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Lot Essay

The subject of the second triptych, The Tongue-Cut Sparrow, is a story about an unpleasant old woman who was doing her washing when a sparrow that belonged to her gentle and pleasant husband ate some of her laundry starch. The angry old lady cut off the bird’s tongue and chased it away. Saddened by the loss of his sparrow, the husband set off to find the it. He eventually found its house where he was warmly received by the sparrow and his family. As an omiyage, the sparrow offered two wicker baskets of different sizes. The unselfish husband accepted the smaller basket and went home, whereupon gold and silver treasure appeared in the basket. In her greed, the nasty old lady wanted more and therefore set off to the sparrow’s house and accepted the large basket. However, when she took the lid off, a troop of demons appeared from inside and killed her.

For another impression of the second in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, go to www.mfa.org/collections and input accession number 11.34998.59a-c

  • Estimate

    GBP 700 - 1,000

  • Description

    PROPERTY FROM A COLLECTION

    Utagawa Yoshitora (active circa 1836–1887)
    Utagawa Yoshimori (1830–1884)
    Two woodblock-printed triptychs
    Jingu Kogo Sankan seibatsu... tora taiji [Empress Jingu Attacks the Three Korean Kingdoms...the Hunting of Tigers]
    Signed Ichimosai Yoshitora ga (on each sheet), published 1856

    Mukashi-banashi shita-kiri suzume [The Old Story of the Tongue-cut Sparrow]
    Signed Yoshimori giga (on right sheet), Yoshimori ga (on center and left sheets), published by Kogaya Katsugoro, 1864
    Both vertical oban triptychs
    The first, each sheet approx. 35.5 x 24.6cm.
    The second, each sheet approx. 36.1 x 24.3cm.

  • Condition Report

    The first good impression and fair colour. A fold along each right-hand edge with some small associated holes, some with repairs to verso. A few small repairs elsewhere to verso. Minor creasing and slight trimming.

    The second good impression and fair colour. Each sheet with strong vertical centrefold with associated small holes repaired at verso, with touching in of pigment to the front. Some soiling and rubbing.

  • Lot Notes

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