Re: Sharaku print

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Posted by George Aar on February 16, 1999 at 14:58:56:

In Reply to: Sharaku print posted by Julia Drummond on February 15, 1999 at 02:03:43:

: I have an old woodblock print which I am trying to determine if it could be original...or did artists reproduce his work 100 years ago. I have heard the government banned the use of mica after Sharaku. I am not certain mine is mica since I have not had it tested, but it does have a metallic look. Did any of the original woodblocks he used survive the first production? Could they have been used to make copies? I appreciate any information. Thanks. Julia

As far as I know, (and that's not REAL far), mica and mettalic pigments have always been used for woodblock printing, right up to the present day, for that matter. As for your print, the numbers I've heard say that there are only about 500 genuine original Sharaku's in extant worldwide, and of those only about 100 are in private collections. So the odds that yours is an original, and not one of the countless reproductions done over the years, aren't real good, but who knows, stranger things have happened. If it were mine I would take it to a reputable Japanese print dealer for an appraisal.
If you don't want to invest the money for an appraisal quite often dealers are willing to look at a print and give you an opinion, no charge. But if you want something in writing, expect to part with a few dollars.

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