If we are extremely lucky, a few times in our lives we will see or experience something so rare and exquisite that we recall the experience as a peak moment. This experience could range from seeing a black swan, a blue whale in the wild, a newly discovered DaVinci drawing, or in this case, a complete set of deluxe printed Hiroshige prints from the well known 100 Views of Edo Series, in nearly pristine condition. As dealers in Japanese prints, this “black swan” moment arrived when we had the opportunity to view and purchase a complete set of these prints over a three-year period. Individual impressions from this complete set now reside in important private collections and museums. In this on-line exhibition all 119 prints from the set are illustrated in high density scans. This number includes all the designs created by Hiroshige as well as those designed by his son-in-law and protégé Hiroshige II. Nearly all the impressions are from the same set, and we believe the quality and condition are equal or superior to the finest known examples such as the landmark set in the Brooklyn Museum.
These extraordinarily fresh impressions are as bright to our eyes as when they were created for the public over 150 years ago. They deliver color to our imagination of how the life and landscape looked when these prints were created.
The set is organized following the prevailing convention of Spring (1-42), Summer (43–72), Fall (73-98), and Winter (99-119). The colophon, or table of contents, also a deluxe impression, is not assigned a number and in our listing it appears at the beginning of the set.