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Monday, 28 April 2014

Fabulous Florals

It’s the final week of our 20th Century Japanese Print exhibition and we’re thrilled that it’s been such a success. From original watercolour scrolls to modern anime cels, the exhibition has drawn visitors both young and old. Shodo Kwarazaki's bold botanical prints have been a particular favourite, brightening up the gallery walls.

Peony Flowers.
Kwarazaki is best known for designing stylised woodblock prints of flowers and other plant life. Born in 1889 in Kyoto, he studied the traditional art of yuzen dyeing under Yamamoto Sekkei and began to develop his own style with the influence of Japanese painting. The body of work displayed in the gallery was mostly published by Unsodo in the mid-1950s and his wonderful botanical prints range from lilies to chrysanthemums, and are evocative of the style of floral subjects being produced in Kyoto during this time.

Plum Blossom.

Kwarazaki’s original woodblock prints are both decorative and affordable, with prices stating at £180 and the full catalogue of 20th Century Japanese prints can be viewed here.


Morning Glory.

Join us for the final week of this beautiful exhibition of Japanese prints!

Henry Sotheran Print Gallery
2 Sackville Street, London W1S 3DP
10 April - 1 May

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

More Maps

Henry Sotheran are delighted to be expanding our collection of original antique maps. Recent acquisitions include a range of decorative county maps, maps and plans of London and road maps. If you are looking for something that you can't find on our website then please get in touch and we be happy to try our best to source it for you. In this blog post we have selected a few highlights:

SPEED, John. Surrey Described and Divided into Hundreds
John Speed is arguably the most famous of all the British cartographers. His Theatre Of The Empire Of Great Britaine, first published in 1611, was the first atlas to cover all of Great Britian and included innovations such as inset plans and views of local landmarks.

This map of Surrey was published as part of the 1676 edition and features attractive inset views of the long-since destroyed Richmond and Nonsuch Palaces.

VAN DEN KEERE, Pieter. Surrey.c. 1637
If you haven't got the space or the cash to accomodate a Speed map then it is still possible to own a 17th century map of your county. Pieter Van den Keere's charming pocket-sized county maps, known as the 'Miniature Speeds', were published to coincide with the later editions of Speed's Theatre Of The Empire of Great Britaine and make an affordable addition to any collection.

OGILBY, John. 
The Road from Oxford to Salisbury. 1675
Our new stock also includes a selection of John Ogilby's road maps. The first atlas of it's kind, it is fascinating to imagine how these would have been used by travellers of the day!

Moving on a few hundred years Robert Kearsley Dawson's 1832 map of the Metropolitan Boroughs of London shows the capital as defined by the Reform Bill of the same year. A document of our political history, it shows the parlimentry boroughs of Marylebone, Finsbury, Tower Hamlets, Westminster, London, Southwalk and Lambeth with the map extending from Tottenham in the north, West Ham in the east, south to Norwood and west to Kensington.

The Metropolitan Boroughs as defined by the Reform Bill

To view a complete catalogue of our new acquisitions of antique maps please click here

Friday, 11 April 2014

Antiques meet Anime at Sotheran's

Sotheran's are delighted to have a collection of Studio Ghibli storyboard prints from Hayao Miyazaki's 'My Neighbour Totoro' on display as part of our 20th Century Japanese Print exhibition.

Hayao Miyazaki is the talented Japanese director behind the brilliant and fantastical Studio Ghibli animated films, including classic animations such as 'Spirited Away' and 'My Neighbour Totoro'.

My Neighbour Totoro Storyboard.

Whilst we do have some original anime (manga) cells from a number of different films, the Studio Ghibli storyboards are prints and not original illustrations. They're from a book which was published after the release of the film 'My Neighbour Totoro' in the late 1980s.

My Neighbour Totoro Storyboard.

Our exhibition coincides with the release of Miyazaki's final film, 'The Wind Rises' and the BFI Southbank is currently hosting a two-month retrospective of his work.

Alongside these extraordinary storyboards we also have a collection of original animation cels from a number of different films broadcast between the 1980s and today.

Original Anime Production Cel

'First of the North Star' by Testuo Hara.
Original anime production cel as broadcast October 1984 - March 1987.

Prices for these animation cels start at an affordable £60 and if you're interested it would be worth taking a look at the exhibition catalogue for the full collection.

'Offside' by Natsuko Horiuchi.
Original anime production cel as broadcast May 2001 - January 2002.

'Battle Athletes Victory' by Katsuhito Akiyama.
Original anime production cel as broadcast 3 Oct 1997 - 27 March 1998.

Our free exhibition is open until 1 May and offers an exciting opportunity to see the development of Japanese printing techniques throughout the 20th Century.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Cheiro - The Victorian celebrity clairvoyant

Impression of the palm
A 19th century manual on the art of palm reading, this copy of Cheiro's Language of the Hand, is sold with  three later original impressions of the palm (see left), probably made using a photostat machine (a predecessor to the photocopier). The resulting images are startingly beautiful.

William John Warner, known as 'Cheiro' (derived from 'cheiromancy', meaning palmistry) was an astrologer, palm reader and numerologist active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He had many famous clients and was hugely popular with much of Victorian and Edwardian high society. He dedicated his life to the study and teaching of occult practices, first learning palm reading as a child from his mother. Later he travelled to India to study the occult, returning two years later to begin his career in London as a palmist.

He went on to read the palms of the likes of Sarah Bernhardt, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, the Prince of Wales and Oscar Wilde, who based his short story Lord Arthur Savile's Crime on his encounter with the clairvoyant. Of the Prince of Wales Cheiro noted the numbers 6 and 9 as significant for the future king, who died in his 69th year. Popular even with sceptics, Mark Twain said of Cheiro "Cheiro has exposed my character to me with humiliating accuracy. I ought not to confess this accuracy, still I am moved to do it"'. (p. 190)

Cheiro's Language of the Hand
CHEIRO [William John Warner]. Cheiro's Language of the Hand.
New York: Published by the author, 1894.
4to. Original waxed cloth printed in black, gilt top-edge; frontispiece portrait of the author, 36 full-page illustrations, including 13 reproductions of the imprint of various hands taken from life, sold with three later original impressions of the palm, probably made using a photostat machine; one of which has a small loss to the bottom left corner of the sheet, and a period newspaper-clipping, dated 1912, discussing the book; the boards are somewhat rubbed, occasional spotting and a few minor tears internally, previous owners inscription to the first blank, nonetheless a very good copy.

First edition. The authors first book.