A woodcut by the great Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) from the series Shokoku Taki Meguri (Going Around Waterfalls in Various Provinces) sold to a US buyer at £5800 (estimate £500-800).
Published c.1833-34, this depicts the cascade at Yoshino where, as detailed in the inscription, the hero Yoshitsune is said to have washed his horse.
Knocked down to a London client at £11,000 (estimate £1000-1500) at the auction on May 28 was Homage, an ink painting by Toko Shinoda (b.1913) – the first Sworders had offered for sale. Toko was described in a 1983 Time magazine article as ‘A conservative renegade and a liberal traditionalist’ and this is borne out in this work of 2009 which marries the tradition of calligraphy with modern abstraction.
Foujita portrait print
Meanwhile Chiswick Auctions’ (25% buyer’s premium) Asian art sale on May 10 included a print by Japanese artist Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968). Portrait of a lady, a 13 x 10in (34x 24cm) engraving hand-coloured and heightened in gouache was signed by the artist in both English and Japanese and dated 1930. It had been authenticated by Sylvie Buisson, author of the artist’s catalogue raisonné.
Over the past few years, the contribution of Foujita to 20th century art has been subject to a reassessment. The £6.1m record price for the artist was established at Bonhams in 2018 for La Fête d’Anniversaire – the year the Tokyo Met launched Foujita’s biggest retrospective exhibition to date. This work sold for £6200, eclipsing the £2000-3000 estimate.