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Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
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Sadahide
Utagawa Sadahide, 1807-1873
weaving women at silk-making cottage
(Sanka Shokofu no zu)
the right sheet signed Gyokuransai Sadahide ga, the center and left sheets signed Gyokuran Sadahide ga, each with publisher's seal Yamada-ya (Yamada Shojiro), and censor's seals aratame (examined) and nanushi seals, Hama (Hama Yahei) and Magomi (Magomi Kangeyu), ca. 1849-1853
oban tate-e triptych 14 1/2 by 29 1/2 in., 36.7 by 74.8 cm
This triptych depicts varous stages of sericulture (raising silkworms for the production of raw silk), an industry traditionally considered women's work in Edo Period Japan. On the right sheet a woman weaves thread at a loom while behind her another chops mulberry leaves at a large stationary saw, and in the background the silk larvae are transfered to trays and fed the leaves. On the middle sheet a large reel spins the rough silk into finer thread; in the distance two beauties stand at a verandah and release silk moths into the air. On the left sheet a seated woman sorts a tray of prepared cocoons beside a woman standing at a cauldron of cocoons boiling over an open flame spins the silk onto spools; over her shoulder a woman twists dry a section of newly woven silk while another carries a bundle of harvested mulberry leaves; in the distance are storehouses at the waters edge.
$2,700