Re: "Signed" Great Wave by Hokusai

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Posted by George Aar on December 02, 1998 at 04:09:25:

In Reply to: "Signed" Great Wave by Hokusai posted by Bruce Steffine on November 29, 1998 at 19:42:23:

: I have seen for sale a framed Great Wave. The seller claims it is signed by Hokusai. However, the signature is in the border in English penmanship! The size of this print is 18 x 14 1/4. I know very little about woodblock prints, except what I am now reading in this site. It seems to me this is probably a fraud . . . I doubt Hokusai would have signed his woodblocks in pretty english penmanship during the early 1800's. Any helpful comments?

I saw the same auction, and while there are, no doubt, grievous errors in the description, I think "fraud" is a bit strong. I think ignorance would be closer to the point. As you point out, Hokusai did not sign his name or title his prints in western cursive writing. Also, as you note, the original prints were "oban" size (approx. 10"x15"). I don't think there was any deliberate effort to deceive on the sellers part, though, I think he's just a dummy (what does that say about his bidders?).

BTW What is "fully signed" anyway?


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