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Posted by hess on September 06, 1999 at 20:35:27:

In Reply to: posted by Thomas Crossland on September 06, 1999 at 08:15:15:

: I'd like to find out what anyone can definitively tell me regarding "Doi" Publisher seals/symbol (in box in margin) that appears on "shin-hanga" prints? Did Doi use more than one symbol?? Knowing the symbol(s) used, can this be used to date print as to "when was printed?" In other words, to what time period does the Doi symbol apply?? Also, did Doi also used a "watermark," and if so must that also be found in conjunction with "seal?"
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: Finally, unlike the printed "titles" which appear as "kanji" in many prints' margins (I have always assumed these to actually be carved into the original "key block" and thusly, will appear consistent in all prints)--am I correct to assume that all the rectangular and circular "publisher's seals" are added later by "hand-stamping?"
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: Many thanks in advance to whatever others can share.

Howdy....your answers (assuming you are refering to the publisher, carver's, printer's "cartouches" in print's margins);

1) Did Doi use more than one symbol?? Yes.
2) Knowing the symbol(s) used, can this be used to date print as to "when was printed"? Yes.
3) In other words, to what time period does the Doi symbol apply?? The Doi "cartouches" vary in both size, shape, color, and kanji content. One must be familiar with ALL versions and combinations in order to rely upon the Doi "symbols" as a method of dating. Since there has never been a published chart or guide to Doi's symbols/cartouches you must see lots and lots of Doi prints if you wish to learn how to accurately date Doi prints.
4). Doi also used a "watermark" and must that also be found in conjunction with "seal"? ALWAYS. Although presence of the watermark does not guarantee a first, second, third, or even lifetime printing. Doi Teiichi paper was made with their watermark by specific order. For a brief period after WWII you will sometimes see Doi lifetime prints without Doi watermark, but with Doi symbols/cartouches (a hard sell to collectors who are skittish about authenticity).
For shin hanga (after 1923 Tokyo earthquake), all printer's seals, cartouches, and symbols are hand applied to the print after printing process (before 1923 earthquake, this practice was somewhat inconsistent). Thus, we often see first "state"/edition printings without any publisher's identifying "marks" (particularly Watanabe Shozaburo) because someone forgot to hand apply the publisher's "marks".
Note: Doi was a "Tourist" or "Western market" publisher and this can be seen in virtually all aspects of Doi's quality, printing, and product. Doi knew that "marks" and seals were an extra selling bonus/technique for tourist buyers. As a result, Doi went out of it's way to insure that all it's prints were "marked".
Note 2: Properly dating Watanabe Shozaburo prints by relying upon Watanabe's publishing "marks" appears straightforward....but it is not....as Watanabe was consistently inconsistent about applying the correct "period" seal/mark in conjunction with a print's actual printing date.
In conclusion, since the most prolific and well-documented Japanese shin hanga publisher of the 20th century, Watanabe Shozaburo, does not have a precise guideline/methodology for dating his production; Doi prints are even more difficult to properly date without "hands-on" experience with lots and lots of Doi production.





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