Re: utamaro reproduction? thank you Dan

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Posted by Judith on July 20, 2002 at 03:35:19:

In Reply to: Re: utamaro reproduction? posted by Dan on July 17, 2002 at 16:32:08:

Yes the pipe is bell shaped and the kimono is red and white checked with green underneath. It is oban size. pearl colored mica is visible outlining the figure. When looked at tipped and eye level, the ink is in relief (laying on the surface)the paper is thin and the image is quite visible on the back. I got this from an older woman who said her parents lived and purchased it in Japan. When was the Meiji period? Would a book of Japanese wood blocks tell me more about these reprints? Many are listed in this cite resource. In all the print is really beautiful and regardless of value it is a treasure. thanks again

: It sounds from your description that you are describing Utamaro's portrait of a woman with a popen, or glass toy, from his "10 Types in the Physiognomic Study of Woman" set. Is this thing you call a 'pipe with a wide end' very short stemmed, and almost bell-shaped? A pipe would be very long and thin. Is the kimono checkered red/white, with green below? If so, it seems likely you have a reproduction of this famous print.

: As for the value of reproductions, it varies greatly. Many recent reproductions are made with machine-made blocks, and have little value except as souvenirs. You can find these galore at any of the tourist shops in Japan, and at online auctions. Actual, handmade woodblocks produced after WWII might be worth $25-$50, and perhaps $50-$100 for better quality prints of slightly earlier vintage. A very good, early reproduction of this print from the Meiji Era would be fairly valuable, though I suspect these are extremely rare.

: To even qualify as possibly being a better reproduction, your print should be a full sized oban, 10 x 15 inches, and have a mica background as the original does. After that, it is a question of paper, printing and line quality, not something you're likely to resolve in notes. But keep in mind that later reproductions far outnumber early ones. It also seems far more likely that Mitsukoshi (A Japanese Macy's) was selling a tourist market style of reproduction.

: : after reading the info on reproductions on the shogun gallery cite, I believe I have a repro but still with questions. The print was enclosed in a brown paper wrapper. A label reads Mitsukoshi. My research tells me this is/was a department shore in Tokyo. More info whould be appreciated.Also a title. The print is bijanga, the woman holds a light blue colored pipe (bowl is wider at the end) to her lips, no smoke. Her gown is designed and in green and red.As a suspected repro does this print have any value? Thank you very much. All I have read so far is so great to me. Judith

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