Re: Re: Re: Kunisada/Toyokuni Woodprint

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Posted by Theo de Kreijger on February 07, 1998 at 23:16:36:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Kunisada/Toyokuni Woodprint posted by Hans Olof Johansson on February 07, 1998 at 11:30:18:

Mr. Johansson is quite right.

Looking at the print (indeed a left part of a triptych) it seemed to me that this print is a late Kunisada I from about 1860. The colors, which are bright and straight foreward, were possibly printed with typically 'modern' (analine?) dyes.
Also the hairdo and hairpins look very much like those shown in other designs from about that period.

But I wanted to get some facts. So I plunged myself into some literature (just for fun):

1. The toshidama cartouche (yellow silkworm around the name Toyokuni in a red seal) appeared on prints from about the 1850's (Haven't seen a tohidama seal before that date). See: Kunisada - The Japanese Prints in the Antell Collection - The Fine Arts Acadamy of Finland - 1985.

2. Kunisada died in januari 1865. This brings the date in between about 1850-1865. See: What about Kunisada? - Jan van DoesBurg - page 21 - 1990.

3. There is only one seal on the print. This was custom before 1847 and after 1858. So now we have the date put between 1859-1865. See: The Art of Japanese Prints - Richard Illing (?!?) - page 170 - 1984.

4. The seal itself is hard to recognize. But if you look closely then it must be aratame (examened) put together with 'goat' and '7'. The 7th month of the year of the goat is somewhere in the middle of 1859. See my picture for two more examples of the same seal.

5. The white publisher seal says 'Kiya Sojiro (Komokudo)' and the yellow woodcutters seal says '(Koizumi) Hori Kane(goro)'. Both are found on a triptych by Kunisada from the same year. This confirms the previous dating. See: Catalogue of the Van Gogh Museum's collection of Japanese Prints - 1991 - page 211.

Conclusion: This prints dates almost certainly from 1859 (goat), 7th month. But beware!!! Kunisada prints were extremely popular. If the depicted play was successful or if it was repeated several years later, then the publisher re-ishued the print. Sometimes they used a different colorscheme and/or altered woodblocks. Although it doesn't look that way with this print, it is still a possibility!!!

Dear Sue, I think you now have more information then you asked for. I personaly think that the price $200-$400 is about right, but a single print from a triptych remains a bit of a 'problem' if you consider selling it.

Yours sincerely, Theo de Kreijger

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