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Japanese Ukiyo-e Prints

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Japanese Ukiyo-e Prints

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Ten'ichibo and Ooka Echizen no Kami, Chikashige
1 Chikashige Ten'ichibo and Ooka Echizen no Kami
Edo, Japan Presumed First Edition Very Good Plus Print Folio - over 12" - 15" tall Chikashige 
This work is a beautiful yakusha-e (kabuki actors' print) triptych. The instant print groups four actors on a total of three sheets. Artist: Morikawa Chikashige (fl. 1869-1882). Title: Ten'ichibo and Ooka Echizen no kami, The Judgment of Ten'ichibo by magistrate Ooka, governor of Echizen. Publ.: Not deciphered but name/address of artist and of publisher believed listed in left-hand panel. Date: Meiji. Believed to be Meiji 6/1873, but possibly later. Almost certainly an early pull of the first edition. Size: (HxW) 14.75" x 9.8" (each of 3 pieces) of triptych. Oban tate-e. Signature: Ichikawa Chikashige hitsu, with toshidama seal. Condition: Near Fine impression and state. No creasing observed. Immensely clean, front and back, save for occasional very small color blotches, quite minor. Sharp, occasionally broken key block lines and with well-registered colors. Vibrant aniline dye colors, slight color transfer. As to color choices, green, red, blue and yellow-ochre dominating. It is said of Chikashige's contemporary Kunichika, "In some works from this period [1870s] Kunichika used the aniline dyes identified with the 'era of civilization and enlightenment' as a wash for the entire background plane," and that is the case here, with red and green, in this particular triptych by Chikashige. Untrimmed top and left margins. Virtually no soiling. Unbacked. Over all a Very Good Plus triptych. Comments: The character of Ten'ichibo dominating the lower center of the triptych and with magistrate Ooka dominating the right panel. With the actors striking vivid mie or poses. From the earlier legends regarding Ooka Echizen and from the play Ten'ichibo Ooka seidan (Magistrate Ooka and the case of Ten'ichibo) by the kabuki playwright Kawatake Mokuami (1816-1893). With the title Echizen no Kami (Governor of Echizen or Lord of the Echizen), he is often known as Ooka Echizen. He was highly respected as an incorruptible judge. Ten'ichibo, for his part, was variously treated by legend as a charlatan and a rogue or, contrariwise, as a sincere if naļve young man. 
Price: 800.00 USD
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Ukiyo-e Print, Fusatane, Utagawa
2 Fusatane, Utagawa Ukiyo-e Print
Edo, Japan Kiya Sojiro 1860 First Edition Very Good Print Folio - over 12" - 15" tall Fusatane, Utagawa 
Series/Title: [Unidentified.] Artist: Utagawa Fusatane, active 1854-1888. Signature: in Toshidama cartouche, Fusatane gwa. Date given: 1860/Ansei 7, month iii intercalary. Seal: Combined date-aratame censor seal. Publisher: Kiya Sojiro. Size: WxH 10" x 14.25" (25.5 x 36 cm.) oban tate-e. Carver: Seal present but unidentified. Condition: Near excellent color, although uniformly faded to a moderate degree. Very good impression and state. An early pull with fairly crisp lines, before the blocks were much worn. With full upper and left-side margins. Has been backed onto a larger sheet of paper measuring 14.25" x 17.5". Print (and backing) generally unsoiled. No holes or wormage observed save for tiny, 1/8" notch along left margin, not into image. No wrinkling apparent. Colors: Woman's robe in shades of apricot, green and beige. Man's robe in medium blue and light gray. Standing on platform or pier the color of redwood. Water in foreground a deep blue. Water in background a very pale blue-green. Cerulean blue sky across the top half-inch of the print. This ukiyo-e image rated Very Good. A hand-cut cherry woodblock print on mulberry [?] paper. Fusatane was a student of Utagawa Sadafusa (active 1825-1850). The dates of his birth and death are not known. In addition to publishing individual prints by Fusatane, Kiya Sojiro also published Fusatane's Tokyo meisho no zu in the 1870s, his Tokyo kaika meisho in 1875, and his unserialized prints of 1877 illustrating the Satsuma Rebellion of that same year. 
