Rare Japanese Woodblock Print by Hiroshige 1st
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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Woodblock Prints: Pre 1900: item # 1185652
Please refer to our stock # b6175 when inquiring.
Brian Page Antiques
Tel: 01273 622152
|A Rare Japanese Woodblock Print by Hiroshige 1st. 15 x 9 5/8 ins. (38.2 x 24.5 cms) This rare print is a little puzzling, although it bears the date seal for 1858 the text at the lower right has the date Meiji 21 (1888). The BNF (Biblioteque Nationale de France ) has some of the blocks for the series which can be found on their website but they appear not to have noticed the Meiji date. The publisher is Matsui Eikichi and the title Gagaku Tehon, roughly translated Study Collection of Drawings. The title cartouche also has the artist's name Hiroshige Hitsu (drawn by Hiroshige) and alongside, Shodai, meaning Hiroshige the First. There is an example of the print in the Rijkmuseum Museum (Hiroshige and the Utagawa School 1984 Pl. 94) see photos below. Their example is identical to ours except they have left the title cartouche off the photo or the print has had it trimmed off. However the caption gives the publisher as Hoeido so it seems more likely that the photo does not show the whole print. The date seal is for 1858 on both examples but as we have said, our example is dated Meiji 21. They are both clearly from the same blocks, except for the date obviously. The other odd aspect is that the publishers have emphasised that the artist is Hiroshige 1st by including the word "shodai". We have never seen this done on any other Hiroshige print, as Hiroshige 1st and 2nd. used the same signature it is often difficult to say which is which. The print is not faded, the colour is very subtle, a little TOO subtle for the camera! The list of subjects can be found on the photo below from the Rijksmuseum catalogue. If anyone has any information about these designs we would like to hear from them. The print is in very good condition, there is slight surface soiling and some almost imperceptible pin holes top right. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN ORIGINAL PRINTING NOT A FACSIMILE OR REPRINT PLEASE SCROLL RIGHT DOWN TO SEE ALL THE PHOTOGRAPHS|