Eggplants in a Basket Surimono

by Hokkei (1780 - 1850)

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Eggplants in a Basket Surimono by Hokkei (1780 - 1850)

Hokkei (1780 - 1850) Japanese Woodblock Reprint
Eggplants in a Basket Surimono

From an untitled series of Three Lucky Dreams

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.

Eggplants in a Basket Surimono - Beautiful still-life surimono depicting two eggplants in an openwork basket lined with leaves, with a smaller eggplant resting nearby. A verse is written in calligraphy above. This design comes from Hokkei's untitled series of three New Year's surimono illustrating the "Three Lucky Dreams." A person who dreamed of Mt. Fuji, eggplants in a basket, and a falcon on a perch (the other subjects in the series), at New Year's, was believed to be lucky in the coming year. Nice subtle color.

Artist - Hokkei (1780 - 1850)

Image Size - 8" x 6 7/8"

Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Small hole. Toning, slight soiling, a couple vertical creases. Please see photos for details. Good overall.

Eggplants in a Basket Surimono by Hokkei (1780 - 1850)
Eggplants in a Basket Surimono by Hokkei (1780 - 1850)