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    Sale 7432

    Japanese Prints, including The B.W. Robinson Collection

    7 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 611

    Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)

    Price Realised  


    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]

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    Robert Schaap, Heroes and Ghosts (Amsterdam, 1998), p.28