Subject: A banzuke (theatre playbill).
Signature: Eshi (artist) Utagawa Sadamasu sha (or ga?).
Format: presumably c. 36 x c. 49 cm. (ōbaiban)
Collection: Hattori catalogue no. 91, pl. 484.
Unfortunately only this poor-quality image is available here. It is taken from a small illustration found in a Hattori auction catalogue, published 1997. Due to the original sizes of the illustration, the very scanty information given in the catalogue, and the lack of other impressions of this print, only the above-mentioned information is available for the moment.
The date reads Bunsei 13, kanoe tora (year of the tiger), third month. Bunsei 13 is sometimes used instead of the more common Tenpō 1.1
The playbill is composed in the Edo style, giving the actors’ names at top and depictions of their upcoming roles in the lower half of the print. In the centre at top, the Iwai-actors’ family crest is shown. At the time of the publication of this print all actors of the Iwai line were active in Edo, so it seems likely that the banzuke was published in Edo. This matches with the idea that Sadamasu stayed in Edo around this time, being a student of Utagawa Kunisada until Sadamasu returned to Osaka, not later than 12/1831.
1. See e.g. Matsudaira, S., Shibai Banzuke Mokuroku, vol. II, nr. 22- 50, 27-21, 127-21, and 127-22.