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192 items found:

Specimen Hikifuda. Hikifuda of lucky gods driving a motor car. n.p. [1911]. Colour lithograph and woodcut 52x38cm. Stab holes in the margin show it was once in an album. Horizontal fold; quite good. The picture is lithographed, the calendar woodcut. Au$200

An extra psychedelic extravaganza in experimental colour showing lucky god Ebisu being chauffered by Daikokuten. These two did embrace modernity and had very good tailors as can be seen when the occasion demanded a smart suit or an even more smart uniform. Here they haven't dressed; it's just two friends on an outing. Maybe a joyride. I wonder whether it was good luck to have these two snaffle your car.
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. The handy calendar is for 1912.


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Hikifuda. Hikifuda of a woman driving a motor car. n.p. [1912]. Colour woodcut 53x37cm. Old folds, rumpling and a couple of small repairs. Au$800

A while ago I offered a 1914 printed hikifuda something like this and asked whether anyone had seen an earlier picture of a Japanese woman driving a car? Now the answer is: I have. Cars and planes were the password for modernity through the Taisho, especially in advertising like this, but sleek women were driven by sleek husbands or chauffeurs. This is radical stuff. It's not until well into the twenties that women behind the wheel became common. Common but not really acceptable. Cars were driven by Mogas - modern girls - louche young women with bobbed hair and short skirts: flappers. The history of early Japanese women motorists, in English, is blank. Can some expert out there help?
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. In this case it was Tamachi Taya of Kaneko-mura. The handy calendar is for 1913.


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Kawabata Ryushi [Nijuyon Toki Katei]. Tokyo, Fujin Sekai 1912 (Meiji 45). Colour broadside 54x78cm. A bit used, a few small holes in folds. Au$400

The new year gift from the magazine Fujin Sekai - Woman's World - charting the day in the busy but calm and most decorative life of the successful woman - wife and mother.
Kawabata's career took a curious turn during a 1913 stay in America to study western painting. Apparently he was so impressed with the Japanese art he saw in Boston he switched to being a Nihonga painter. Still, he remained being an illustrator for magazines for quite some time. As did most of the early to mid 20th century artists now revered.


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Ota Saburo. Asagiri. Tokyo, Seibido 1912 (Meiji 45). Two volumes 19x13cm publisher's colour illustrated wrappers; excellent in a mildly shabby publisher's box; illustrated in colour throughout. An outstanding copy. Au$1300

"A series of small colour prints of astonishing invention and charm," said Hillier in the 'Art of the Japanese Book' and there is no need to improve on that. Hillier was uncertain as to what is woodblock and what is lithography and I'm not sure it matters much. The tangle of western and traditional technique and discernment could take years to untangle with artists and books like this. The covers play with the popular sword and sash novels of an earlier generation for which some great artists did woodblock covers that put together formed a picture. Warrior on one and beauty on the other was standard.
Ota Saburo is among the best of the generation of artists who studied oil painting and refused to become western copyists, instead forging new a Japanese art which saw some of the most delightful illustrated books you could wish to see. Here he is gently subverting traditional Japanese forms for a radical end. The women are delicate and lovely but they are delicate and lovely with lovely big feet, capable hands and a hint of perspiration more than perfume.


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QUENIOUX, Gaston. Elements de Composition Decorative. Cent themes de decoration plane. Paris, Hachette, 1912. Quarto publisher's decorated cloth blocked in green and red (back hinge partly split, a bit marked); [8],318pp, 543 illustrations including 25 colour plates. Natural browning of the text paper, still a rather good copy. Au$60

A thorough grounding in design in one hundred parts, each focussed on a particular form of pattern or field of design: printing, ceramics, textiles, etc. The examples come from everywhere and all times but all somehow sit well with the stylish Art Nouveau forms of modern design that Quenioux espouses.


