Hokkei (1780 - 1850) Japanese Woodblock Reprint
Robe with a Rabbit and Wave Design Surimono
Surimono - Surimono are an exclusive subcategory of Japanese woodblock prints. Poetry clubs commissioned these designs for distribution to a small audience of members, most often as New Year's greetings. These privately published images included a wonderful range of subjects and lavish printing techniques such as embossing, burnishing, and metallic pigments. Since surimono were not sold commercially, the print runs were very small and original Edo era surimono are incredibly rare in the market today.
During the 1890s, publishers reprinted some of the most popular designs by famous artists like Hokkei, Gakutei, Hokusai and others. In keeping with the surimono tradition, the Meiji printings were equally exquisite, printed with the finest inks and embellished with embossing, lacquered pigments, and other design features. In some cases, the original Edo era prints no longer exist, making the Meiji reprints the only record of these subjects. These fascinating and beautifully printed images continue to delight collectors today.
Comments - Fantastic still life surimono design by artist Hokkei, who specialized in surimono. A beautiful kimono decorated with a wild rabbit and stylized waves hangs on a stand next to a checked obi, both garments detailed delicate embossing. A lacquer tobacco chest rests on the floor nearby. The heading and verse by Ittei Hajime reads:
Women Gathering to Take Delight in Omens
If peaks in the direction
of Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tsukuba
are now blanketed in mist,
it is then better that I don't
sleep in such robes.
A beautiful print, nicely detailed, including accents of metallic pigment that have oxidized to a dark tone and embossing on the kimono.
Artist - Hokkei (1780 - 1850)
Image Size - 8 1/4" x 7"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Slight paper remnants on reverse at edges from previous mounting. Toning, soiling, rubbing, a few horizontal creases and stains. Please see photos for details.