The Chomonju: Snake and Melons Surimono

by Hokkei (1780 - 1850)

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The Chomonju: Snake and Melons Surimono by Hokkei (1780 - 1850)

Hokkei (1780 - 1850) Japanese Woodblock Reprint
The Chomonju: Snake and Melons Surimono

Series; Japanese Books Compared

This Print from the Venerable Adachi Publisher - This beautiful reprint is from the famous Tokyo publisher Adachi, one of the most respected publishers of the 20th century. Adachi prints were printed to the highest standards of quality with excellent color and fine detail. The Adachi woodblock printers were known to be the best in the business. The Adachi group also chose interesting and varied subjects for their prints and was the only publisher of many famous old ukiyo-e images. These Adachi prints are sealed with a decorative, raised seal reading "Adachi" in roman characters indicating the print meets Adachi’s high quality standards.

Surimono - Surimono are an exclusive subcategory of Japanese woodblock prints. Poetry clubs commissioned these designs for distribution to a small audience of members, most often as New Year's greetings. These privately published images included a wonderful range of subjects and lavish printing techniques such as embossing, burnishing, and metallic pigments. Since surimono were not sold commercially, the print runs were very small and original Edo era surimono are incredibly rare in the market today.

During the 1890s, publishers reprinted some of the most popular designs by famous artists like Hokkei, Gakutei, Hokusai and others. In keeping with the surimono tradition, the Meiji printings were equally exquisite, printed with the finest inks and embellished with embossing, lacquered pigments, and other design features. In some cases, the original Edo era prints no longer exist, making the Meiji reprints the only record of these subjects. These fascinating and beautifully printed images continue to delight collectors today.

The Chomonju: Snake and Melons Surimono - Fascinating surimono print of a large snake curling around two melons, lifting its head up. The poem inscribed above describes how the snake will grow into a dragon and go into the mountains to raise clouds of white cherry blossoms. The snake is a divine animal thought to provide water and encourage the spring cherry blossom season. The paper lining the tray is delicately embossed, a nice touch.

Artist - Hokkei (1780 - 1850)

Image Size - 8 1/8" x 7 3/8" + margins as shown

Condition - Excellent overall with no issues to report.

The Chomonju: Snake and Melons Surimono by Hokkei (1780 - 1850)
The Chomonju: Snake and Melons Surimono by Hokkei (1780 - 1850)