Re: questioning the authenticity of a Hokusai print-2 boys fishing

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Posted by Colin Birch on August 21, 2002 at 01:34:34:

In Reply to: questioning the authenticity of a Hokusai print-2 boys fishing posted by Brian on August 19, 2002 at 16:16:48:

I am looking at a reproduction of Fugaku Hyakkei published by George Braziller in 1988, introduced by Henry Smith. Eirakuya Toshiro was the publisher of the 1849 Nagoya edition, which included volume III. The first edition of 1834, including only the first two volumes, is notable for the "astonishing" quality of the carving and the evenness of the grey washes.

So you would be looking for nearly perfect craftsmanship. In your print this is demonstrated in the fishing line being cast, with barbs clearly visible on the hook. The blacks at the tops of the posts and in the fishermens' clothing are perfect and unbroken, with designs in white clearly visible on the fishermens' mats. In the upper left you can just see the base of Fuji visible as light grey against the darker sky, behind the reeds. The sky above the reeds is mottled, but has a completely even tone.

After all that, I am not sure how valuable the print would be, even if it was thought to be from the first edition. It is only half the image, and is by definition a severely trimmed sheet. Book plates are consistently much less valuable than single sheet prints. Its value would be mainly dependent on how much you enjoy it.

: I have a book illustration of a page from the 'Fugaku Hyakkei', first volume, subject 21 ('Rochiu ikada no
: Fuji'), but just the right page. I know the first edition of the first volume was issued in 1834 and that many & many other editions were reproduced. It was a gift from an artist friend of my parents and she suspected it would someday be worth something. I'm suspicious that it may in fact be a genuine piece because of her (the artist's) zeal for the piece. There's a small tag in english on the back of the frame with...

: Hokusai
: "Hundred Views of Fuji" [Fugaku hyakkei]
: By Hokusai [Old man mad about drawing at age 75]
: c. 1834-1835
: Publisher: Yeirakuya Toshiro of Nagoya.

: Is this a more modern publisher? I have a scanned image if anyone wishes to see it. Please just email me. I'd appreciate any information you can provide.

: Thanks,
: Brian

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