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75 items found:

Ikeda Eisen [aka Keisei Eisen]. [Shinpan Edo no Hana Gofukuya Sugoroku] [Tokyo], Yamashiroya Matabe [1820 - 1850?]. Woodblock print 67x46cm, printed in black, blue and pink; folded. Smudges and soiling, a couple of small chips from the top edge. A pretty decent copy. Au$1250

Another lesson, if we need it, that the Japanese had connected and mastered the important stuff of life long before the rest of us: advertising, fun and shopping. In this sugoroku - a racing game - Eisen takes us through the most prestigious dry goods stores and drapers - ie high fashion - of Edo (Tokyo) until we reach Ebisu and Daikokuten - gods, respectively, of merchants and wealth. In other words, who isn't this game for?
Every working Edo inhabitant with a speck of ambition will want a place among the great merchants, rubbing shoulders with such gods while their wealthy patrons have confirmed that their shopping habits are blessed by the gods. The titans of fashionable commerce here include Echigoya (now Mitsukoshi), Shirokiya (which lasted some three hundred years, its ghost is a department store in Honolulu), Iwaki Sotoya, Matsuzakaya (still going), Ebisuya, Daimaru (still going), Shimaya, Sawanoi and Izukura.
Eisen did more than one sugoroku: this, one of more prosaic sights of Edo, one of the Tokaido road, and an elaborate sort of fourth one - the set of courtesan prints which together form a game - are the ones I've traced. I've found two other copies of this shopping adventure, in the UC Berkeley library and in the fabulous sugoroku collection of the Edo Tokyo Museum. They are printed in yellow rather than blue.


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Advertising - Feet. M. Joel & M. Kock, (from Paris) Corn Operators, by Special Appointment to the Duke de Orleans and Princess Adelaide, Prince Nassau ... most respectfully informs the Nobility, Gentry and Public in general, that they eradicate Bunions and Soft Corns from their very roots; ... n.p. [c1830?]. Single sheet (220x140mm); text printed in a decorative border with a cut of a corn operator at work at the top and a bare foot at the bottom. A couple of spots but pretty good. Au$125

Messieurs Joel and Kock normally spent their winters in Paris and summers in London but here their residence has been filled in by hand as 3 George Place, Plymouth, opposite the Royal Hotel.


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De BERENGER, Lt. Col. Baron [Charles Random]. Helps and Hints How to Protect Life and Property. With instructions in rifle and pistol shooting. &c. London, for the Proprietor by Hurst 1835. Octavo publisher's green grained cloth (rebacked with the original spine preserved); viii,286,[2]pp, two folding lithograph views, eight etched plates by George or Robert Cruikshank, wood engravings through the text. A leaf torn without loss, a little browning of the lithographs, the rebacking perhaps a bit thorough but a rather good copy in a modern cloth slipcase. Au$450

How not to leave a bank; how to deal with footpads, whether on foot or in a carriage; and countless other useful tips on how to survive in London, on the highway and in the country (''eject out of a room, how to, anyone with certainty'' surely works in town or country). The last 30 some pages, which includes the etchings and lithographs, is an advertisement for de Berenger's Stadium, or British National Arena which covered 24 acres of Chelsea.
The Baron de Berenger, or Charles Random, who has been described variously as an inventor, sharpshooter, print colourer and stockmarket fraud, set up his Stadium in 1831 and held modern Olympics there in 1832 and 1838. He certainly had no claim to the rank of Lt. Colonel but there is some uncertainty about his claim to his title; it may have some validity.
The Cruikshank brothers seem to have had a closer relationship with Berenger than mere hired illustrators: Arthur G. Credland, in an article on Berenger in 'Arms & Armour' (2006), speculates that through their keen interest in archery and shooting that one, or both of them, taught at the Stadium and he recounts a less than illustrious heritage for Berenger transmitted via the Cruikshanks.


