Maggs Bros Ltd

Scenes of the Sanoya House at Yoshiwara. 

UNKNOWN JAPANESE ARTIST (1800.)

£8500.00 

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Watercolour on silk. Horizontal scroll measuring ca. 35.5x500cm, rich brocade mounting on the outside (minor wear), gold leaf paper embossed with flower design inside. Overall in very good condition. Edo, ca. 

The present scroll shows scenes of geisha from the Sanoya house in the Yoshiwara, the main brothel area north of Asakusa in Edo. It portrays the rituals and customs of the courtesans both inside and outside the house, from washing to putting on make-up, entertaining guests, playing the shamisen etc. Interestingly, people are not drawn to scale, which means that the important characters are larger than their young attendants (kamuro) or passers-by. This makes for a pleasing shift in perspectives as you view the scroll. We have tentatively ascribed the scenes to the Sanoya house through the crest on the curtain (noren) in front of the entrance. 

Stock Code: 223212