What are these Japanese woodblock prints worth?

Carolyn asks:

Hi Wally, I hope you can help me out here. I have two Japanese block prints that I would like to sell. However, before selling I need to know the artist names and also the title of each print.

Thanks, Carolyn

Utagawa Kuni Yoshi Chushingura Triptych panel

 Utagawa Kuni Yoshi Chushingura woodblock print

AW says: What you is work from the Utagwa school, by Utagawa KuniYoshi, and is of the Chushingura (title) theme. The top one appears to be a triptych panel, of which there would be other panel.

The bottom one, although too, could be a triptych panel, is more likely a work unto itself.

Utagawa Kuni Yoshi is considered to be one of the last great Japanese woodblock print masters. If you take a look at the second to last print on this page, at almost the bottom, you’ll see the “sawtooth” character panel  top right. Here’s a link to the picture only.

You’ll also notice the red text banner used in much of KuniYosi’s work.

Here’s the thing about placing a value on part of a triptych, value really depends on whether you are able to reach other possible owners of companion panels. Obviously, serious collectors would pay more.

These two items should go in a well advertised auction of Asian antiques.

From the Bushido Boutique:

“Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797 – April 14, 1861) was one of the last great masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints and painting and belonged to the Utagawa school.  Read more.

47 ronin story
One of the most famous stories of revenge in Japanese history comprises the exploits of the 47 Ronin (masterless samurai) who avenged the death of their lord in the early 18th century. Their story, the Chushingura, illustrates and defines the Japanese concept of loyalty, providing a supreme example of the samurai ideals of cool courage and fidelity. The Faithful Samurai: Kuniyoshi Woodblock Prints tells this tale through the stunning triptychs, warrior prints, and bust portraits of artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861).”sss


Age:  1830-45

Retail:   Top panel: $525 to ? (condition kept me from stating the beginning price range higher)

              2nd panel:  $650

Wholesale:  Top: $275 to ?

                   2nd  $300


Quick sale: Art of this caliber and age should never have to suffer a quick sale price.