, known as the snow monkeys, eating chestnuts. Signed Sosen hitsu with seal Shusho. Minor cracks, otherwise very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 


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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Saito no Oniwakamuru from the set Ikkai zuihitsu, “A Miscellany by Ikkai.” (This being an early name of Yoshitoshi’s.) The young Saito Musashibo Benkei was given the moniker Oniwakamuru “Devil Child” because of his feats of strength and general behaviour. The episode depicted here, which was a popular theme for artists, shows the young Oniwakamaru battling a giant carp at the Bishamon Waterfall, where he has gone looking for his mother, Ohaya. On killing the carp, he discovers it has eaten his mother. A set published by Masadaya Heikichi, 1872-3 (this being 1872). Even amongst Yoshitoshi’s best work, this is an outstanding design.

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Saginoike Heikuro from Honcho Suikoden goyu happyaku-nin no hitori, “Eight Hundred Heroes of our Country’s Suikoden, One by One.” Shows the brigand wrestling with a huge serpent at the Lake of Sayama (or Hazama) at Tondabayashi in the Province of Kawachi. Published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c 1845. (First issued by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon, c 1831, his seal just visible lower right corner.) Robinson S4b.4. A fine design.

 

Very good impression and colour. Full size. Slightly soiled bottom left, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Kyusempo Sakucho (Chin: Suo Chao) at the battle of Peking from Tsuzoku Suikoden goketsu hyaku-hachi-nin no hitori, “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One.” Based on the Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan, attributed to Shi’Nai’an, which tells of a band of 108 brigands who operated from Liangshan Marsh. Shows the warrior wielding a huge axe and plunging through deep snow on his horse. He was renowned for being seven chi tall (just over seven and a half feet) and impetuous in battle, often charging ahead of his men – hence his nickname “Impatient Vanguard.” Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon, c 1827-30. Provenance: Ex B.W. Robinson collection. Robinson S2.44.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size (rare with designs from this set). Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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The warrior Hitentaisei Rikon (Chin: Li Gun) in armour and holding a hand spear (nage-yari) the use of which he excelled at. He scans the horizon from a craggy outcrop. From the set Tsuzoku Suikoden goketsu hyaku-hachi-nin no hitori, “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One.” Based on the Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan, attributed to Shi’Nai’an, which tells of a band of 108 brigands who operated from Liangshan Marsh. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon, c 1827-30. Robinson S2.21.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size (rare with designs from this set). Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Shows the warrior Chinsanzan Koshin (Chin: Huang Xin) holding the “Sword of Death.” His nickname was the “Guardian of the Three Mountains” because of his boast that he could easily eradicate the bandits from the three mountains in the Qingzhou region. . From the set Tsuzoku Suikoden goketsu hyaku-hachi-nin no hitori, “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One.” Based on the Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan, attributed to Shi’Nai’an, which tells of a band of 108 brigands who operated from Liangshan Marsh. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon, c 1827-30. Robinson S2.10.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size (rare with designs from this set). Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Shows the fearsome female warrior, Fujinoye, defending Takadachi Castle in 1189. In a rain of arrows she attacks Yemoto Juro and Nagasawa Uyemon-taro on the castle steps. From the set Honcho Suikoden goyu happyaku-nin no hitori, “Eight Hundred Heroes of our Country’s Suikoden, One by One.” Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon, c 1831. Robinson S4a.1.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming at bottom, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Shows Sasaki Saburo Moritsuna, holding a dirk in his mouth, and strangling the fisherman Fujidayu. From an untitled set published by Kawaguchi-ya Uhei, c 1825-30. The story revolves around Moritsuna bribing the fisherman to reveal the whereabouts of the shallows at Fujito, a strait separating Kojima from the mainland, and being 500 yards wide impossible for the troops to cross without boats to attack the Taira forces. The version depicted here shows Fujidayu being killed, rather than just bribed. Robinson Sia.6.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A triptych showing beauties carrying brine in yoked buckets to be made into salt. From a set Mu Tamagawa, Mutsu no kuni chidori no Tamagawa, “Six Jewel Rivers, Plover Jewel River in Mutsu Province.” Also known as the Noda Jewel River. Above, a flock of chidori. The Mu Tamagawa theme was popular in Japanese art. Published by Sanoya Kihei, 1847-8.
Very good impression. Slight fading, otherwise good colour. Very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A rare early Kuniyoshi triptych, Minamoto no Yorimitsu no Shitenno tsuchigumo taiji no dzu, showing Minamoto no Yorimitsu (Raiko) and his loyal retainers: Watanabe no Tsuna, Usui no Sadamitsu, Sakata no Kintoki and Urabe no Suetake killing the giant “Earth Spider.” Numerous versions exist of this story but basically Raiko and his followers have to tackle various horrendous apparitions in a cave within the hill Kagura ga oka near Kyoto, eventually to be faced by a beautiful woman who envelops Raiko in cobwebs. He slays her and her body turns into a spider, the head being twenty-five feet long and eyes shining like the sun and moon. He cuts off the beast’s head and the carcase reveals the many bodies devoured by it. Published by Maru-ya Seijiro, c 1838. Robinson T46 and illustrated in colour, Kuniyoshi, B.W.Robinson, Phaidon 1982, plate 37.

