1803. Item #89791
Utagawa TOYOKUNI I, artist. YAKUSHA EHON [YAKUSHA KONOTEGASHIWA] 2 vols. in 1. 20.7 x 14.6 cm, string-bound, Japanese-style, fukuro-toji. Brushed paper title label. One of Toyokuni's early and important books. It is a sought-after "highspot" of the ukiyo-e genre. Here found incomplete. There were two volumes, of which this is the first. The set was published in Edo in 1803. This copy is missing the last sheet of text, but has all 24 images of Kabuki actors called for in the first volume. There were a total of 48 such portraits all together in the set, so this is half. There is a bit of staining but the printing is quite good quality with the slender yet taut line of Toyokuni I's early work. It is obvious, even in this diminished state, why it is a famous work. In a custom clasped chitsu case.