Japanese woodblock print

Jun 23, 2020. 22:26 UTC
Japanese Woodblock print
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Japanese art

Acquired from

For sale

Part of a triptych



Answered within about 19 hours
Jun 24, 17:52 UTC
By Sara S

Fair Market Value

$200 - $500 USD

Insurance Value

$700 USD
What does this mean?

Hello Tara,

Thank you for your appraisal inquiry with Mearto. The item presented appears to be a color woodblock by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川國芳, Japanese, 1798-1861). The print should measures about 13.5 x 9.5 inches. The object includes inscriptions and artist seal to the lower corners. Kuniyoshi was one of the last great masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints.

Further examination of the print outside the frame may lead to further information regarding age and publication. The estimate provided is based on recent auction estimates and results of comparable 19th century woodblocks by Kuniyoshi depicting women. Thank you and please take care.

Tara rampersaud Jun 27, 09:39 UTC

Does this woodblock print have anything to do with fireworks?

Sara s Jun 29, 03:09 UTC

Hello Tara. No, not that I can see. Other examples of Kuniyoshi woodblocks referring to fireworks show fireworks exploding the sky. Example below.

Tara rampersaud Jul 01, 07:25 UTC

Hi Mearto,

The Victoria and Albert museum And a Japanese print shop in London have confirmed that this print in by Kunisada and is around 1930. Your evaluation was bogus ! Can I please have a refund !

Sara s Jul 02, 15:10 UTC

Hello Tara. I am very sorry. You are correct. Kuniyoshi and Kunisada are contemporaries and this was human error. I apologize. Unfortunately, I do not have access to refund. Please contact Mearto's support team at "CONTACT" to the bottom of the page.

Utagawa Kunisada (歌川 国貞, Japanese, 1786 - 1865) is also known as Utagawa Toyokuni III (三代 歌川 豊国). As the shop and museum identified this print as a 1930 print, that indicates the print is a posthumous reprint, which is very common for Japanese woodblocks. It is important to note that I did mention that examination of the object in person and outside the frame would provided that kind of detail.

Additionally, recent auction records indicate a comparable fair market value estimate for posthumous reprints after Kunisada. Therefore, the estimate provided does not need to be updated. Thank you and please take care.

Tara rampersaud Jul 02, 15:44 UTC

I meant 1830 !

Tara rampersaud Jul 02, 15:46 UTC

As I mistyped 1830 - I’m sure the evaluation would be different.

Sara s Jul 02, 17:39 UTC

Hi Tara. Oh, I see 1830. Yes, that does mean the estimate should be updated. Auction records indicate most lifetime impression by Kunisada estimate from $200 - 500. However, more recent records show that these items are passing at auction or not reaching the low estimate. I believe this trend is due to the pandemic and I expect the market to stable out once it is over. I would still place an auction estimate of $200 - 500 today, as most auction houses are doing so. I have updated the fair market estimate above.

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