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor creasing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.Very good impression. Slight fading, otherwise good colour. Very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Hana, “Flowers” from the set Setsugekka no uchi, “Snow, Moon, and Flowers.” Shows the actor Ichikawa Sadanji as Gosho no Gorozo. The main character in the play Soga moyo tateshi no goshozome, “The Story of Gorozo, the Chivalrous Commoner.” A convoluted plot (as usual) with the samurai Gorozu becoming an otokodate upon being expelled by his family because of an undesirable love affair. Gorozu ends up killing his old master’s lover, Oshu. Published by Akiyama Buemon, 1890. A fine set of bust portraits.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A triptych Gikeiki Gojobashi no zu, “Gojo Bridge in the Chronicles of Yoshitsune.” Shows Musashi-bo Benkei of herculean strength subdued by the young Onzoshi Ushiwaka Maru (Yoshitsune) on Gojo Bridge.The story relates how Benkei (1155-1189) wandered around Kyoto with the intention of relieving 1000 samurai of their swords. One night, with one more sword to go, he saw Yoshitsune playing a flute and wearing a golden sword at the Gojotenjin Shrine. They agreed to fight on Gojo Bridge in southern Kyoto. However, Yoshitsune was too agile for Benkei and had been educated in the secrets of fighting by the tengu. Following Yoshitsune’s victory Benkei became Yoshitsune’s retainer. Published by Morimoto Junzaburo, 1881. One of Yoshitoshi’s best designs.

 

Very good impression and colour. Later editions lack the black outline around the moon and have clouds added. (Interestingly, a feature usually found on the earliest states of prints, but in this case the reverse.) Very good condition. Signed Taiso Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A triptych showing the Japanese Buddhist deity Fudo Myo-o, one of the five “Kings of Wisdom,” above the novitiate priest Yuten Shonin (1637-1718) about to consume the sword of wisdom thereby gaining supernatural wisdom and enlightenment. (Often miscatalogued as threatening him.) On the right is the goddess of mercy, Kannon. The scene is set in the Zojoji Temple where Shonin goes on to become the Abbot. Published by Akiyama Buemon, 1885.

 

Fine impression with the publisher’s details intact in the left border of last sheet – often trimmed off. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A triptych showing Shoguntaro Taira Yoshikado (centre), his sister Takiyasha-hime (left), and Yoshikado’s retainer, Iga Jutaro, watching magic toads wrestling. Huge toads loom above them. Shogun Taro Yoshikado mikata wo atsumen ga tame etc. Takiyasha-hime was known for her toad magic which she had gained from a scroll containing their secrets given to her by her brother. Published by Tsuru-ya Kiyemon, 1842-3. Robinson T.89.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai and Chooro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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ANONYMOUS (Late 18th century)




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An Uki-e, “floating picture” painting showing an interior with a puppet performance taking place. A puppeteer manipulates a female puppet in the centre, behind him two gidayu narrators and a shamisen player. A male puppet is being held behind a screen. Ladies behind a screen at right enjoy the drama. In fact, a male individual at the back seems overcome by emotion with a hanky to his face. The architecture is represented using one-point perspective, a style which made its way to Japan in the 1740’s from the West via China. (Interestingly the artist has got the perspective wrong on the screen at right.) This genre of painting – invariably unsigned – always shows interior or semi-interior views with banquets or, as here, puppet performances. Full colour on paper, 17 x 23 in; 43.2 x 58.5 cms. Minor marks, although good condition for this kind of painting.

 

Status:  
Available

 




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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An uncut fan print with title Shinkiro no zu which has a double meaning of being the Yoshiwara in the deep sea and also a chimera or mirage. The scene enclosed in a (dreaming ?) bivalve shows visitors in a watery Yoshiwara, all with fish heads. Of the utmost rarity: This appears to be the only impression known. There are also what appear to be keying marks on three sides that have not been removed. Published by Shinagawaya Kyusuke with censor seal for 1845.

