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Subject:Extremely old woodblock
Posted By: Skippy Sat, Dec 15, 2018 IP: 2607:fb90:66b9:6e61:

This print is so old it is crumbling. Grandpa brought it back after fighting to suppress the Boxer Rebellion. KUNISADA 1806 - 1845? Any idea of rough value? Translation and title? Thank you in advance.

Subject:Re: Extremely old woodblock
Posted By: geo. Tue, Dec 18, 2018

Actually this is by Kunisada II circa mid-1850s.
This is a Genji Monogatari series.

Subject:Re: Extremely old woodblock
Posted By: I.Nagy Tue, Dec 18, 2018

紫式ブ      - Murasaki Shikibu
希无之 可類多 - Genji Karuta
空蝉 - Utsusemi
Name cartouche;
香蝶樓  - Kachōrō - Pseudonym
國貞画  - Kunisada-ga - Picture of Kunisada

Utsusemi from the series Lady Murasaki`s Genji Cards
Dated; 1857
Utagawa Kunisada II 1823-1880 is the name of artist

With regards,

Subject:Re: Extremely old woodblock
Posted By: Stan Wed, Dec 19, 2018

I'm late to the party, but let me add to what the others have said. Here is a well preserved copy of your print at the Boston MFA:

Note that yours has significantly degraded over the years.

As noted, your print is not terribly old (as prints go). The problem is that it has been adhered to a piece of acidic paper or cardboard. The acidity of the backing is causing the paper of the print to break down and degrade. While it might be able to be saved and restored, it is not worth it. Kunisada II is not one of the more collectable artists. I have several Kunisada II/Toyokuni IV prints, but they came as part of multi-print lots with prints that I wanted more.

That said, given the poor condition and lack of demand for Kunisada II, your print is essentially worthless (to a collector at least).

I did buy one Kunisada II triptych (Beauties in the Yoshiwara)(below) at an online auction because I liked it an it was in good condition. With shipping, it cost $56.25.

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