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HOWARD, Thomas. On the Loss of the Teeth; and on the best means of restoring them. London, Simpkin & Marshall 1859. Small slender octavo publisher's blindstamped cloth; 62,[1]pp and a charming frontispiece printed in blue with a before and after overlay. An over possessive medico's bookplate and blindstamp on the front endpapers, rather a good copy. Au$200

A successful little book it seems, there were several printings between 1852 and 1862 (the publishers claim 27 by 1857). Howard, surgeon dentist to the Archbishop of Canterbury, at first seems to approve of artificial teeth made of hippo tusk but later points out that they don't last long. There are similar problems with ivory, gold and natural teeth (recycled from other mouths) which understandably disturb persons of "extreme sensibility and delicacy of feeling". He has, though, invented a "new description of composition teeth" which are "perfectly incorruptible" - their "durability is unbounded".
By 1863 Howard had moved from Hanover Square to Fleet Street and extended his hours from 11 till 4 to 10 till 5. Whether this means a thriving business or desperate decline I can't tell.


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Paper Game. Het Vermakelijk Harlekijnspel. Amsterdam, J. Viegler [188-?]. 57x43cm colour litho game on paper. A rather good copy. Au$75


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Tram Game. Tramway Spel. Amsterdam, J. Viegler [c1880]. 435x575mm colour litho game on paper. A rather good copy. Au$200

A Dutch racing game presumably co-produced with the cocoa maker van Houten. Amsterdam's trams began running in 1875 and you can be sure the game makers were at work within minutes. There is a version of this without the advertisements on the trams - which are obvious additions when you compare them - published by Ellerman Harms; doubtless Viegler got the rights and made a deal with van Houten. It wasn't long before writers were complaining about the disfiguring surfeit of advertising on trams all round the world.


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Chiarini's Circus. Chiarini's Circus and Menagerie. Complete Congress of Wonders and Marvels. n.p. 1887 (Meiji 20). Woodcut poster 38x50cm, folded. Stained on the right side and a couple of blotches elsewhere, still a rather good copy for such a vulnerable thing. Au$750

Chiarini's circus spent months in Japan in 1886 and 1887 and the Emperor saw his first circus. And being true royalty he was generous in his appreciation, not like a certain modern bunch who will reward with a handshake and have their accountant bill the nation for new gloves. Chiarini's was the circus for much of India, south east and east Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Latin and South America. They were indefatigable travellers.
I gather it was the scale of the spectacle, the horse riders and the animals that enraptured the Japanese; they already had plenty of great acrobats. I read somewhere that the first Japanese given official permission to leave the country were acrobats snapped up by the canny Richard Risley whose circus had been allowed into Japan in 1864 but no further than Yokohama. In this poster the stars are hard at work and are identified.


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Specimen Hikifuda. A large hikifuda - handbill - or modest poster for Kyoto haberdashery bargain sales. n.p. [Kyoto 190-?]. Colour lithograph 37x26cm. An outstanding copy. Au$450

This splendidly flamboyant and assertive modern young Japanese woman is unlike any other I've seen from this period. Being able to decipher phrases like "bargain sale" but unable to decipher the trademark or any particular merchant's name here I suspect this is a sample produced by or for Kyoto silk merchants and haberdashers. Being on much heavier paper than usual for hikifuda clinches the matter for me.


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Tea Label. Smile Extra Choicest Spring Leaf Japan Tea. n.p. n.d. 19--? (early c20th?) Colour woodcut 39x34cm. An outstanding, crisply impressed copy. Au$225

A fabulous and puzzling large label - ranji - for export tea chests that would do any sixties' album cover proud. I have learnt that woodcut printing survived for tea labels after other printing went litho because exporters didn't want the ink smell contaminating their tea. Printing quality was high, this was international advertising, but the labels that survive are of course remainders or samples. I take this to be a sample - the paper is good quality and heavy and the printing immaculate - for a label maybe never used. I have looked through hundreds of labels online without finding any Smile Tea. Can an expert put me straight?
This has what a label needs: bright colours, bold contrast, lively typography and an arresting design. But it doesn't have what other tea labels have: a pretty picture that foreigners will immediately recognise as Japan. No elaborately kimonoed beauty, no Fuji, no lucky god. No kimonoed beauty on a tea plantation terrace with a lucky god in attendance and Fuji in the distance. What we have is a happy but somehow sinister character. With those ears he is surely a wrestler. But bald? Was there a happy bald wrestler famous enough in Japan that someone thought he might translate to the outside world? An ex-wrestler who became famous as the eternally cheerful muscle for the mob?