 

Very fine impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige giga hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiyusai HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)




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Suo Iwakuni Kintaibashi, “The Bridge of the Brocade Sash at Iwakuni in Suo Province.” From an uncompleted set: Shokoku meisho hyakkei, “One Hundred Views of the Provinces.” Published by Uoei between 1859 – 1861 (this being 1859). Shows the beautiful five-arch bridge spanning the Nishiki-gawa under heavy snow. The village of Nishikimi in the foreground. The bridge was built in 1673 using massive stone pilings because earlier bridges had been swept away. It was destroyed in 1950 due to a typhoon but rebuilt in 1953. The best print from the set and probably Hiroshige IIs finest design.

 

 

Fine impression of the first edition with mica applied. Fine colour. Minor edge discolouration, otherwise very good condition. Later editions lack the variegated cartouche and the colour-banded publisher’s seal in left margin. Signed Hiroshige ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An extremely rare chu-tanzaku, Fuyu Sumidagawa no yuki, “Winter Snow on the Sumida River.” From a set Shiki Edo meisho, “Famous Places in Edo in the Four Seasons.” A lone figure in straw cape and large hat poles a log raft down the Sumida river in heavy snow. Published by Kawasho c. 1834. There are a number of states of this design known: As here (probably the earliest) with publisher’s seal and kiwame seal; with kiwame only; and without either. There are also extremely deceiving copies of this print. Provenance: Ex Le Veel collection, sold by Ader Picard Tajan, Paris, 2nd sale, 24/10/1980, lot 114, p. 50.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing the ghosts of the Taira (Heike) warriors attempting to sink Yoshitsune’s ship off the coast of Settsu on his way to Shikoku. This is one of Kuniyoshi’s great designs – amongst the three or four best triptychs and is illustrated in numerous publications. The scene is the outcome of a great battle at Dan-no-ura where the Minamoto (Genji) clans clashed and defeated the Taira clans a few years earlier. The spirits of the drowned warriors rose up to seek revenge only to be pacified by Benkei reciting exorcisms with his rosary. Published 1849-52 by Enshuya Hikobei. Robinson T242. Rare.


Very good impression and colour although slightly mismatched blue on the first and second sheets. Very good condition. Full size. There appear to be three states of this design: The main difference being in the shape of the ghosts and lines in the waves only on the first state. In this (the second state) the ghosts lack some of the features that are on the first and a large spirit appears above the wave over the ship on the centre panel. The third state has further differences in the ghosts and lacks this figure. Also, the colour of the boat gets greyer. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


Status: Sold

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Katsukawa SHUN’EI




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An hosoban showing Iwai Hanshiro IV in a “Shibaraku” role, probably as Akita Jonosuke Yoshikage from the play Mieiko nori no hachi no ki performed at the Kawarazaki Theatre in the 11th month, 1791. The highly stylised and dramatic Shibaraku costume gave rise to some of the best ukiyo-e designs. Originally staged by Ichikawa Danjuro I in 1697, it quickly gained popularity and was included in the kaomise celebrations at Edo theatres. Published by Harimaya Shinshichi. Ex Beres collection, sold Paris 2002, lot 39.

 

 

Fine impression, very good colour and condition. Beres seal au verso. Signed Shun’ei ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A complete triptych showing beauties in boats on the Sumida River. Shubi no matsu, “Successful-deal Pine Tree” from a set Edo meisho somoku-zukushi, “Notable Sights Famous for Grass and Trees in Edo.” This famous pine was blown down during the An’ei era (1772-1780); its successor died during the Ansei era (1854-1859); the third died at the end of the Meiji era (c 1910). There is also the Hiroshige view of this subject from the 100 Views of Edo. Published by Ebiya Rinnosuke (Kaijudo), 1845.

 

Very good impression. Fine colour and condition. Full size. Another state has darker water and variegated cartouche. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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One of Hiroshige’s most beautiful triptychs: Sumidagawa setchu no zu,“The Sumida River in Snow” from a series Edo meisho shiki no nagame, “Views of the Famous Places of Edo in the Four Seasons.” Shows a ferry landing on the Sumida with a beauty disembarking from a boat and another pair ready to board. Published by Maruya Jinpachi, c 1847-8. Rare.

 

Very good impression and colour. Horizontal centre fold, otherwise good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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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.

