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Home | Articles | Surimono woodblock print, Kurabiraki Yoshi

joan B. Mirviss, ltd.
Sold at the Winter Antiques Show, New York City, January 2001
Totoya Hokkei (1780–1850)
Surimono woodblock print, Kurabiraki Yoshi (It Is Favorable to Open the Storehouse)
Signed: lower right, Hokkei
Poets: Reitensha Sodenari
and Senkodô Sakae of Sendai
Japan, circa 1824
Series: Hanazono bantsuzuki, for the Hanazono Group
8 x 7 inches
Courtesy of Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd.

One of the over sixty items we sold at
this year’s Winter Antiques Show was this surimono. Commissioned by poetry clubs and produced in limited editions, surimono were used to commemorate special occasions, commonly serving as New Year greeting cards. Remarkable for their intricate and luxurious printing with expensive pigments, metallic powders, and extensive embossing, they were often inscribed in calligraphy with one or more poems composed by club members. As with this surimono, the images typically relate to the poems through parody, historical allusions, and seasonal imagery.

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