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Japanese & Korean Art

Christie's

2 PM, September 14, 2011

Sale 2462

The actor Ogani OnijiIII by Sharaku

Lot 725, "The actor Otani Oniji III as Edobei in the Kabuki Play Koi nyhobo somewake tazuna (The Beloved Wife's Particolored Reins," by Tashusai Sharaku, woodcut, 13 1/4 by 9 1/4 inches

By Carter B. Horsley

This auction of Japanese & Korean works of art at Christie's September 14, 2011 is highlighted by a fine selection of  Japanese inro and excellent paintings by Utgawa Toyoharu (1735-1814), Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Toshusai Sharaku (active 1794-5).

The cover illustration of the catalogue is Lot 725, 
"The actor Otani Oniji III as Edobei in the Kabuki Play Koi nyhobo somewake tazuna (The Beloved Wife's Particolored Reins," by Tashusai Sharaku.  It is a woodcut that measures 13 1/4 by 9 1/4 inches and has an estimate of $600,000 to $800,000. It failed to sell.

The catalogue entry notes that this is the most sought after of Sharaku's portraits and is extremely rare with other versions in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire in Brussels, the Chiba City Museum, the Musée Guimet in Paris, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Japan Ukiyo-E Museum inSakai, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Toyko National Museum, the Staatliches Museum fur Volkerkunde  in Munich and the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg.

The lot is one of five woodcuts by Sharaku being offered in this auction.

The auction was not very successful with only about 56.5 percent of the 280 offered lots selling for a total of $3,778,750.

Four case inro, signed Jokasai

Lot 620, four-case inro, Meiji-Taisho Period (early 20th Century), signed Jokasai, decorated with spiny lobsters, 4 inches long

The auction offers numerous very fine inro.  Lot 620 is a beautiful four-case inro from the Meiji-Taisho Period (early 20th Century.  It is signed Jokasai and is four inches long.  It is decorated with spiny lobsters.  It has an estimate of $20,000 to $25,000.  It failed to sell.

Single case inro with mixed-metal cock

Lot 616, single-case inro, Edo Period (late 18th-Early 19th Century), signed Hasegawa Shigeyoshi Saku and sealed Hasira in a red jar seal, metwork signed in inlaid metal cartouche Tamagaw Yoshitsugu Saku, 4 inches long

Lot 616, single-case inro, Edo Period (late 18th-Early 19th Century), signed Hasegawa Shigeyoshi Saku and sealed Hashira in a red jar seal, metwork signed in inlaid metal cartouche Tamagaw Yoshitsugu Saku.  The inro is 4 inches long and has an estimate of $18,000 to $22,000. It failed to sell.

Four-case inro with cicada

Lot 526, four-case lacquer inro, Edo Period, 19th Century, 3 inches long

Lot 526 is a beautiful four-case lacquer inro from the Edo Period, 19th Century.  It depicts a cicada climbing a bamboo fence.  It is 3 inches long and has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for $15,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

Four-case infro, Edo Period

Lot 537, four-case inro, Edo Period,19th century, 3 inches long

Lot 537 is a very fine four-case inro from the Edo Period, 19th Century, it depicts mice, and comes with a netsuke of mice in a basket signed Itsumin.  It is 3 inches long and has an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000. It sold for $11,250.



Four case lacquer irro

Lot 552, four case lacquer inro, Edo Period, 19th century, signed Kajikawa Saku, 3 3/8 inches long

Lot 552 is a fine four case lacquer inro, signed Kajikawa Saku, Edo Period, 19th Century.  It is 3 3/8 inches long and depicts Fukurokuju on his stag.  It has a modest estimate of $3,000 to $5,000. It failed to sell.


A three-case inro and a two-case inro

Lot 574, three-case inro, Edo Period, signed Bunryusai, left, and Lot 575, a two case lacquer inro, Edo period, signed Ritsuo

Lot 574 is a  three-case inro, Edo Period, 19th Centuiry, signed Bunryusai, 3 inches long.  It has an estimate of $3,000 to $4,000. It failed to sell.

Lot 575 is a two-case inro, Edo Period, with worn signature Ritsuo.  It depicts a tiger in a bamboo forest.  It is 2 3/4 inches long and has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for $15,000.

Three-case inro, Meiji Period

Lot 615, three-case inro, Meiji Period, late 19th century, with seal Kan, 2 3/4 inches long

Lot 615 is a three-case inro from the Meiji Period, late 19th Century, with seal Kan.  It is 2 3/4 inches long and has an estimate of $3,000 to $4,000. It sold for $3,500.


One of two anonymous Momoyama or early Edo screens

Lot 706, one of two anonymous 6-panel screens, each 60 3/8 by 140 1/2 inches each, Momoyama or Early Edo Period, early 17th Century screens, "The Battles of Yachima and Incinotani from the Tale of the Heike" 

Lot 706 consists of two anonymous 6-panel screens, each 60 3/8 by 140 1/2 inches each, Momoyama or Early Edo Period, early 17th Century screens, "The Battles of Yachima and Incinotani from theTale of the Heike"

Detail of Lot 706

Detail of Lot 706

The pair depict battles between clans in the 1180s.  The lot has an estimate $350,000 to $400,000. It failed to sell.


Virtuous Chinese rulers


Lot 709, "Virtuous Chinese rulers," 6-part screen, anonymous, 17th Century, 65 by 156 inches each panel

Lot 709 is a 6-part anonymous 17th Century screen.  Each panel measures 65 by 156 inches.  "As decoration for one of the mansions of Japan's military elite in the seventeenth century, these scenes of virtuous Chinese sage-rulers are emblems of superior learning and culture.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000. It failed to sell.


