7 November 2007,
London, King Street
Price realised GBP 38,900
Estimate GBP 20,000 - GBP 30,000
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)
Sono mama jiguchi myokaiko gojusanbiki [Cats Suggested by the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido]
A fine example of an extremely rare design of fifty-five cats representing the fifty-three stations of the Tokaido, the starting point at Nihonbashi and the finish at Kyoto, signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi, kiri seal, published by Ibaya Sensaburo, censors' seals Mera and Murata, very good impression, colours and condition, slight fading
Oban tate-e triptych
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Each cat is engaged in an everyday activity of a cat's life, and each of these activities is referred to by a subtle word-play on the name of the station, thus
Nihonbashi - nihondashi [two pieces of bonito fish]
Kawasaki - kabayaki [grilled eel]
Hakone - hekone [curled up to sleep]
Numazu - namazu [cat-fish]
Okitsu - okizu [fast asleep]
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Robert Schaap, Heroes and Ghosts (Amsterdam, 1998), p.28
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