Eisen: Oiran Shiratama
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Keisai Eisen (1790-1848)

The high-ranking courtesan (Oiran) Shiratama from the Tamaya house, wearing an elaborate coiffure, dressed in a splendid, thickly padded kimono with a peony pattern, her obi belt embroidered with all the utensils for the tea ceremony. She is sitting next to a tobacco smoking box (tabakobon), holding her long pipe. A view of Mount Fuji seen from Shinagawa in the round cartouche is surrounded by bellflowers.

Title: Ru - Shinagawa - Tamaya uchi (o. nai) Shiratama (The syllable Ru - Shinagawa - Shiratama from Tamaya)

Series: Keisei Edo hôgaku (o. hôkaku) (Courtesans for compass points in Edo)

Signature: Keisai Eisen ga

Publisher: Moritaya Hanzô, Edo

Censorship: Kiwame

Date: c. 1825 (Chiba: 1818)

Original Japanese colour woodblock print. Size: Vertical Ôban, 39 x 26.1 cm (overall)

Very good impression, colours partly faded, still good. Full, untrimmed sheet. A few weak spots and a little soiling, paper thinnings. Thinly backed. Overall good condition.

Rare sheet from a rare series combining courtesans with places in Edo and the syllables of the Iroha (Hiragana). This print listed in Chiba City Museum of Art, Keisai Eisen: Artist of the Floating World, 2012, p. 291, no. 280-10; two other prints from the series illustrated p. 83, no. 66 , 67; other prints from the series see in MFA Boston.