Price: 150.00 USD
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Okazaki, 39th station, yahagi no hashi-te (Yahagi Bridge), Hiroshige
3 Hiroshige Okazaki, 39th station, yahagi no hashi-te (Yahagi Bridge)
Edo, Japan Tsuta-ya Kichizo 1855 Very Good Print Folio - over 12" - 15" tall Hiroshige Signed by Illustrator
The print being offered is from the 1855 series, Pictures of Famous Places on the Fifty-three Stations, also known as the Vertical Tōkaidō, i.e., in portrait orientation. Artist: Hiroshige, 1797-1858. Title: Okazaki, 39th station, yahagi no hashi-te (Yahagi Bridge). Series: Gojūsan tsugi meisho zue (Pictures of Famous Places on the Fifty-three Stations). Medium: Ukiyo-e. Woodblock Print. Date seal: nengetsu 1855 hare (Ansei 2), month 7. This is believed to be an early pull of an early [?] edition, and not a later reprint or a reproduction. Note, however, John Fiorillo's observation, "How can we possibly identify which impressions belong to which editions of Hiroshige's 1855 series 'Gojūsan tsugi meisho zue', which is said to have been periodically re-published from the original blocks until the 1880s?" Size (HxW):14.5" x 9.6" oban tate-e. Signature: Hiroshige ga. Publisher's mark of Tsuta-ya Kichizo. Condition: Very good impression, almost no soiling, colors very little faded, no creasing observed, two very small thin backing paper pieces attached to the reverse of the right margin, margins mostly intact. Sharp, mostly unbroken key block lines and with well-registered colors. Superb color choices. Grey-green river-bank, bridge supports and distant mountains, light jade green foliage at opposite river-bank, pinkish-beige upper structure of bridge, very light aqua-marine skyline as well as river, with deep blue in river foreground, with purple-tinged sky at the top. A somewhat serene image, with several pedestrians crossing the bridge, three small boats floating on the river, and a man washing a horse in the foreground. Compare to a probably very early copy in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, collection. Strikingly similar except that the MFA print with a red sky at the top and a blue-black river-bank at the bottom. 
Price: 950.00 USD
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Toto meguro yuhigaoka. Twilight Hill at Meguro. Ukiyo-e, Hiroshige
4 Hiroshige Toto meguro yuhigaoka. Twilight Hill at Meguro. Ukiyo-e
Edo, Japan Tsuta-ya Kichizo 1858 Presumed First Edition Very Good Print Folio - over 12" - 15" tall Hiroshige Signed by Illustrator
Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fuji Sanju-Rokkei) is the title of two series of woodblock prints by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Ando Hiroshige, depicting Mount Fuji in differing seasons and weather conditions from a variety of different places and distances. The 1852 series are in landscape orientation; the 1858 series are in portrait orientation. The print being offered is from the 1858 series, apparently number 10 in the series. Artist: Hiroshige, 1797-1858. Title: Toto meguro yuhigaoka. Twilight Hill at Meguro in the Eastern Capital. Series: Fuji sanjurokkei (Thirty-six Views of Fuji). Medium: Ukiyo-e. Woodblock Print. Date seal: nengetsu 1858 horse, month 4. From the last year of the master's life. This is believed to be an early pull of an early {?} edition, and not a later reprint or a reproduction. Later printings tend to lack the date seal. Size (HxW):14.25" x 9.75" oban tate-e. Signature: Hiroshige. Publisher's mark of Tsuta-ya Kichizo. Condition: Very good impression, almost no soiling, colors very little faded, almost no creasing, a paper strip and thin paper to right edge, partially attached to thin backing paper, margins mostly intact. Superb color choices. Light ochre grounds, with medium blue stream, trees with autumn reddish-brown leaves plus green evergreen needles, blue-gray hills with purple-tinged skyline above and blue-tinged sky at the top. A notably serene image, with a few leaves floating down from the two red maple trees and farmers returning from the fields to their village in Meguro. Meguro-ku is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, the former Edo. 
