Item from the Mokuhankan Flea Market

Hour of the Snake (10am)

Size: 39.5cm by 27.5cm (15.55 in by 10.83 in) | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [L] ?

Designer: Kitagawa Utamaro

Era: Late Showa | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: ¥ 8,000$ 72.00£ 51.25€ 59.75 [Item has been sold]

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Description: This print, titled "The Hour of the Snake", is from the series "The Twelve Hours in the Yoshiwara" (Seirô jûni toki tsuzuki) by Utamaro.

"Ever keen to show supposedly 'private' moments in the lives of his female subjects, Utamaro's project with this series was to show a typical day and night in the life of a high-ranked courtesan of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter. The series title is written between the hanging weights of a stylised lantern clock and the zodiacal name of the time of day (or night), at roughly two-hour intervals, is written on the bell" (quoted from the British Museum website).

"The Hour of the Snake is about 10 am. The courtesan has just come from the bath and is being offered a cup of tea by a 'shinzo'." (ibid.).

The flecks of metallic pigment used in the print have oxidised a little.

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