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New York Architecture. Competition for the New York Court House MCMXIII. Edited by authority of the Court House Board. NY, Architectural Book Publishing [1913]. Hefty folio, 52x36cm, loose as issued in publisher's portfolio (rubbed and worn but solid); five leaves of preliminary text and 88 plates: plans elevations and perspectives. Ex library with small stamps on the preliminary pages and the back of the plates; a couple of marginal tears; used but decent enough. Au$475

Twelve major architects were invited and a preliminary competition selected another ten to enter the competition for a new New York Supreme Court. Ten were originally invited and the New York Times complained about the regulations and about missing names like Cass Gilbert, George B. Post, Cram Goodhue & Ferguson and a couple of others. Whatever effect this complaint had, Gilbert and Post were included but the competition remained firmly unpublic. Guy Lowell won with a grand circular mass that was then revised, by the time it was built, into a completely different building.
The first critics of note were the Supreme Court Justices who said they preferred the old Tweed building to Lowell's design. And the Justices remained critics of note. Despite resiting and revisions over the next few years they remained implacably opposed to a circular court building. But it was economics that killed it in the end.
All the entries are included - a fair division of four plates each - and as to be expected the temple is predominant, more or less adapted or added to. McKim Mead and White's design looks they had a hotel in mind and of the few that went upwards, as New York was meant to go, some have put an awkward (or picturesque depending on taste) tower on a temple. George and Edward Blum's tower is the only building that truly looks modern in the New York of 1913 but modernity and elegance don't personify the weight and dignity of the law.


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Catalogue - Iron gates, fences &c. Handa Shonosuke Shoten. [Sentetsuseio Monpi Tetsusakurui?]. Tokyo, Handa Shonosuke Shoten [c1913]. Lithograph broadside 40x56cm. A couple of small blotches, still a nice copy. Au$100

A handsome array of iron gates, fences and doors. Very similar - but not quite the same - to a broadside from the same place dated 1913.


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Design. An album of designs for textiles and/or paper. c1913-1920's? Large folio cloth [620x430mm]; 24 card leaves with 39 mounted original colour block prints (3 double page). Expected signs of use but nothing drastic; one print removed. Au$1200

Doubtless the designer's album of designs, these are proof prints from the blocks, each show the shape where the repeat pattern fits. The first pages are annotated with details of the client ('Achete a George. 9 Rue St Fiacre Paris' - in earlier decades this was the home of a calico manufacturer, which makes sense, and now houses a public relations firm and Ella Bache, which is neither here nor there) and the engraver (Gillet, sometimes in concert with someone else); the details dwindle as the album proceeds until we reach the large and dramatic geometric design in black and white which was "vendu a Mrs Bosset".
Dating these designs to 1913 would seem foolish but for the first few leaves being dated 1913 in the top corner; two or three are dull, traditional floral patterns but the rest, while by no means radical avant garde, would sit more happily in the next decade or two - some are really quite stylish. The theme is floral, or at least botanical although one is based on a Chinese cloud pattern; several are oriental in style or inspiration and one is a very stylish piece of Japanese abstraction.
I'm pretty sure this is the work of a Japanese designer in Paris, partly because it most recently came from Tokyo and partly because of the modern simplicity of several designs.


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Kawabata Ryushi. [Boken Shosetsu Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Nihon Shonen 1913 (Taisho 2). Colour broadside 79x54cm. A few small holes in the folds; pretty good. Au$300

The new year gift from the boys' magazine Nihon Shonen is called an adventure novel and so it is: action packed and perilous from start to finish.
Kawabata's career took a curious turn during a 1913 stay in America to study western painting. Apparently he was so impressed with the Japanese art he saw in Boston he switched to being a Nihonga painter. Still, he remained being an illustrator for magazines for quite some time. As did most of the early to mid 20th century artists now revered.


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Exhibition - Tokyo 1914. [Tokyo Taisho Hakurankai Kaku Kan no Kokei] Tokyo, Shobundo March 1914 (Taisho 3). Colour lithograph 39x55cm. A bit rumpled along the bottom edge with a couple of short tears in the margins. Rather good. Au$150

Fine views of the psychedelic Taisho exposition - to celebrate the enthronement of the emperor - held in Ueno Park, which introduced any number of technical advances to the Japanese, including an escalator and a cable car. Once the eyes stop watering these acid trip views of late Meiji and Taisho Japan start to make sense. They may have started as a cynical grab at attention for cheap, often nasty, prints but after a while they become a celebration of being in a place and time so exciting that no portrait can be too brightly, too impossibly, coloured.
Photographs may be in some way a more reliable record but no photographer could so capture the thrill of being out and about in Tokyo on a Taisho afternoon.


