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Subject:Help With 4 Hiroshige Woodblock Prints
Posted By: Lance W Frazer Fri, Sep 22, 2017 IP: 2601:204:4001:3df5:4

I recently purchased four woodblock prints from Hiroshige's Famous Views of the Sixty-odd Provinces, and would like (if possible) to learn more about when they might have been made. Each is 14 inches by 9 3/4 inches, all are framed but only 2 are matted. The two that are not matted are "Iwai Valley, Kannon Cave", and "Takuhi Shrine, Oki Province." The two that are matted are "Abuto, Kannon Temple, Bingo Province," and "Tango Province." I have not opened the framing to see if additional information is to be found on the margins of the two matted prints (none appears on the margins of the non-matted ones). I would appreciate anything the learned members can add that might help me discover the ages of these prints (the only other thing I can note is that they were framed by a high-end gallery in Southern California that was in business from 1944 to the mid-60s). Thanks to one and all in advance.







Subject:Re: Help With 4 Hiroshige Woodblock Prints
Posted By: Lance W Frazer Sat, Sep 23, 2017

Here is a photo of the entire Kannon Temple print. Also, to hopefully further my education, what (if anything) does it mean that there is no text in the lower left margin outside of the image?



Subject:Re: Help With 4 Hiroshige Woodblock Prints
Posted By: Stan Sun, Sep 24, 2017

You asked "what (if anything) does it mean that there is no text in the lower left margin outside of the image?"

In the case of your Kannon Temple, it means that your print is not an original. Your print was created at a later date by taking an original print and producing a new set of woodblocks and making prints from those blocks.

The photo of the Tango province is not detailed enough to be certain, but, after comparing both to known originals, I am reasonably sure that both prints presented are not originals. Exactly when repros are made is nearly always irrelevant since their value is decorative.

Cheers,
Stan

Subject:Re: Help With 4 Hiroshige Woodblock Prints
Posted By: Lance W Frazer Mon, Sep 25, 2017

Thanks, Stan. I knew it wasn't an original, but it still seems there's knowledge to be gained. It might be interesting to know, for example, when the blocks were recut (and by whom), who published the newer prints and when, how many were printed, things like that. The photos aren't as good as the prints, which are actually quite clean and sharp (to my eye, anyway) and the colors quite bright and intense. Anywho, thanks for the time and the info.

Subject:Re: Help With 4 Hiroshige Woodblock Prints
Posted By: Stan Wed, Sep 27, 2017

Apparently, your prints don't have any carver or publishers marks. Thus, your chances of success are slim. Your only chance would be to match them to known repros somewhere in a museum or online.

We have a couple originals from the series. Here is Bungo Province.

Cheers,
Stan



Subject:Re: Help With 4 Hiroshige Woodblock Prints
Posted By: Lance W Frazer Sun, Oct 01, 2017

Really wonderful art. Thanks, Stan.

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