NEW YORK – On Monday, March 4, starting at 6 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will conduct an Exclusive Japanese Woodblock Prints Auction. As you might expect, the sale is tightly curated, featuring just 51 lots. Artists whose works appear in the auction lineup include Sofu Matsuno; Eijiro Kobayashi; Ohara Koson; Toshi Yoshida; Shoda Koho; Tsukioka Kogyo; Takashi Ito; Arai Yoshimune; Gyosui Kawanabe; Hajime Namiki; Hiroaki Takahashi; Yoshimoto Masao; Ogata Gekko; Kitao Shigemasa; Hideki Hanabusa; Toyohisa Inoue; Utagawa Kuniyoshi; Shizuo Ashikaga; Utagawa Hiroshige and Terada Akitoyo. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
The first highlight is Urayasu, a print by Toshi Yoshida (1911-1995) dating to the 1940s or 1950s. It depicts a landscape scene of a canal at Urayasu with the fishing boats tied up after a day’s work. The lot notes state the woodblock print on paper “has solid, rich color with no discoloration or fading within the print. Subtle colors can be seen at all places such as the faint dual-tone of the sails near the center of the image and the incredibly delicate bokashi shading in the sunset.” Urayasu is estimated at $500-$600.
Next is a work by Ohara Koson (1877-1945), who gained a reputation for his kacho-e (bird and flower) images. The lot on offer, titled Wild Ducks and Pampas Grass, shows his mastery of the genre. It dates to the 1940s or 1950s, and the lot notes pinpoint aspects that make the print so successful: “A beautiful large marsh scene by Ohara Koson done in simple grays and light browns, with color reserved for the yellow of the ducks’ bills and green of the mallards’ heads.” The Koson print is estimated at $550-$700.
Eijiro Kobayashi’s (1870-1946) Evening Cool on Sumida rounds out the highlights. The print dates to between the 1910s and the 1930s and carries an estimate of $550-$700. Unfortunately little is known about Kobayashi, but his most striking works depict night scenes on the Sumida River, as this print does. The version on offer is an early edition done in the blue tone.
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