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Catalogue - tiles. . . [Haku ki-shiki - Uoruban - MI Shokai?]. Tokyo 1914 (Taisho 3). 15x23cm publisher's decorated wrapper; 12 leaves printed on one side being three pages of text, two photo illustrations, a small colour chart and 18 colour designs on eight leaves, plate of cornice profiles. A nice copy. Au$175

A nifty catalogue of architectural ceramics - tiles, mouldings and cornices - for building exteriors produced by, I think, a manufacturing co-operative.


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Specimen hikifuda. Hikifuda of a woman driving a motor car. n.p. [1914]. Colour woodcut 52x38cm. Stab holes in the margin showing it was once in an album; a little browned and minor signs of use. Rather good. Au$500

An shockingly early picture of a Japanese woman driving a car. Cars and planes were the password for modernity through the Taisho, especially in advertising like this, but sleek women were driven by sleek husbands or chauffeurs. This is radical stuff. It's not until well into the twenties that women behind the wheel became common. Common but not really acceptable. Cars were driven by Mogas - modern girls - louche young women with bobbed hair and short skirts, flappers. The history of early Japanese women motorists, in English, is blank. Can some expert out there help?
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. The handy calendar is for 1915.


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SAARINEN, Eliel. Munksnas-Haga och Stor-Helsingfors - Stadsplansstudier och forslag. Helsinki, Lilius & Hertzberg 1915. Quarto publisher's wrapper with mounted colour illustration; [6],163pp, photo illustrations, plans and drawings, 10 folding colour plans. Signs of use, some creasing of the long plans. Au$650

Even without skipping by the monumental grandeur at the official centre of Saarinen's almost winning design for Canberra you can easily recognise the same hand in his plan for Munkkiniemi and Haaga on the outskirts of Helsinki. Saarinen worked on this from 1910 so the two projects overlap.
This, Saarinen's first book - published in Swedish and Finnish versions - is divided between a survey of planning with particular attention to Unwin and the garden city, Helsinki, and this scheme, presented with a five metre long model made by his wife Loja in 1915. Photographic aerial views in the book are of the model. His client was land developer M.G. Stenius - a company whose wealth was built on gardens appropriately enough. Not a lot of this scheme was built but the first stages were built to his plans with one street of - then an innovation too radical for Finland - Saarinen's row houses. Probably a better batting average than Griffin's with Canberra. Trove finds only the Sydney University copy in Australia.


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Kobayashi Eijiro. [Taisho Shonen Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen Sekai 1915 (Taisho 4). Colour broadside 54x79cm. A touch browned and minor signs of use; pretty good. Au$250

A gift from the boys' magazine Shonen Sekai and, as always with boys' sugoroku, packed with excitement and adventure. Girls sometimes get to watch in awe.


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Printing. [Insatsu Taikan]. [Osaka, Nihon Insatsu Kaisha 1915] (Taisho 4)? Folio (39x27cm) publisher's colour printed bevelled boards (minor signs of use); 9 preliminary leaves including three colour plates and a preface in French, 86 specimen leaves by different printers on different papers is a variety of techniques: chromolithography, four colour process, photo engraving, gravure, embossing, etc, with two plates on metal sheets, 6 more leaves at the end including a couple of plates. A touch of adhesion to a couple of chromo plates, inner hinges sometime strengthened with brocade strips. Label removed from inside back cover - probably the colophon. Au$1100

A luxurious bit of showing off by the Japanese printing industry announcing that they have done their apprenticeship with western printers and now match them in skill. Fine printing, book work, advertising ... some kitsch and some very smart.
With this copy I discover this book exists in two forms: a 'deluxe' version with 101 specimen leaves bound in silk and this version in a printed version of the silk and ties with 86 specimens.
For such a grand book this was not distributed as widely as you might expect. Worldcat finds four copies, all following the same catalogue entry dated 1916. I know that the two Australian copies are bound in silk and are dated 1915 but I don't know what the two US copies are. CiNii finds five copies in Japanese libraries, and my searches of specialist libraries found no more.


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BAKER, Richard T. The Australian Flora in Applied Art. Part I The Waratah. Sydney, Tech Museum 1915. Small quarto, very good in publisher's cloth; numerous colour & b/w illustrations. Au$250

Part I is all published and apparently all Baker ever planned to publish. The book was part of his fervid campaign to have the Waratah made the national flower, and his chance to champion the designs of Lucien Henry which he had recovered from under a tub in a Surry Hills washhouse. It is a pity he never continued the series but he has produced probably Australia's most attractive book on applied arts. Lucien Henry's own pattern book remains unpublished, few of his realised designs survive .. this is about as close as we get.


