6 mm Watanabe Reprint - This beautiful woodblock was published by the Watanabe Company and bears the important Watanabe round 6 mm seal. These old Watanabe prints are some of the finest woodblock reprints ever done. Watanabe began using the 6 mm seal after World War II ended, and it was in use from 1946 to 1957. These terrific Watanabe reprints are a wonderful way to collect a masterwork from the Edo era at an affordable price.
Comments - Wonderful scene of Fukurokuju, one of Japan's beloved Seven Lucky Gods, smiling as he looks up from a message spread across his lap. He smiles happily as he sits among scattered gold coins, dressed in brocade robes with a black hood covering his elongated head. Two bonsai trees behind him have trunks trained into kanji characters, the money tree at left covered with golden coins. A delightful auspicious image for the New Year.
Woodblock reprints - In the 20th century, artists and publishers collaborated to recreate famous woodblock prints for interested Japanese collectors and Westerners looking for rare designs. New blocks were made, and the prints were painstakingly printed by artisan printers in the same method as the 19th century originals - one block for each color. Woodblock reprints were an opportunity to collect and enjoy a famous design at a small fraction of the price of an original. They still are today.
Artist - Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)
Image Size - 14 1/2" x 9 1/2" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Light toning at edge, a few small spots and creases. Please see photos for details.