A Lovely Natural History Album

An album of about 100 natural history drawings in brush & watercolors.

44 sheets of mica paper. Oblong folio (267 x 385), orig. wrappers (wrappers soiled), stitched with cord. [Japan: late Edo or early Meiji].

A lovely album — entitled on the upper cover in manuscript “Shasei jo[cho]” [“Sketchbook”] — of ca. 100 superb drawings of natural history subjects, all drawn on mica paper. Most of the images are botanical and express all that is wonderful in Japanese aesthetics. The highly accomplished artist also drew insects and, in addition, included a pheasant, several turtles, a decorative sword, a magnificent feather duster, a teapot adorned with a pomegranate motif, a waraji sandal, a landscape, grasshoppers, and praying mantises. Some of the images are preliminary black & white drawings, but for the most part the artist has rendered finished and exquisite drawings of botanical subjects including a wasabi plant with a snail, Chinese silvergrass, young bamboo, pine branches, plum branches, narcissus, spinach, camellia, azalea, a daisy, peonies, daikon radish, onion, mizuna, rape flower, wild chrysanthemums, ornamental cabbage, and a number of plants that we are unable to identify. Many of the drawings are double-page.

A Japanese inscription on the inside front cover states that the images were copied from a master and collected. We cannot identify the characters of the name. The outer back wrapper states that this was copied in September of the third year [Meiji period?].

A little fraying, but very nice condition. A few of the sheets have minor wrinkles.

Price: $5,000.00

Item ID: 6904

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