 

Status: Sold

 

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SESSHUNSAI (Dates unknown but active c 1800)




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An extremely rare early Osaka hosoban showing the actor Asao Tamejuro II (1779-1806) standing before a broken barricade in the role of Yamashiro Kantsubo in the play Meiboku sendai hagi. This artist and print appear to be unrecorded. Published by Houki (Honya Kichisai), c early 1800. A wonderful design. Many thanks to Hendrick Luhl for his help on this print.

 

Very good impression and colour. The fujitive background aobana, dayflower pigment, intact except for one small area affected by moisture visible au verso. Very good condition. Signed Sesshunsai ga with seal unread.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Jokei RYUKOSAI (Fl. c 1772-1816)




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The most important and influential Osaka artist of the late eighteenth century. An innovator whose style may well have influenced such artists as Shunei and Sharaku. His prints – mostly hosoban – are all of the utmost rarity. Indeed, it is thought they originally formed triptychs but, so far, no complete design has been located. The oban design offered here is even rarer, there being only two other impressions known: Illustrated in colour, pl. 13, in Kamigata Ukiyo-e Nihyaku-nen Ten, “200 Years of Kamigata Ukiyo-e,” Susumu Matsudaira, 1975; and pl. 43, p. 56, catalogue of exhibition Ukiyo-e of the Kamigata Area at the Osaka Museum of History and Yamaguchi Prefectural Hagi Uragami Museum, Kitagawa Hiroko, 2014. Shows five actors. From right to left (rear): Nakamura Kyojuro, Arashi Sangoro III, Kataoka Nizaemon VII and (front): Asao Tamejiro I, Ichikawa Danzo IV. Published c 1790 by Ki.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Small areas of contemporary hand colouring to face and costume of Tamejiro. Slight folds and small sumi mark bottom left, otherwise very good condition. Probably full size. Signed Ryukosai ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Jokei RYUKOSAI (Fl. c 1772-1816)




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The most important and influential Osaka artist of the late eighteenth century. An innovator whose style may well have influenced such artists as Shunei and Sharaku. His prints – mostly hosoban – are all of the utmost rarity. Indeed, it is thought, as here, that they originally formed triptychs but, so far, no complete design has been located. The unsigned left panel of a triptych published 1/1793 showing Onoe Shinshichi I (Fujaku) as Isshiki Yukinokami in the play Keisai yanagi sakura. The play involves the rescue of the Ashikaga Shogunate through the efforts of Yukinokami in uncovering a usurper’s plot. The hero stands in a snowy garden holding a fragment of a handscroll he has been found reading. Of the utmost rarity: Only a few impressions are known and there are two states: As here without role above and published by Osakaya Sashichi and with the calligraphy and published by Shiocho.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition.

 

Status: Sold

 

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TOGAKUSAI (Active c 1782)




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An extremely rare and early Osaka hosoban (probably unrecorded) showing the actor Kano Hinasuke I (who later became Arashi Koroku III) standing on large geta and holding an umbrella. Published by Shioki-han (Shioya Kisuke), c 1782. The poem above is signed using the actor’s hango Arashi Minshi. Only a few designs are known by this artist. Many thanks to Hendrick Luhl for his help on this print.

 

Very good impression and colour. Some wear and tear which has been skilfully restored. On very thin paper. Signed Togakusai hitsu with seal Sadakuni.

 

Status: Sold

 

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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.”


 

Status: Sold

 




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Kubo SHUNMAN (1757-1820)




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A rare surimono showing new year festivities before a large screen depicting Mount Fuji at sunset. A versatile and highly talented artist working in various mediums, Shunman produced (and cut and printed) some of the finest surimono. Published c 1810s. I cannot, at the moment, locate another impression.

Fine impression and colour with extensive gold and silver. Fine condition. Sealed Shunman bottom right.


Fine impression and colour with silver and gold. Light backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Shokyuko Shuntei ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Totoya HOKKEI (1780-1850)




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An exceptionally rare surimono showing salt gatherers on a beach, their huts behind them and Mount Fuji towering over the horizon. Published c 1820s. I cannot, at the moment, locate another impression.


Fine impression with gold clouds and Fuji heavily blind-printed. Fine colour. Minimal soil, otherwise very good condition. Si8ned Hokkei.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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No. 7 from a set of 12 prints: Joshoku kaiko tewazagusa, showing women engaged in the sericulture (silkworm) industry. This was traditionally the domain of women. The colour scheme is red-avoiding (murasaki-e) using predominantly purple. This stage of the process shows the metamorphosis – the winged moth stage – when silkworms are used to lay eggs. This set is taken verbatim from the Shunsho/Shigemasa set of chuban prints, Kaiko yashinai-gusa. (See elsewhere on this site for a Shunsho example.) Published 1798-1800 by Tsuru-ya Kiemon.


