[China: 18th-19th cent.].
A fine example of a woodblock executed in China, with images on both sides, of the Chinese god Guanyin or Guanshiyin, the Buddhist Bodhisattva associated with compassion, and Cong shen, a Chinese mythological figure.
Minor wear to borders on one side, but in fine condition.
Refine search resultsSkip to search results
[China: 18th-19th cent.].
Above the title is the name of the actor: “Ganso Segawa Roko (or Kikunojo).” Japan: early Meiji.
A rare survival, this finely rendered example of yakusha-e (actor prints) depicts a cross-dressing kabuki actor named Segawa Roko (1693-1749), well-known for his performances of female roles. The reverse side bears two motifs, which seem to be for additional detail on the actor’s kimono. When shown vertically, on the bottom left corner of both sides is a notch called a kento, which would help with the registration of the image. Yakusha-e was one of the most popular genres of ukiyo-e prints.
The artist and carver are unknown, however we find the carved seal of Wakai Kenzaburo (or Kanesaburo) (1834-1908), the art dealer and business partner of Hayashi Tadamasa. Kenzaburo became one of the principal exporters of Japanese art and curiosities to Europe.
Japan: ca. 1818-30.
An excellent example of a woodblock for the production of prints for a mamehan shunga, small-format erotic prints in the form of cards typically measuring 90 x 120 mm. The production of these shunga thrived in the years 1818-30. Issued in sets of twelve, they were printed in large runs and very popular. About 1500 mamehan shunga are known to have been issued. They were often carried tucked into the breast section of kimono robes.
The obverse side of our woodblock is carved with the basic outline of four images for these cards; the sheet of printed paper, after further...
N.p.: [ca. 1702-3].
A large and early woodblock from a three-volume popular novel written in kana-based vernacular. This genre stood in contrast to kanbun works, which were composed in classical Chinese and Japanese and intended for the intelligentsia. The Union Catalogue of Japanese Literature lists two editions of this novel, one published in 1702, the other a year later. NIJL records only one copy of each edition. We are unable to determine the edition for which our woodblock was used.
The present woodblock bears the text for leaves 2-3 and 4-5 (eight pages total) in volume three of this anonymously...
N.p.: [ca. 1865-67].
An attractive woodblock from a mathematical treatise, bearing seven finely executed intricate illustrations. These two leaves (i.e., four pages) represent folding leaves number 21 and 24. The obverse, no. 21, illustrates (from left to right) a three-dimensional diagram; a shogi (Japanese chess) board; a structure with a deck composed of five segments marked “1 2 4 8 16” illustrating exponential growth; and an ox carrying straws bags of rice with a rice-farmer at its side.
The block’s reverse depicts (from the lower left to right) a diagram for calculating the size of a circle; another diagram to measure distance; and a cylinder.
An interesting surviving text woodblock from a book unrecorded in WorldCat. We learn the text’s author and publication year from the Union Catalogue of Early Japanese Books. Yomihon were Edo-period moralistic novels loosely based on Chinese and Japanese historical sources, which frequently feature fairy princesses and witches. Ki Yoshimaro (n.d.) composed this narrative with considerable influence from Chinese vernacular tales. The present woodblock bears the text for leaves 19 and 20 of volume one, with kanji and hiragana text. From the column in the middle, which is called a hashira (pillar), we learn the book’s title, foliation (from...
Woodblock (217 x 805 x 20 mm.), including carved handles.
A fine woodblock from the fourth volume (“Winter”), pages 17-20, of an early Japanese edition of this adaptation of one of the three major publications during the Ming dynasty on veterinary medicine, the Yuan Heng Liao Ma Chi [Collation of Horse Ailments] by Yu Ben Yuan and Yu Ben Heng (there is some considerable controversy regarding authorship; see Buell, May, & Ramey’s “Chinese Horse Medicine: Texts and Illustrations” in Lo & Barrett, eds., Imagining Chinese Medicine , p. 316). The first Chinese edition appeared in 1608 and is considered by the above-mentioned authors...