Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891) Meiji Period
Lot 95*
Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891)
Meiji Period
Sold for £48,000 (US$ 80,830) inc. premium
Auction Details
Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891) Meiji Period
Lot Details
Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891)
Meiji Period
A complete set of twelve silver and gold mica-ground tanzaku (poem-slips), painted in the urushi-e technique, in brown lacquer on paper, depicting customs and symbols associated with the twelve months of the year, comprising:
1) January: wakamatsu and plum tree.
2) February: a figure of Okame during the bean-throwing ceremony, mamemaki, the Setsubun Festival, held on the third day of the month.
3) March: tachi-bina dolls displayed during the Girl's Festival day, Hinamatsuri, held on the third day of the month.
4) April: Spring flowers, including tanpopo (dandelion), tsukushi (horsetail) and warabi (bracken).
5) May: shobu-gatana (a toy sword originally made from bundles of iris plants), the scabbard decorated with a takara-zukushi mon, lying across it with two arrows, in the Boy's Festival, Tango, held on the fifth day of the month, beside a sprig of futaba-aoi (hollyhock) leaves lying in front, a reminder of the Kamo-river Festival held on the fifteenth day of the month.
6) June: hatsu-gatsuo (tuna) lying in a basket, representing the first bonitos of the season with the advent of the summer.
7) July: a set of kaji (mulberry leaves) wrapped inside tied ryoshi, celebrating the Star Festival, Tanabata, held on the seventh day of the month.
8) August: a hotaru (dragonfly) hovering above an uchiwa (fan), lying beside nadeshiko (pink).
9) September: kuri (chestnuts) branch and net bag filled with kuri.
10) October: mangetsu (full moon), Chinese buildings among clouds, reflected against the full moon, festival of Tsukimi (moon-gazing).
11) November: sparrow flying beneath a snow-covered pine tree.
12) December: a leaping tai (bream) for osechi, alluding to the preparation of dishes made to eat to celebrate the New Year.
Each tanzaku signed Zeshin with seal Zeshin; with tomobako titled Tanzaku and signed by the artist Tairyukyo Zeshin with seal; with certificate of authentication by Shoji Chikushin. Each tanzaku 36.1 x 5.9cm (14¼in x 2 3/8in). (14).


  • 十二ヶ月図短冊 12枚 柴田是真筆 明治時代

    Compare with a set of twelve tanzaku painted in ink and colour on card also showing different paintings of the twelve months in the Nasser D. Khalili Collection, illustrated by Joe Earle (ed.), Meiji no Takara, Treasures of Imperial Japan, Shibata Zeshin, pl.100; and another set painted in urushi-e on silk, in the Itabashi Ward Museum, illustrated in the Exhibition catalogue, published by the Mitsui Memorial Museum, The Art of Shibata Zeshin, Featuring the Edson Collection, Tokyo 2009, pp.176-177, pl.J-40.

    Shoji Chikushin (1854-1936), a close pupil of Shibata Zeshin, was accustomed to authenticating his Master's works after his death. He was awarded a prize of merit at the Naikoku Kangyo Hakurankai (National Industrial Exposition) in Meiji 10 (1877).
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  1. Suzannah Yip
    Specialist - Japanese Art
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    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
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