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Hikifuda. Hikifuda of a ship bedecked with flags with fireworks overhead n.p.[190-?]. Colour woodcut 37x26cm. A small blotch in the upper right side, a nice copy. Au$185

An undeciphered by me hikifuda - large handbill or small poster - featuring some nautical celebration.


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Hikifuda. Hikifuda of a boy sailor winning a horserace with a crown princess like mother and two other military children cheering. n.p. [190-?]. Colour lithograph 26x37cm. Minor signs of use, quite a good copy. Au$150

An exhilarating conjunction of sport, patriotism and those repulsive chubby infants so popular in the late Meiji period. I don't know what this hikifuda - a small poster or handbill - advertises but it is winning.


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Hikifuda. Hikifuda of a ship against the rising sun. n.p. [c1900?]. Colour wood engraving? 26x36cm. Minor signs of use, quite good. Au$200

This handsome ship hikifuda - small poster or handbill - advertises something I can't read. It uses the western technique of wood engraving, a technique that had a brief run in commercial printing between traditional woodcuts and lithography.


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Shop posters. Samuel Reeves Ltd. London. Ten printed posters for shops, teashops, etc. London, all printed by Samuel Reeves Ltd [190-?]. From about 45cm to 78cm in height. Some small tears, some foxing, all rather good. Au$1200

Reeves specialised in posters, banners and display cards for the trade and this is a good selection of their work probably from the early 20th century. In recent years replicas of some Reeves' posters were produced by a craft printer using Reeve's wood types; these are original.


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Hikifuda Menu. [Banzai Binran]. n.p. [190-?]. Colour lithograph broadside 37x51cm. Minimal signs of use. Au$90

This busy and cheerful Hikifuda - handbill - is an advertisement and a menu, seemingly for all seasons. I'm told what's on offer is side dishes. A typical Hikifuda in that businesses had their own details put in the centre panel. I've traced two images of this handbill, one with a blank centre panel, the other for a different company.


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Hikifuda. Benkyo Shoten? [Wayo Zakka Keorimono-rui]. Hikifuda - or handbill - for a sale of Japanese and western wool textiles. n.p. [190-?]. Colour lithograph broadside 38x26cm. A touch browned round the edges. Au$100

An exuberant yet elegant thoroughly up to the minute snapshot of a stylish woman - with her painfully exquisite daughter - graciously acknowledging the attention of the shop boy at a busy warehouse sale of fabrics.


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Hikifuda. [Shinshu Matsumoto Higashimachi Uetei]. n.p. [c1900?]. Woodcut broadside 28x24cm. A nice copy. Au$100

An intriguing and to me mysterious handbill from Matsumoto - a city in the Nagano prefecture in central Honshu. It seems clear it offers - in some rustic, or perhaps reverse way - what the well dressed man needs. Superior quality is promised but I'm stumped by all those series of numbers. They don't make sense as measurements to me.


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Specimen Hikifuda. ? [Yorozu to Kanbutsu Sato Sekiyu ...] n.p. [c1900?]. Colour woodcut 26x38cm. Rumpled with a couple of small repairs to the edges; quite decent. Stab holes in the right margin showing it was once in an album. Au$200

A bustling handsome print produced for merchants of imported goods. These hikifuda - small posters or handbills - were usually produced with the text panel blank. The customer had their own details over printed. In some cases, like this, samples were were produced with generic text to show the finished product.


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Hikifuda. [Natori-gawa Shoyu Hatsubai-Moto]. n.p. [190-?]. Colour lithograph 52x39cm. A bit creased or rumpled with a couple of closed marginal tears; a pretty good copy. Au$250

I presumed this exquisite modern young woman was advertising kimono silk and perhaps she does in other examples of this advertising handbill cum poster. These things were usually produced with a blank space for a business to print, sometimes write in, their products and details. Here, she is advertising a Natori-gawa soy sauce distributor. Natori-gawa is the river near Sendai in north east Honshu.