Price: 950.00 USD
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Karhu Print Collection, Kaahu Hangashu, Tolman, Norman; Karhu, Clifton
5 Tolman, Norman; Karhu, Clifton Karhu Print Collection, Kaahu Hangashu
Kyoto, Japan Unsodo Co., Ltd. 1975 First Edition Cloth Fine Fine Elephant Folio - over 15" - 23" tall Karhu, Clifton Signed by Illustrator
First edition and presumed only edition. Limitation unstated but probably 1000 or fewer copies. This is a bilingual edition in Japanese and in English. Printed and presumed bound in Kyoto, Japan. Gorgeous linen [or linen-like] cloth hardboard binding, with crisp red/orange-stamped lettering to the front board and to the spine. Unbumped spine head and tail, with sharp corners. Almost no rubbing to the cloth. 17.25 x 14.5 inches (44 x 37 cm). Text block firmly bound in. With 50 numbered pages in Japanese and English, including the essay, Clifton Karhu, Japanese Print Artist, by Norman H. Tolman. Included is an original woodblock print by Karhu, apparently signed by him but uncertain, and tipped in. With 134 plates in full, bold color and with 77 B&W illustrations. Each page of color plates with a pristine tissue guard. The book in a protective, heavy-duty chemise. The chemise in oxblood-colored cloth and blindstamped Japanese characters. The chemise with two bone (or bone-like) clasps. Trivial spotting to the inner sides of the spines of the chemise. The spotting has not transferred. Complete with the original factory plain cardboard shipping box, the box in two parts, one sliding inside the other. The box with a large paper wrap-around label. The label with moderate rubbing. A Fine copy in a Near Fine chemise. About gift quality. Scarce in any condition. The book is believed to showcase all the artist's known woodblock prints through 1975. Many more were to follow. Karhu (1927-2007) was born in Minnesota of non-Japanese heritage. (The artist's name is often rendered in Japanese as Kahu or Good Wind.) He graduated in 1952 from the Minneapolis School of Art. He lived in Japan much of his adult life. His woodblock prints often depict scenes of typically Japanese buildings with strong pattern and color. Although his orientation is traditional, he has mastered the arts of carving and printing rather than relying completely on artisans as ukiyo-e artists did. 
Price: 750.00 USD
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Kubi-hiki (tug-of-war), Utagawa
6 Utagawa Kubi-hiki (tug-of-war)
Edo, Japan Presumed First Edition Very Good Minus Fine Art Print Folio - over 12" - 15" tall Utagawa 
Unknown artist. Possibly Yokohama school but more likely Utagawa school. Kubi-hiki (tug-of-war). This is a single sheet from a Meiji Era triptych. Believed circa 1880s. HxW 14x9.25 inches. Oban tate-e. No date seal or other date indicator present on this sheet, thus almost certainly the center panel of the triptych. No signature or toshidama cartouche. Depicts three pairs of actors in costume. One actor in robe is decorated with bamboo and sparrows combined. The pairing of these two elements is used on the crest (mon) of the Date clan. Very Good Minus condition. Almost no wrinkles or soiling, very moderate fading. A few very small tears at the top, scarcely noticeable. Margins are trimmed. Unbacked although some very small tape remnants along top and bottom of back. Colors are a green wash to the lower field and an oxblood red sky. With red, black, gray, brownish-purple, especially to the costumes. olive drab, pinkish-red and reddish-brown, pale yellow and black. 
