Re: Re: Harunobu and Utamaro prints?

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Posted by Hans Olof Johansson on March 01, 1998 at 21:24:38:

In Reply to: Re: Harunobu and Utamaro prints? posted by Barbara Yaney on February 28, 1998 at 22:08:13:

As Thomas has already pointed out, these two prints look very fine. In fact, they probably look far too fine to be genuine Harunobu and Utamaro prints. It is extremely unlikely that you should find original works by these artists in such good condition.

The resolution of your image file wasn't good enough for me too identify the seal on the Harunobu with certainty, but I believe that you are perfectly right about it being Watanabe's seal (see above). Anyway, the original print didnt carry any seals at all, only the signature.

I'm afraid that I haven't been able to identify the seal on the Utamaro print, either. However, the original was printed in an album, Ehon shiki no hana ("Picture book with flowers of the four seasons", 1801), across two pages and without signature or seals. The seal on your picture is probably the mark of the publisher of the reprint.

: : As a new collector, I have really appreciated this web site and the quality of the discussion. I have just purchased 2 "prints" at an auction. (See link below) I have identified them as Harunobu and Utamaro. Can anyone help me to identify the titles and subjects or themes? I am now assuming (based on the previous discussions) that these are probably reproductions??? How do I tell a true print from a reproduction? How
: : should they be preserved? Acid-free paper? What else?
: : Thank you all in advance.
: : Barbara Yaney

: As I continue to investigate these prints, I have found a mark above the Harunobu signature that, I am told,is Watanabe. I understand that Watanabe was/is a known publisher. According to Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada in their book: Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints,"Founded by Watanabe Shozaburo in 1906 under the name Shobido to make reproductions of ukiyo-e. In 1908 he initiated the publication of shin-hanga by the publisher/artist/artisan system. At the same time he compiled Book of Ukiyo-e by Celebrated Artists and Collection of Masterpieces of Ukiyo-e, both composed of facsimile prints from newly carved blocks. He continued producing both facsimile prints and shin-hanga. The company, known today as S. Watanabe Color Print Co, continues under the direction of Watanabe Tadasu." (University of Hawaii Press, 1992.)
: Can anyone decipher the publisher/printer of the Utamaro print?
: Continued thanks for your time and insight as you respond. Barbara Yaney

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