Manuscript on paper, entitled on cover “Uma mekiki narabi shiretsu kei [or “kyo”] zen” [“Experts’ Opinions on how to select a good Horse & How to evaluate a Horse’s Teeth. One volume complete”], seven pages of fine drawings in brush-and-ink of a horse and rows of teeth & nine pages of text.

Large 8vo (270 x 194 mm.), orig. brown wrappers (minor worming), old stitching. [Japan: n.d. but mid- to late-Edo].

A most interesting manuscript. It begins with an illustration of a horse with names of all the parts of its body that required assessment when purchasing or trading. This is followed by five pages of text describing how to evaluate each of these parts. For example: “Lower lips should be round and big” and “teeth white and large and shiny” and “testicles diminish in size as the horse ages, so pick a horse with large testicles.”

Next are six pages of illustrations of rows of teeth of horses from age one to twelve. The illustrations depict how teeth wear unevenly, beginning at age four.

Following these images, there is text concerning tooth loss, descriptions of tooth wear, crooked teeth, how to deal with an old horse with no teeth, instructions for grooming and caring for the horse by season and month, which days to draw blood from the horse, how to trim hooves, how to saddle a horse, colors of horses, etc.

The text is accompanied by sayings, such as “if you see a horse doctor buy a horse, that is for sure a good horse.”

On the rear paste-down, we find the name of what we believe to be a temple named “Unrinin.” There is a temple in Kyoto with this name.

Price: $5,500.00

Item ID: 6479