Ohara Koson (Shoson). 1877-1945.
Sparrows over Grass. c. 1940's-50's. Dai oban: 16 1/2 x 10 3/8 (sheet 17 9/16 x 10 5/8). Publisher probably Nishinomiya Yosaku (Tokyo publisher--known active 1938 until late 1950's; then sporadically until present day.) Not in Crows, Cranes & Camellias ; variant of plate 142, checklist K33.8. The version in the catalogue has two sparrows fighting over a snow-covered branch. This variant presents the two sparrows fighting over grass, with a third sparrow flying overhead. Subtle 'bokashi' shading; gauffrage in the birds' feathers. Grubby margins; some soiling in the sky. Signed and sealed Koson. An extremely rare image. $1,500.
The authors write, p. 143, "Four tree sparrows (Passer montanus) alight upon a flowering wisteria. The wisteria, named after the American anatomist Caspar Wistar (1761-1818), is a woody, deciduous climbing shrub of the lamily Leguminisae that grows wild in mountainous areas of Japan. Prized for its drooping clusters of blue, purple and white flowers, the wisteria is also used in garden design."
Ukiyoe: Twentieth Century.
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