Beautiful views of Japan found in woodblock print sale July 17

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), ‘A Poem by Nakatomi,’ circa 1835-1845, 15 x 10.2in. Estimate: $11,000-$13,000. Jasper52 image

NEW YORK – Scenic views of Japan and glimpses into Japanese culture are found in a Jasper52 auction of woodblock prints on Tuesday, July 17. The collection of 134 Japanese prints reveals the influences the medium has had in the development of modern art. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

One of the earliest prints in the auction is Katsushika Hokusai’s A Poem by Nakatomi no Yoshinobu Ason from the series “One Hundred Poems Narrated by the Nurse.” Published by Nishimura Yohachi, this original print (above) was made circa 1835-1845. This antique print is in good condition with a small hole noted along with a tiny stain and discoloration on the left edge from a previous mounting (est. $11,000-$13,000).

Another rare, antique in the Jasper52 auction is Utagawa Kunisada’s woodblock print of Kaido-maru (Kintoki) with his forest companion, a bear-cub, attacking a giant white monkey (below). Moritaya Hanzo published it in 1827. The strong impression is noted for its fine color (est. $1,500-$2,000).

Utagawa Kunisada, ‘Kaido-maru (Kintoki),’ circa 1827, published by Moritaya Hanzo. Estimate: $1,500-$2,000. Jasper52 image

Beautiful young women have long been popular and subjects in Japanese prints. A fine example is Torii Kotondo’s work titled Ayame Yukata (Cotton Kimono with Iris Pattern). First published circa 1930, this fine impression is a later edition (est. $700-$800).

Torii Kotondo, ‘Ayame Yukata (Cotton Kimono with Iris Pattern),’ circa 1930, 13 x 19in. Estimate: $700-$800. Jasper52 image

It took 20th-century artist Kuniyoshi a triptych to depict Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Specter. Each print measures about 10 by 15 inches (est. $600-$700).

Kuniyoshi, ‘Takiyasha Witch and the Skeleton Specter,’ mid-20th century, 10.4 x 14.9in each. Estimate: $600-$700. Jasper52 image

“Twenty Views of Tokyo” (Tokyo Nijukei) is a well-known series published by Watanabe. One of those views is Zojoji Temple, Shiba, which is considered by many to be artist Hasui Kawase’s lifetime masterpiece. Originally released in 1925 by Watanabe, the print in the Jasper52 auction is a later edition (est. $800-$1,200).

Hasui Kawase, ‘Zojoji Temple, Shiba,’ 1925, from the series ‘Twenty Views of Tokyo,’ 9.5 x 14.25in, later edition of 1925 release. Estimate: $800-$1,200. Jasper52 image

A contemporary Japanese woodblock print titled Cherry Blossoms at Ueno by Japanese-trained painter and printmaker Paul Binnie sold out when the limited edition was issued in 1998. This print numbered 32/100 has a $500-$750 estimate.

Paul Binnie (Scottish, b. 1967), ‘Cherry Blossoms at Ueno,’ March 1998, 10 1/8 x 14¾in. Estimate: $500-$750. Jasper52 image

Whether capturing the serenity of a temple or a moonlit ocean, these images in this auction exemplify both fine art and elegant decoration. The sale will begin Tuesday, July 17 at 8 p.m. Eastern.