Overview

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Torii Kiyonaga (1752-1815)
Property from the Estates of Mary and Gerard Fountain
Torii Kiyonaga (1752-1815)

Saishiki mitsu no asa (Colors of the triple dawn)

Details
Torii Kiyonaga (1752-1815)
Saishiki mitsu no asa (Colors of the triple dawn)
Woodblock printed book, now unbound, "first bath" illustrated above: seven double-page illustrations, "first trade" scene signed Torii Kiyonaga ga and single-page preface signed Tsurudayu, dated 1787, published by Nishimuraya Yohachi [Eijudo]--good impressions, faded, centerfolds, soiled, stained, repairs
oban yoko-e: 9 7/8 x 15in. (25 x 38cm.), each approx.; chuban tate-e: 9 7/8 x 7 3/8in. (25 x 18.8cm.), preface (8)

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Lot Essay

Lavishly illustrated, this album recounts the pleasures of the triple dawn, sunrise on New Year's day. It celebrates the renewal of spring with seven scenes depicting the events, customs and festivities of the New Year. These include the first occasions of the year to perform various activites such as the first writing, the first wearing of a new dress, the first parade of courtesans in elaborate garb, the first archery event, the first display of a merchant's stored goods, the first horseback ride, and the "first trade" of the New Year.

The seventh scene, the "first trade," illustrates the Eijudo shop of the series's publisher. The shop is busy with customers, servants, women and children and a man at left inspecting a Kiyonaga print design of a courtesan and attendants. Left of center in the foreground a signpost is inscribed Eijudo Nishimuraya, Moto tonya (original wholesaler).

Another example of this book is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession number 34.395.
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