Lobster Treasure Ship Surimono

by Toyohiro (1773 - 1828)

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Lobster Treasure Ship Surimono by Toyohiro (1773 - 1828)

Toyohiro (1773 - 1828) Japanese Woodblock Reprint
Lobster Treasure Ship Surimono

Surimono - Surimono are an exclusive subcategory of Japanese woodblock prints. Poetry clubs commissioned these designs for distribution to a small audience of members, most often as New Year's greetings. These privately published images included a wonderful range of subjects and lavish printing techniques such as embossing, burnishing, and metallic pigments. Since surimono were not sold commercially, the print runs were very small and original Edo era surimono are incredibly rare in the market today.

During the 1890s, publishers reprinted some of the most popular designs by famous artists like Hokkei, Gakutei, Hokusai and others. In keeping with the surimono tradition, the Meiji printings were equally exquisite, printed with the finest inks and embellished with embossing, lacquered pigments, and other design features. In some cases, the original Edo era prints no longer exist, making the Meiji reprints the only record of these subjects. These fascinating and beautifully printed images continue to delight collectors today.

Comments - Intriguing surimono print of spiny lobster fashioned in the shape of the treasure ship of the Seven Lucky Gods, loaded with the "takaramono" or precious things such as a magic hat and raincoat, sacred jewels, and a magic mallet. The gods are said to bring the ship ashore at the New Year. The verse reads "The wind of the gods is breaking the morning fog and bringing in the takaramono." The lobster itself is a symbol of longevity and appears commonly in New Year's greetings and decorations. A clever design with wonderful detail, including delicate embossed lines on the body of the lobster and sail.

Artist - Toyohiro (1773 - 1828)

Image Size - 8 1/8" x 7 1/4"

Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Two small holes. Toning, slight soiling, a few light creases. Please see photos for details. Good overall.

Lobster Treasure Ship Surimono by Toyohiro (1773 - 1828)
Lobster Treasure Ship Surimono by Toyohiro (1773 - 1828)