Double-sided Key Block for Ukiyo-e Print
Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) (side a), Eisen Keisai (side b)
This carving served as the key block, the first one made by the carver, based on Kunisada’s original drawing. It provides the basic outlines of the design. The key block was used to make a number of simple black impressions that served as guides for the carving of all subsequent blocks. The print made by this carving was the mirror image of what we see here, so all of the text on the block is in reverse. This block is actually signed by its carver, Asai Ginjirō (1844–1894). There was no general policy with regard to carvers signing their work, but such signatures are definitely in the minority.
15 1/2 x 10 1/8 x 3/8 in. (39.4 x 25.7 x 1 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Dr. Alvin E. Friedman-Kien
Side a: Toyokuni III (Kunisada)
Three Women Musicians On a Balcony. A woodblock for ukiyo-e print of an autumn scene of women playing shamisen and biwa (musical instruments) with an attendant who carries tray with tea cup.
Condition: Very good. Wood is stained black from ink used in printing.
Side b: Keisai
18 Tokyo cuisine style dishes. (Tokyo ryori jyuuhachi sakana)
Name of place: Sumiyoshi cho… (incomplete)
The other name of place: Honya bakuro (bakuro) four
Carver's name: Cho-ei
Keyblock for outline of ukiyo-e print showing two women in a restaurant, holding papers in their hands.
Condition: Few tiny breaks in outline. Old break (stable) at upper left.
This item is not on view
Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) (side a) (Japanese, 1786-1865). Double-sided Key Block for Ukiyo-e Print, ca. 1830. Cherry wood, 15 1/2 x 10 1/8 x 3/8 in. (39.4 x 25.7 x 1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. Alvin E. Friedman-Kien, 2002.119.15a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2002.119.15a_bw.jpg)
side, a, 2002.119.15a_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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