Three Japanese Colored Woodblock Prints, 19th century
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Lot 0125 Details
Condition: With some scattered light, foxing, consistent with age. Some wear to paint on frames and a crack in the glass of one frame.
Provenance: The prints were given to the present owner by her father-in-law over sixty years ago.
Prints of the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido are a series of ukiyo-e woodcut prints created by Utagawa Hiroshige after his first travel along the Tokaido in 1832. It must be noted that these prints may not be from Hiroshige himself, but are inspired from the popular series. The Tokaido road, linking the shogun's capital of Edo, to the imperial one, Kyoto, was the main travel and transport artery of old Japan. It is also the most important of the "Five Roads", the five major roads of Japan, created during the Edo era to further strengthen the control of the central shogunate administration over the whole country. Even though the Hoeido edition is by far the best known, The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido was such a popular subject that it led Hiroshige to create some 30 different series of woodcut prints on it, all very different one from the other by their size, their designs or even their number (some series include just a few prints). Hiroshige's series met with full success, not only in Japan, but later in Western countries. [Keywords: imperial, vintage, ink]