Fine impression. Fine colour, perfectly retained. Very good condition; full size. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty in sumptuous clothing from a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. This is number 3, Tamba, and shows men fishing at night with the aid of flares. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.


Very fine impression and colour with strong burnishing on collar. Fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty reading a program while a cat dozes beside her. From a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. This is number 19. Catching octopuses, Takasago in Banshu [Harima] Province. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.


Very good impression and colour. The cat’s fur blind-printed. Light album backing, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Token Gonbei using a mirror to pluck his forehead (hitai). The style became known as Token hitai. From a set: Kuniyoshi moyo shofuda tsuki genkin otoko, “Men of Ready Money with True Labels Attached, Kuniyoshi Style.” These otokodates (a word that is difficult to translate but was a chivalrous commoner, a fashionable man-about-town, street-wise and ready to assist the oppressed). Gonbei is said to have beaten a barking token (Dutch hunting dog) to death with his bare hands – thus he got his name. Published c 1845 by Iba-ya Kyubei.


Very fine impression. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Sasai Kyuzo Masayasu (Sakai Kyuzo Narashige) enveloped in smoke and disintegrating before a volley of musketry at the battle of the Anegawa (1570). From the set Taiheiki yeiyuden, “Heroic Stories of the Taiheiki. A history of the wars of the loyalist Nitta and Kusunoki families against the Ashikaga war-lords during the second quarter of the fourteenth century. But in fact the subject of this set of fifty prints (this being 12, but not numbered) is the civil war of the late 16th century. Censorship restrictions imposed in the 1840s prevented publishers from illustrating historical subjects from the Tensho era 1573-92 onwards, so the publishers circumvented this by slightly altering the names of the historical figures. Published 1848-9 by Yamamoto-ya Heikichi. Robinson S62.36. The best design from the set.


Fine early impression. Fine colour. Slight nibbling to left edge, otherwise very good condition. Fine impression. Fine colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A poem by Onakatomi no Yoshinobu Ason from Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki, the “Hundred Poems explained by the Wet Nurse.” Published by Nishimuraya Eijudo and Iseya Eijudo c 1835/6. Although obviously intended to be a set of 100 prints, only 27 are known plus drawings for the others. The poet speaks of his love being like a fire kept by guards at the Imperial Palace: It only burns hot at night. Shows a group of sleepy imperial guards with the fire burning low. The poet and servant are seen on the distant hill.


Very fine early impression. Fine colour and condition. (The small white area without colour top left should appear on every untrimmed genuine impression.) Signed Zen Hokusai manji (the manji seal black).

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A poem by Kiyowara no Fukayabu from Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki, the “Hundred Poems explained by the Wet Nurse.” Published by Nishimuraya Eijudo and Iseya Eijudo c 1835/6. Although obviously intended to be a set of 100 prints, only 27 are known plus drawings for the others. The poet speaks of the shortness of the summer night and asks if the moon is still overhead or hidden by clouds. Shows an evening on the Sumida River with a large pleasure boat accompanied by a smaller craft and a vessel providing food.


Fine early impression. Fine colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise good condition. Signed Zen Hokusai manji (the manji seal black).

 

Status: Sold

 

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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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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)




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The actor Nakamura Tomijuro I in an unidentified female role holding a biwa (a lute-like musical instrument) underarm. Surprisingly not listed in The Life And Works Of Katsukawa Shunsho, Frederick William Gookin, which is the most comprehensive overview. Published c 1775/6.

Fine impression and colour. One small repaired wormhole, otherwise exceptional condition. Signed Shunsho ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)




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Akasaka kiribatake uchu sekikei, “Evening View of the Paulownia Plantation at Akasaka Under Rain.” This is the replacement design for Hiroshige I’s version Akasaka kiribatake for the Meisho Edo hyakkei, “One Hindred Views of Edo” published by Uoya Eikichi between 1856 and 1858. This design dated 1859. Presumably the blocks were damaged for the first composition. A fine design and superior to Hiroshige I’s.


Fine early impression with mica to sky. There is an extremely rare first edition of this print with an added gradation of yellow to square cartouche and gradation on the yellow fence at left and roofs at right. Otherwise, the impressions are the same. The gradation in the background is particularly fine here. Fine colour. Slight soil to margin, otherwise very good condition. Signed Nisei Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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