Kokon bokuseki kantei benran [trans.: Compendium of Appraisals of Painters of Ancient & Modern Times or Guide to Japanese Seals & Signatures].
by KAWAKITA, Mahiko.
Numerous woodcuts in the text. Seven vols. Oblong 8vo (shuchin bon), orig. decorated wrappers, upper covers with orig. block-printed title labels, modern stitching. Tokyo, Kyoto, & Osaka: [Preface to Vol. I dated 1847; Preface to Vol. V dated 1854, and colophon of final volume dated 1855]. First edition of this famous book which is still used as a reference work for art historians, dealers, and collectors to determine the artist, calligrapher, poet, philosopher, and medical physician through their signatures and ownership seals. Biographical sketches are provided. The first two volumes are devoted to Confucian philosophers, Vols. III and IV to waka poets, V and VI to artists and calligraphers, and the final volume to prominent medical doctors. Hundreds of seals and signatures are depicted. The book is printed in a most unusual format for a Japanese book of the period: a narrow oblong octavo -- shuchin bon -- a book small enough to carry in one's kimono sleeve. Kawakita (1818-68), wrote several other works including a well-known travel guide to Kyoto. Fine set and rare in the first edition. The final leaves of Vol. VII are a little wormed (final leaf with small loss of text). . (Inventory #: HillBibl-5339)
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