Current Patterns of the Underworld: Actor Nakamura Fukusuke I as Yamaneko Sanji
(Jidai moyo ataru shiranami: Nakamura Fukusuke, Yamaneko Sanji)
signed Toyokuni ga within artist's Toshidama cartouche, with publisher's seal Uo-ya (Sakanaya Eikichi), block cutter's seal, Yokokawa Hori Take, and censor's seal Aratame hitsuji-roku (examined, year of the goat , 6th month)
oban tate-e 14 5/8 by 10 in., 37.3 by 25.5 cm
This rare series presenting actors in roles of villains appears to be a stylistic precursor to Kunisada's series, Contest of Magic Scenes by Toyokuni, which began to be issued only two years later, from circa 1861-64. As there are scant examples extant or published from this series, it is unknown how many designs were actually issued. The series title has been amusingly translated elsewhere as 'Thieves are a Sign of the Times.'
Andreas Marks, Publishers of Japanese Woodblock Prints: A Compendium, 2011, p. 277 (for series)
price: $ 750
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