Re: LOC vs Other Museums and sources

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Posted by Hokusai's Pupil ( on February 04, 2015 at 18:47:06:

In Reply to: Re: LOC vs Other Museums and sources posted by Hokusai's Pupil on February 04, 2015 at 08:33:45:

In the Burlington magazine volume 40, dating from 1922, page 31 until page 36, there is an article by Will H Edmunds, on woodblock prints and particularly on Hokusai and the variation of the 36 views of Mt Fuji, and the multiple forgeries on various series. >>> See article here

Interestingly, you will find that some avid collectors, already were able to distinguish variation of blocks on the 36 views of Mt Fuji, proving that indeed there are multiple states in the series despite the blue and black outline, but also forgeries (or what appears to be forgeries) that are currently listed by multiple museums as originals on the 36 views of Mt Fuji, but also on the bridge series and others.

I was also able to note that the European and American demand on original woodblock print started in the late 1880's, and therefore, justify the Meiji era reprints of multiple prints.

Vendors would sell original Hokusai for a lot of money, and all the sudden, the market would be flowed by some very cheap forgeries that appear to be original, some of these very same prints currently listed as originals in museums such as the MFA, MET, etc...

Following this theory, Nishimuraya Yohachi has been the owner of the blocks on the Waterfall series, and sold on demand the Waterfall series and many other prints from Hokusai until the company run out of business in 1860. The logic here is that the demand dropped after selling the prints for 30+ years, and there are no reason to have created a new set of blocks at this period of time, as the original blocks were probably available for very cheap. Why would one make forgeries of blocks when the originals does not sell enough to maintain the flow of business ?

Then, in the late 1880's, with the high demand of Hokusai's originals, a new armada of replica's and forgeries were created, and there comes Takamizawa, Adachi, Akashi, Sakai Kokodo.

My conclusion, for this set of 8 Waterfall series print, is that this set of prints were made by the Eijudo company, and that the reason for the change of blocks is to dig into the company history. The change of ownership in 1841, the second change of ownership in 1860 and the decision to restart the production of the old blocks might be the answer to the various states rather than a new unknown printer and his set of forgeries as stated by the Roger Keyes / Peter Morse study in 1972.

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