Japanese Antique Original Woodblock Print of Geisha by Toyohisa II Ukiyo-e Circa 1826
- Antique item
On November 8, 1957, Pan American Airways Flight 7 left San Francisco on the first leg of its round-the-world trip. The first stop was Honolulu, but the plane crashed into the Pacific ocean. Among the 44 passengers who died was Hugh Lee Clack, the general manager of Dow Chemical in Tokyo, and his wife Anna, sons Bruce and Scott, and two adopted daughters, Kimi and Nancy. The Clacks had just finished visiting friends and family in their hometown of Midland, Michigan. One of the photographs shows the family waiting in the Pan Am lounge for their plane.
Anna Clack was the owner of this beautiful Japanese woodcut print of a geisha.
This Edo period print was made by Toyohisa II, who worked c.1818-c.1844. He was a member of the Utagawa School, one of the main schools of ukiyo-e. This print is a bijin-ga, a picture of a beautiful woman. On the reverse, there is a panel of thin wood with the label of the Minato Trading Company in Yokohama. There is a paper label with the hand printed identifiers Toyohisa and 1826. Above those are hand written in ink on the wood: Owner: Ann Carter Clack Yokohama, Japan 1957.
The sight size of this print measures 8 5/8 inches by 13 ½ inches. It was originally sold simply mounted on the wood panel and was framed far more recently. It's surrounded by a double cut mat, the lower one a deep olive green, the 2 inch wide upper one a lighter shade of the same color. The rippled frame measures 16 ¼ inches by 21 inches and fairly shimmers with the gold highlighting. The piece weighs almost 4 ½ pounds and thankfully has a sturdy hanging wire attached.
The frame and glass are in excellent condition. The print has a fold in the upper third, which was mostly smoothed out in mounting by Minato (although it's still visible). There is some soiling on the print, but overall, it is a simply stunning example of the “floating world” of Japan.
>>>Also on board the plane was 35 year old crew member William Fortenberry, whose son Ken is the author of "Flight 7 Is Missing: The Search For My Father's Killer" published in May, 2020. The book examines the mystery surrounding the source of the crash.