Screen depicting deer-hunting at Mt. Fuji


Lot 705, Anonymous 17th Century, 6-panel screen depicting "Deer Hunting at Mount Fuji, 37 1/8 by 119 inches

Lot 705 is a nice, anonymous, 17th Century screen in six panels depicting "Deer Hunting at Mount Fuji, from the Tale of the Soga Brothers."  It measures 37 1/8 by 119 inches and has a modest estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $12,500.


Pair of deer and pine tree


Lot 712, six-panel screen, Rinpa School, 19th Century, "Pair of deer and pine tree, 62 by 145 1/2 inches

Lot 712 is a lovely six-panel screen from the Rinpa School, 19th Century, depicting a pair of deer and a pine tree.  It measures 62 by 145 1/2 inches and was exhibited in 1989 in the "Masterpieces of Japanese Painting, Loan Exhibition from Japan" at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.  It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $242,500.


Screen of hawk on a rock

Lot 716, "Hawk on a Rock," two panel anonymous 17th Century screen, 57 1/2 by 67 3/4 inches

Lot 716 is a dramatic and fine two-panel anonymous 17th Cetury screen depictig a  hawk o a rock.  It measures 57 1/2 by 67 3/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000. It failed to sell.


Two panel screen of chysanthemums

Lot 715, "Chrysanthemums," two panel scrreen,anonymous, 19th  Century, 61 1/4 by 68 inches


Lot 715 is a two panel anonymous 19th Century screen depicting chrysanthemums in relief.  It measures 61 1/4 by 68 inches and has an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. It sold for $6,250.


"Amagoi Komachi praying for rain"

Lot 696, "Amagoi Komachi (Komachi Praying for Rain)," by Utagawa Tohoharu (1735-1814), handing scroll on silk, 16 3/4 by 27 1/4 inches

Lot 696 is a very lovely hanging scroll on silk by Utagawa Tohoharu depicting "Amagoi Komachi (Komachi Praying for Rain."  It measures 16 3/4 by 27 1/4 inches and has a modest estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.  It sold for $17,500.


"Landscapes in the summer and winter"

Lot 688, "Landscapes in the summer and winter," attributed to Kano Eitoku (1543-1590), pair of hanging scroll,s 13 by 21 inches each.

Lot 688 is a pair of hanging scrolls attributed to Kano Eitokui (1543-1590) and depicting summer and winter landscapes.  Each of the scrolls measures 13 by 21 inches.  They were in the collection of Baron Fujita Denaburo (1841-1912) and the Fujita Art Museum in Osaka was founded in 1954 to house his collection.  The lot has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It failed to sell.

Korean two-panel screen

Lot 719, "Waterfall,"by Shibata Zeshin, two-panel scren, 50 1/2 by 53 inches

Lot 719 is a dramatic two-panel screen by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891).  It is entitled "Waterfall" and measures 50 1/2 by 53 inches.  It is property from the estat of Catherine Halff Edson and has an estiamte ofo $15,000 to $20,000.  It sold for $23,750.

Korean calligraphy

Lot 644, "Letter addressed to Nagai Shinshu," by Kobori Enshu, calligraphy, hanging scroll, 11 3/8 by 17 1/4 inches

Lot 644 is an interesting example of calligraphy.  It is a letter addressed to Nagai Shinshu by Kobori Enshu (1579-1647).  A hanging scroll, it measures 11 3/8 by 17 1/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $4,000 to $5,000.  It failed to sell.

Peacock lacquer case
Lot 539, circular lacquer box and cover for an inkstone, Meiji Period (19th-20th Century), sealed Sen, 4 5/8 inches in diameter

Lot 539 is a fine circular lacquer box and cover for an inkstone from the Meiji Period (19th-20th Century), sealed Sen.  It is 4 5/8 inches in diameter and has an estimate of $3,000 to $4,000.  It sold for $5,250.
 
Lacquer table

Lot 625, lacquer cabinet, Meiji Period, circa 1900, signed Kawanobe Itcho, Kawanobe Heimon and Funabashi Iwajiro, 36 by 17 by 27 3/4 inches

Lot 625 is a spectacular lacquer cabinet circo 1900 that was shown at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900.  It is signed by Kawanobe Itcho (1830-1910), Kawanobe Heimon (1852-1926) and Funabashi Iwajiro (1859-after 1914).  It is ornamented with a design of a famous boating excursion on the Oi River inSaga Arashiyama, the western outskirts of the Heian capital (modern Kyoto).  The episode is recounted in Book Two of the late 11th-centry The Great Mirror, a historical tale about the regent Fujiwara Michinaga (966-1027) and his times.  The lot has an esitmate of $300,000 to $350,000.  It sold for $458,500.
Korean Art
Lots 737 to 783

"Landscape in Blue" by Kim Whanki

Lot 781, "Landscape in Blue," by Kim Whanki, (1913-1974), oil on canvas, 57 1/2 by 57 1/8 inches

The "art name" Kim Whanki chose was Suhwa, "to speak with the trees." Lot 781, "Landscape in Blue," is part eastern, part western, reflecting the artists influences, and by the 1950s Whanki began to extract imagery from the Korean landscape. This painting represents the abstract style with which the artist is so closely associated. Whanki has become a pilar of Korean modern masters, and this is an impressive example of his work, that was purchased by a private collector directly from the artist. Kim Whanki's work has been showing continuously in the Americas, Europe and East Asia for seven decades. Lot 781 has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $2,200,000.  It failed to sell.

Korean screen

Lot 758, "Geese and Reeds," by Yang Gihun, 10-panel screen, 1903, 55 1/2 by 132 inches

Lot 758 is a lovely 10-panel screen by Yang Gihun (1843-after1919) that is dated 1903.  It measures 55 1/2 by 132 inches and has an estimate $30,000 to $40,000.  It failed to sell.



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