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Boer War paper game. SCHLETTE, E.G. Boer-en Rooinekspel. Amsterdam, Koster [190-?]. 56x79cm colour lithograph. Creasing and a couple of short tears repaired in the margin. Au$150

A bright and cheery racing game.


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Hikifuda. ... ... ... [Niimura Shoten ... Shimosuwa Kinoshita ... Wayo Orimonosho ...]. n.p. [1900]. Colour woodcut 26x38cm. Minor stain, really only noticeable in the bottom margin. Au$250

This smart hikifuda - large handbill or small poster - advertises, I think, the Shimosuwa department store Niimura Shoten where they sell Japanese and western textiles. Shimosuwa is a town in Nagano, east of Tokyo. There are Niimura department stores still in a few towns around Japan but I suspect that it is a common name; it translates more or less as 'New Town'. This is also a tribute to modern transport and a helpful train (and ferry?) timetable for 1900 is provided.


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Hikifuda. [Kisha Seki Suiriku Nimotsu Unso Toriatsukaijo]. n.p. [c1904]. Colour lithograph 37x52cm. Old folds. Au$300

Freudians, symbolists and students of gay innuendo of the last century, eat your hearts out. Our artist beat you to every punch by years. The train may have left the cannon but the banner and torpedo suggest that another could be along soon.
This patriotic hikifuda - large handbill or small poster - advertising a transport company must date to the Russo-Japanese war.


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Advertising. Hudson's Household Removals. Hudson's Household Removals. Fire Proof Depositories. London, the company [1904]. Quarto publisher's colour illustrated boards; 16 leaves of blotting paper with Hudson's heading etc printed on both sides. The text inside the covers and on the blotter pages is in French. Calendar for 1905 inside the back cover. Au$100

A splendid bit of futuristic international marketing with a view of one of their coming airships wafting a van over the London skyline; 1904 was a good time for powered airships. It's a quibble that the motor, indeed a pilot, for Hudson's airship is invisible but what is odd is that the Hudson van, identical to the vans on the back cover, is still horse powered. Included inside the back cover are letters of approbation from royal and aristocratic clients, from the Empress Eugenie in 1894 to Baron von Stael in 1903.


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Hikifuda & Sugoroku. [Nichiro Kinen Sugoroku]. n.p. [1905?]. Colour lithograph 26x37cm. A bit smudged and rumpled, pretty good. Au$300

I have seen a few hikifuda made as sugoroku but they have been staid affairs featuring birds, flowers and graceful women in flowing kimonos. This exuberant advertisement game celebrates the Russo-Japanese war victory.
These hikifuda - small posters or handbills - were usually produced with the text panel blank. The customer, usually a retailer, had their own details over printed.


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Hikifuda. Tsumura Juntendo. - [Chujo Yu - Herupu]. [Tokyo? 1908-09]. Colour lithograph 265x375mm. Old vertical folds, stabholes in the right margin and tips clipped from the left corners indicating it was once part of an album. A pretty good copy. Au$225

Tsumura Juntendo - still in business - began selling herbal remedies in Tokyo in the 1890s and 'Help' - Tsumura's herbal wonder cure for women - went on the market in 1907. This handsome hikifuda - handbill or poster - includes a calendar for 1909.


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Aviation Game. Helder's Vlieg-Spel. Zwolle, Helder's Biscuits [1909?]. 44x64cm colour litho game on paper. Folded and a touch rumpled; rather good. With a list of the biscuit range down the right side. Au$550

A splendid race game featuring plenty of bumps, crashes and engine failures and the earliest forms of the monoplane. Did the monoplane in the centre panel exist?
1909 was the big year for air shows and game makers weren't slow so 1909 is a sensible date to put on this. I can find only one record of another copy of this - in the Seville collection - and this, he said humbly, is a much better copy.


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