[JAPANESE CARTS]. UENO, Atsugui. Go shoguruma. [Royal Imperial Carts]. 13 leaves, including 12 coloured plates, on double leaves folded accordion style (orihon). Oblong folio, 270 x 390 mm., bound in publisher's boards, orange glazed wrapper on upper cover bearing tassels and leaves. Kyoto: 1934.
A beautiful suite of decorative plates, superbly printed in gold and colour, illustrating Imperial Carts for use of the Royal Family, each with leaf of descriptive text and all within fan-shaped images. Each highly stylized image is fan-shaped; the leaves of descriptive text are embossed with vines, leaves and so forth. Although Atsugi Ueno is not listed in Laurence Roberts' Dictionary of Japanese Artists, he was clearly an artist of considerable abilities: each cart, or symbol of a cart (perhaps only a single-spoke wheel) is delicately placed among or behind a group of flowers or vines. This is the most elegant volume of Japanese Imperial Carts known to us; that this work contains designs for Japanese fans further enhances its appeal.
"Various fan designs that are found today in the world originated in ancient Japan. It was not until modern times that they found their way to Europe through the Chinese continent. In Japan, fans were called 'suehiro,' or wide-bottom, and have long been a symbol of prosperity. Even today, fans are indispensable small items and treasured in ceremonies and festivals as well as in traditional Japanese dancing. Fans are made primarily of materials produced in Japan: bamboo, paper and silk. The size and shape of fans are varied, and this variety adds to the lives of the Japanese regardless of the season. Combining straight lines and curves, the unique spatial structure of the Japanese fans have been rediscovered artistically and internationally, and by the young" (The Fan of Japan Exhibition, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Trust Company, New York, 1996).
Item nr. 46400