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Kawabata Honami [Shin'an Otogi Misemono Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Yonen no Tomo 1916 (Taisho 5). Colour broadside 53x78cm. Edges nibbled, some browning and a couple of small flaws but pretty good. Au$485

This utopian view of a kids' paradise was the New Year gift from the magazine Yonen no Tomo. It's hard to find. This is a model for a new kind of fun palace that has a lot in common with the modern department store, which usually had fun for kids and a cafe at the top. In this case all the boring stuff - like clothes - has been stripped out and the whole emporium turned over to fun.


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Catalogue - medical and dental equipment. Kawai Shoten, Tokyo. Caialogue [sic] (?) No. 5. [Iryokikkai Zufu?]. Tokyo, Kawai Shoten 1917 (Taisho 6). 22x15cm publisher's printed wrapper (covers somewhat shabby & ragged); [4],200pp, illustrated throughout. A used but decent copy. Au$200

An extensive catalogue of medical and dental equipment and all the necessary ancillaries - furniture, laboratory equipment, a few artificial limbs, and so on. This is Kawai's fifth catalogue but I can't find a record of any of them.


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Kawabata Ryushi. [Shonen Gunkan Sugoroku]. Tokyo,Nihon Shonen 1917 (Taisho 6) 54x78cm colour broadside. Top edge nibbled, minor signs of use. Au$425

A boy's celebration of the navy; this game was the new year gift from the magazine Nihon Shonen.
Kawabata's career took a curious turn during a 1913 stay in America to study western painting. Apparently he was so impressed with the Japanese art he saw in Boston he switched to being a Nihonga painter. Still, he remained being an illustrator for magazines for quite some time. As did most of the early to mid 20th century artists now revered.


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- [Nihon Kaigun - Kyoiku Ebanashi]. Osaka, Enomoto 1917 (Taisho 6). 19x13cm publisher's colour illustrated wrapper; 10pp including wrapper, seven full page colour illustrations. Expected browning of the paper, short marginal tear and a nibble from the front wrapper; pretty good for one of these cheap booklets. Au$165

The glory of the Japanese navy for kids in the eye watering colours of akahon (red book) tradition. This is apparently the fifth edition, it first appeared in 1915.


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Fujiwara Ritsuta. [Sorakai Seifuku Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen 1918 (Taisho 7). Colour broadside 79x55cm. A nice copy. Au$600

A delight - the rigours of flying school explained with the careful attention to truth and detail of a Heath Robinson. This was the new year gift from the magazine Shonen.


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[Hibiyakoen Tsuru no Funsui Kokei]. Tokyo 1918 (Taisho 7) Colour lithograph 39x55cm. Folded, a nice copy. Au$200

There is some warp in time operating around the Hibaya Park fountain where men and women from their grandparents' generation promenade with present day residents and pioneer aviators from the previous decade appear overhead. Only a couple of children seem to notice.


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Akashi Seiichi. [Fujin Nama Hi Tate Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Fujin Sekai 1918 (Taisho 7). Colour broadside 78x54cm. A bit of unnecessary folding, quite a good copy. Au$220

A fortunate life for a girl from cradle to bride. She must have opened her mouth and said something during these years but as she is well brought up we never see her lips move. This was the new year gift from the magazine Fujin Sekai - Woman's World.


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Japanese design. Four original designs for fans. n.p. [c1918]. Watercolour, gouache, pencil and collaged photographs (with some hand tinting) on paper, each about 53cm long. One with the date Taisho 7 (1918) and an undeciphered inscription. Au$375

Kitsch without question. But intriguing and somehow charming kitsch mixing as it does mawkish nostalgia with the thoroughly up to date techniques of photo collage and airbrush. Not to mention beach bunnies. I do wonder whether the woman in the two profile portraits is a celebrity. I'm sure purposeful kitsch was not a new arrival in Japan come the 20th century but certainly there was an avalanche of stuff like this and even more that makes these positively chic.


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Akashi Seiichi. [Kodakara Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Fujin Sekai 1919 (Taisho 8). Colour printed broadsheet 54x79cm. A bit used, some browning and a couple of small holes in folds; pretty good. Au$300

The new year gift from the magazine Fujin Sekai - Woman's World - is a colourful hymn to the joys of having children.


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