Original Hokkei (1780 – 1850) Japanese Woodblock Print
Still Life Surimono
Japanese Woodblock Surimono – Surimono are an exclusive subcategory of Japanese wood block prints. They were privately commissioned works intended to be distributed to a small audience of friends, colleagues or like-minded members of a “poetry circle”.The most common surimono style included an image and a poetry verse. Some surimono depict well-known stories from ancient legend and are fantastic individual works of art without any calligraphy. Because of the exclusive nature of surimono, and the fact that they were commissioned by wealthy individuals, the level of workmanship was excellent. The designs are stunning, and usually printed to the highest standards on expensive paper with fine pigments and embellishments. The carvers and printers were leaders in their fields. Since surimono were not sold to a commercial audience the print runs were very small and original surimono are incredibly rare in the market today.
Meiji Surimono Prints – During the early Meiji period the original surimono publishing houses, printed and redistributed some of their most famous surimono designs. Designs by some of the most famous artists like; Hokkei, Gakutei, Toyohiro and others were reprinted to an audience interested in collecting these fantastic works of art. In keeping with the surimono tradition, the Meiji printings were equally exquisite, printed with the finest inks and embellished with embossing, lacquered pigments, and other design features. As most of the original blocks were still in existence, they are mostly printed with the old blocks, sometimes slightly repaired or altered as needed.