Price: 95.00 USD
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Utagawa Kunimasa IV Actor Print, Utagawa Kunimasa IV
7 Utagawa Kunimasa IV Utagawa Kunimasa IV Actor Print
Tokyo, Japan Hasegawa Sonokichi 1890 Very Good Minus Print Utagawa Kunimasa IV Signed by Illustrator
Artist: Utagawa Kunimasa IV 1848-1920. Series/Title: Possibly from the series atari kyogen haiyu ude kurabe, but that series title does not appear on the print. Actor print. Size: HxW 14.4 x 9.3 inches, each of three panels of a triptych. Oban tate-e. Date: 1890 (Meiji 23) Signed: Oju Kochoro ga, with toshidama seal. Publisher: Hasegawa Sonokichi. Address of publisher contained within cat-shaped cartouche: Tokyo Nihonbashi Kotenmacho Sanchome 17-banchi . Colors: Excellent colors, somewhat understated but not much faded. Two shades of red, two shades of blue, and a medium brown are the principal colors. Secondary colors include charcoal and soft green. Condition: Margins are mostly trimmed, except that top edges are untrimmed and the left edge of the left sheet is mostly untrimmed. Washi [?] paper. Unbacked. The three panels are carefully pasted together from the reverse side along either vertical edge of the center sheet. Slight evidence of former pasting along part of the top of the reverse side. A few very small worm holes at the bottom of the left and right sheets. Almost no soiling. Very Good as to impression. The lines are reasonably clean and clear, neither crisp nor mushy, suggesting a pull neither early nor late. No off-setting apparent. Overall rated Very Good. Comments: Originally born Takenouchi Hidehisa, the artist used multiple go (artist names) during his career including Baido Hosai, Baido Kunimasa, Kochoro, Kunimasa IV, Kunisada III and Toyokuni V. Early in his career he used the go Kunimasa IV and Baido Hosai. In 1889 he succeeded as head of the Utagawa line and took the go Kunisada III. Later in his career he claimed the title Toyokuni IV, but that go was already taken (a fact that he refused to recognize), so he is referred to as Toyokuni V. This triptych features the actors Ichikawa Danjuro at right, Onoe Kikugoro at center, Onoe Kikugoro at center left [playing a second role], and Ichikawa [first name undeciphered] at far left. 
Price: 595.00 USD
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Utagawa Kunimasa IV Actor Print, Utagawa Kunimasa IV
8 Utagawa Kunimasa IV Utagawa Kunimasa IV Actor Print
Tokyo, Japan Daikokuya Kinzaburo Very Good Print Utagawa Kunimasa IV Signed by Illustrator
Artist: Utagawa Kunimasa IV 1848-1920. Series/Title: Unserialized actor print. Size: HxW 14 x 9.4 inches, each of three panels of a triptych. Oban tate-e. Date: Date seal is present but does not correspond to any listings in Andreas Marks. This probably indicates a date after 1875. Signed: Kunimasa hitsu. Publisher: Uncertain but believed to be Daikokuya Kinzaburo. Seal name Dai. Flourished 1863 to 1881 [or 1887]. Colors: Excellent colors, somewhat understated but not much faded. Principal colors are four shades of blue, and a rust red. Secondary colors include ecru, beige and gray-green. Condition: Margins are fully trimmed. Washi [?] paper. Unbacked. The three panels are carefully pasted together from the reverse side along either vertical edge of the center sheet. Minor tape residue observed at the top edge of the reverse of sheets, rather trivial. A ½ inch worm hole at the very top of each sheet, professionally backed. Also a similar backed worm hole 1/3 of way down seam between left and center sheets. Almost no soiling. Very Good as to impression. The lines are reasonably clean and clear, neither crisp nor mushy, suggesting a pull neither early nor late. Overall rated Very Good. Comments: Originally born Takenouchi Hidehisa, the artist used multiple go (artist names) during his career including Baido Hosai, Baido Kunimasa, Kochoro, Kunimasa IV, Kunisada III and Toyokuni V. Early in his career he used the go Kunimasa IV and Baido Hosai. In 1889 he succeeded as head of the Utagawa line and took the go Kunisada III. Later in his career he claimed the title Toyokuni IV, but that go was already taken (a fact that he refused to recognize), so he is referred to as Toyokuni V. Featuring the actors Bando Mitsugoro at right, Nakamura [first name undecipherable] at center, and [?] ____Nosuke at left. 
