Item from the Mokuhankan Flea Market

Hour of the Horse (12am)

Size: 39.0cm by 26.5cm (15.35 in by 10.43 in) | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [L] ?

Designer: Kitagawa Utamaro

Era: Post-war | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: ¥ 8,000$ 72.00£ 51.25€ 59.75

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Description: This print, titled "The Hour of the Horse (Uma no koku)", 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. The Hour of the Horse is about twelve noon. While the courtesan is having her hair arranged, a letter is brought to her. The standing attendant is a 'shinzo' (teenage apprentice) and the girl fussing with her topknot as she peers in the mirror is a 'kamuro' (child servant)" (quoted from the British Museum website).

The colours and patterns of the kimono are quite simple and elegant, and the skill of the carver and printer can be seen in the delicate hairlines of the women.

There are a few very minor creases to the print.

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