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Entered into an auction at Ivoire Nîmes (22.2% buyer’s premium inc tax) in the southern French city on August 3, they were keenly contested by bidders online, on the phone and in the room.

The albums, containing Hiroshige’s One hundred views of Edo featuring 119 oban prints, were hammered down for €115,000 (£99,140) against an estimate of €10,000-15,000. The prints were first published in serialised form in 1856-59, with Hiroshige II completing the series after Hiroshige’s death.


A print from the set of One hundred Views of Edo, €115,000 (£99,140) at Ivoire Nîmes.

From the same provenance came an album of Hiroshige’s Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, a set of oban prints from 1858 (they bear the same title as the earlier series produced by Katsushika Hokusai). This sold for €32,000 (£27,585) against a guide of €4000-6000.