Boys and Ox (童と牛)

Designer: Kashosai Shunsen | Carver: David Bull | Printer: David Bull

Paper size: 17cm by 23.5cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [M] ? ( Change currency: $ / £ / )

Price: $ 70.00£ 56.50€ 64.50 [Reprinting]

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Description: Here’s an image that I’m sure you have never seen before ... and by a designer that you’ve perhaps never heard of. Going by the initial character of his name, we can safely assume that Kashosai Shunsen was one of that multitude of men who passed through the studio of Katsukawa Shunsho in the late 18th century. Mokuhankan owns a copy of the original of this print, and it shows, by the fold down the middle and the remnants of glue at the edges, that it is one sheet taken from an album, presumably a poetry collection.

As is usually the case with surimono containing poetry, the image overflows with allusions to various interpretations of the poem. We can ask a language expert to help us read the characters, but that doesn’t really help us with understanding the meaning, as many of the phrases used alluded to something current in the society of the day, and such nuances are long lost ...

Although most of our prints are carved on yamazakura (mountain cherry wood), this one uses tsuge (boxwood). This was also used back in the Edo era, inlaid into the cherry block just for areas of high detail (faces, etc.). But for an image like this, with fine details everywhere, inlaying is not suitable, so we used a wide laminated plank of boxwood for the entire keyblock, something that would simply not have been possible back in the old days.

Extra expense, and extra work, but well worth it in the clarity of the finished carving ...

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