by Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)
This Complete Set - This is an extremely rare complete set of carved blocks for a fine reprint of Hiroshige's iconic winter scene "Night Snow at Kambara" from his first "Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido" series. The set comprises five cherry wood blocks and a single print made from the blocks. All of the blocks are double-sided, and two blocks are carved with images for two separate colors on one side of the block.
Nine colors were used to produce the image, along with the black key block. The key block features all the black lines in the print, and is carved with incredible precision and fine line work. Pigments remain on the blocks, including three shades of gray, blue, red, rust, dark rust, and yellow. Paper remnants of the hanshita or preparatory drawing are still glued to some of the blocks. The colors were registered by aligning each print along an L-shaped kento mark on the lower right corner of each separate image.
The complete set of blocks are a fascinating, rare artifact from the recent past. Serious collectors often ask about block sets. They are almost never seen on the market. Once in a while a single block from a broken set is sold for a high price. This is an extremely rare complete set - apparently still usable. A once in a lifetime opportunity for a serious collector to add a block set to a collection.
Kyoto Hanga-in - Founded in 1935, Kyoto Hanga-in produced high quality reprints of works by classic ukiyo-e artists like Hiroshige, Hokusai, Harunobu, Utamaro, and Sharaku, along with shin-hanga prints by artists such as Tsuchiya Koitsu, Bakufu Ohno, and Gihachiro Okuyama. The set arrived packed in newspapers dating from 1972, and the blocks have been unused and in storage since that time. The reprint includes the Kyoto Hanga-in publisher's mark in the right margin, along with the red circular personal seal of the owner, Kiyoomi Shinagawa. Printing blocks are rarely seen on the market, and even more rarely found as complete sets for a single image. These intricately carved blocks offer a wonderful look at the incredible skill and complexity involved in creating a Japanese woodblock print. Don't miss this exceptional opportunity!
Publisher - Kyoto Hanga-in
Artist - Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)
Size - Print 8 7/8" x 13 5/8" + margins as shown; each block approximately 10 3/4" x 15 7/8" x 3/4"
Condition - Print: With excellent color and detail as shown, a couple light creases at edges. Blocks: Worn, pigment remaining, some paper remnants from the hanshita (preparatory sketches glued to the blocks before carving. Please see photos for details.