Re: Yoshida Signatures

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Posted by hess on June 12, 1999 at 08:49:06:

In Reply to: Yoshida Signatures posted by kmadsen on May 15, 1999 at 02:49:10:

: Can anyone explain why Yoshida Prints with Jizuri Seal sometimes have the title and signature impressed, sometimes just the title impressed with a pencil signature, and sometimes both the title and signature in pencil? What is the relative value of prints in these three cases? Was he consistent within an edition as to how the prints were signed and titled? What are the relative values of posthumous prints with an impressed signature and those with none at all? For how long after his death were posthumous prints made? Please recommend a good reference on Hiroshi Yoshida.

It seems that deep down you would like to know how to value and grade prints in order to collect them. This is easy. You just need to look at lots of prints by the artist(s) you covet. You need to ask a lot of questions. And you need to do a lot of research. Unfortunately, there is no set procedure to follow. The learning curve is different for everyone, but as you apply yourself to your studies your learning and understanding will accelerate exponentially. in answer to your ebay (and other on-line venues) query as to whether shin hanga (yoshida and hasui) print prices are being driven up by frenzied bidders;
yes and no. the main problem with buying Yoshida and Hasui prints in ANY auction; everybody knows these names, can research the artist, can find auction result prices in the $1000's, does not do their homework to discover the true value of the particular print, and gets too excited in the auction environment. on ebay, there is basically a ceiling at which everybody but the most knowledgeable collector and dealer drops out (no, i won't say how much, but you will figure it out if you follow ebay for about 6 months). on ebay the rules are; ALL Yoshida and Hasui prints, no matter how bad the condition or late the printing, fetch over $100- up to $150-. ALL Yoshida and Hasui prints that look great but are posthumous fetch $150- to $250-. ALL Yoshida and Hasui prints in bad condition but lifetime printings fetch $250- to $450-. ALL Yoshida and Hasui prints that look great and are lifetime printings fetch a minimum of $400-. one rarely steals anything on ebay. but you can get great value (35 cents on the dollar or better) if you follow my recommendations. the question would be are these prices too high ? yes....IF you are buying a print based upon small photographs offered by a seller who would not know good condition if it bit them (remember, 99% of ebay sellers never see a mint condition early lifetime impression of the shin hanga print they are offering; so whatever condition these unknowledgeable sellers ascribe to their wares is both based upon ignorance and negligence). no....if you are aware of the prices of the most reputable Japanese print dealers, and find a seller offering big screen photos and detailed close-up photos that show the print from front and back in a size format that is equal to or larger than the actual print. this type of seller is rare on ebay and will command top prices for their wares simply because the ebayers can buy with confidence; they are not guessing and hoping that the seller knows whether their small photo prints are possibly mat-burned, light-struck, toned, foxed, etc.. i believe there are only a handful of sellers on ebay who properly show their prints. with these over-sized photos you can really discern what it is that you are buying. you will thus only need to know the retail market prices, know what discounts are available from what dealers, know what identifying markings are on early impressions, and know which (and why) images are highly prized and rare. then you can make an educated decision
when you bid.
and two last things. 1) when you find ebay sellers who post large photos, make sure the photos were taken outdoors in full sunlight (this exposes any flaws) and be sure to ask any and all condition questions before bidding (well in advance of auction end if you hope to receive a timely response). 2) if you cannot control yourself and just have to bid on ANY framed print, ALWAYS bid less than 1/2 the maximum (i recommend below 1/4 of the maximum) bid that you would place on a mint condition print that had never been framed; as you will usually find framed prints to be disappointments.

if you do your homework, follow ebay for a few months, identify patterns of both bidders and sellers; you can lurk in the shadows and strike at the really good deals with confidence. happy fishing.

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