Set of 3 watercolor (?) paintings

May 15, 2022. 22:32 UTC
Set of 3 watercolor (?) paintings
United States of America

Acquired from

For sale

I inherited these 3 Asian paintings. I’m unsure if they’re watercolors. Doesnt look like it’s on fabric- looks like paper. Have no idea what the writing says- what the stamps mean. I know they were framed in CT in the 1980’s. What is this style of art called? Is the stamp a signature and if so who’s signature? Any value to this set?



Answered within about 10 hours
May 16, 08:23 UTC
By David U.

Fair Market Value

$200 - $300 USD

Insurance Value

$0 USD
What does this mean?


I’m very glad that you chose Mearto for your online appraisal. 

Considering the photos, this item is:

A mid 20th century (probably 1960 - 1980s) watercolor on paper (probably mulberry or pith paper) set of paintings. Very good condition and are framed. These types of Chinese panels with iconic bird scenes and striking backgrounds surrounded by flowers and nature depict good fortune and protection symbols. Birds are particularly depicting as a pair or in groups as it provides good luck. The motifs in this set are recurrent motifs in the 20th century Chinese art.

This type of picture were produced for Western traders and travellers to China who wanted return home with an example of Oriental culture. They were often presented in silk albums so they could be easily transported over long distances. 

According to the signature and iconography, these types of paintings were usually attributed to Utamaro with poems that were selected and introduced by a preface written by the poet and scholar Yadoya no Meshimori (Rokujuen; 1753–1830), who later became head of the influential Go-gawa poetry group. However, there are a fair amount of lithographs signed that imitates artist's signature, and without any other document or proof, it is not certain.

$ 200 - 300

*represents a fair-market value for auction purposes; retail or asking price may vary. 
Please let us know if you have additional items to appraise, and thank you again for using Mearto.

David u. May 18, 09:03 UTC

Hello again!
Thank you for your questions. These are indeed Chinese paintings, however, as Japanese poetry and art played and still play a big influence across Asia it is recurrent seeing interchangeable motifs or foreign reminiscences reflected on their pieces. There are numerous examples of Chinese poetry on Japanese art and viceversa.

On the stamp it does not read Utamaro, as usually both in Chinese and Japanese signature seal stamps change overtime and developed differently as artists normally used nicknames or other types of names rather than their owns. I based my appraisal on the characteristics of this painting but as there is no documents or any other proof related to the artist or provenance it is difficult to be completely sure.

If you have any more questions I’m happy to reply.
Thank you again!

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