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    Sale 7582

    Japanese Art and Design

    14 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 318

    Utagawa Yoshiiku (1833-1904)

    UTAGAWA YOSHIIKU (1833-1904)

    Price Realised  


    Utagawa Yoshiiku (1833-1904)
    Shashinkyo daizo zu [Camera view: picture of a large elephant], 1861, signed Keisai Yoshiiku ga and published by Kagiya Shobei, good impression and colour, very slight wear to edges
    Oban tate-e

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    Elephants were not native to Japan and yet they have long been depicted in art, if fancifully. According to the art historian David Waterhouse, a male and female elephant arrived in Nagasaki in 1728. The male alone was brought to Kyoto the following year, where it was shown to both the emperor and the ex-emperor; and to Edo, where the shogun Yoshimune saw it. Afterwards it was kept, first at the Hama Detached Palace and later at a special elephant house in Nakano, where it was on public view. It died in 1742 and its skeleton was displayed at the Hosenji Temple in Nakano along with a wooden seated image of the ninth-century monk Kobo Daishi. The next elephant arrived from Ceylon, probably on a Dutch ship, and was paraded around Nagasaki. In 1863 another elephant came from Southeast Asia to Yokohama, generating prints such as this example.

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    Pre-Lot Text