Price: 595.00 USD
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Actor Triptych, Yoshitaki
9 Yoshitaki Actor Triptych
Osaka, Japan 1860 Near Fine Print 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall Yoshitaki 
Artist: Utagawa Yoshitaki 1841-1899. Series/Title: Presumed unserialized actor print with four principal actors and their roles. HxW 9.8 x 7.2 inches each panel. Triptych in chuban tate-e. Date: No date seals. Believed to be about 1860. Style of signature suggests that the work dates from the artist's young manhood. Signed: Yoshitaki. Publisher: No publisher seals. Colors: Superb colors, neither much faded nor too vibrant. Two shades of green, medium blue, purple, rust-red, orange, black, and a touch of yellow and ochre. Condition: Exceptionally clean. No wrinkles, no holes, and almost no soiling. Margins are fully trimmed. Lovely laid [?] paper. Unbacked. Almost no tape residue to the back. Very Good Plus to Near Fine as to impression. The lines are mainly clean and clear. Probably early pulls from the block. Subtle use of bokashi as well as kara-zuri or gauffrage, especially in the tree leaves, the hanging lanterns and a kimono collar. Overall rated Very Good Plus. Comments: Yoshitaki was born Nakai Tsunejiro (Kojiro) in Shimizucho in Osaka in as the eldest son of a paste merchant. From age 12 to 15, Yoshitaki was a student of Nakajima Yoshiume (1819-1879), who had studied under Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861). His earliest prints were published when he had barely entered his teens. Yoshitaki was purportedly the most prolific designer of woodblock prints in Osaka from the 1860s to the 1880s, producing more than 1,200 different prints, almost all of kabuki actors. 
Price: 595.00 USD
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The Battle between the Minamoto and Taira clans at Yajima [1185], Yoshitoshi
10 Yoshitoshi The Battle between the Minamoto and Taira clans at Yajima [1185]
Edo, Japan 1865 Presumed First Edition Very Good Print Folio - over 12" - 15" tall Yoshitoshi Signed by Illustrator
Title: The battle between the Minamoto and Taira clans at Yajima [1185]. Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-92). Signed: Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga. Note that early on Yoshitoshi took the secondary "studio" name Ikkaisai and that 1865 was the last year when he used that studio name on a regular basis, although he used it occasionally after 1865. Date: date seal Kei-o 1(1865) and publisher cartouche. By 1865 Yoshitoshi was ranked tenth most popular Ukiyo-e artist in the Edo Almanac (Edo Saiseiki). Size: HxW 14.25 x 19.5 inches. Oban tate-e. Unframed Japanese woodblock diptych set, two sheets (the middle and right panels), originally from a triptych of three sheets. The two sheets gently glued together along the shared border. Condition: Very Good. Strong impression with the blocks apparently little worn. Almost no wrinkles or soiling or fading. No holes observed. Margins are trimmed. Unbacked. Two tape remnants to the back of the center sheet. Comments: Presumed early state of early printing. Bright aniline dye colors include purple, reddish-orange, pink, green, deep blue, sea-foam blue, medium brown, and light yellow. Masterful with regard to composition, color and dramatic intensity. Compare this 1865 print to the artist's debut print of 1853, when the artist was 14, a triptych titled, Bunji Gannen Heiki no Ichimon Horobi Kaichu ni Ochiiru Zu. (In 1185 the Heiki Clan sank to their doom in the sea.) See pp. 28-29 of Yoshitoshi: the Splendid Decadent, by Shinichi Segi. Even the debut print, while by definition immature, shows Yoshitoshi's "characteristically painstaking concern with detail and overall composition." The Taira fleet was ambushed at Yajima by Minamoto Yoshitsune and was completely destroyed. This was the famous naval battle of Dannoura of 1185 on the Inland Sea. Interestingly, the late 12th century has been shown (by dendrochronology) to have been one of the hottest and driest periods in the history of Japan. This weather meant very bad crops, which meant severe famines, which in turn meant increased social strife and warfare. 
Price: 795.00 USD
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