Woodblock Print of French Couple with Stereoscope by Utagawa Yoshitora
[Japan] Fascinating, woodblock print by Utagawa Yoshitora (active 1850-1880) showing a French man handing what appears to be a stereocope (for viewing stereo photos) to a lady, presumably his wife. From the series, 'Illustrations of Foreigners' Recreation', and subtitled, 'French Lady', the censor seal indicates this print was published in the 1st month of the first year of the Bunkyu era (1861-64) which is February 1861. The number of Western photographers in Japan in early 1861 at that time can be counted on one or two fingers. Pierre Rossier was Swiss and had left by 1860, Beato didn't arrive until 1863, so assuming the couple is French as indicated, the only real candidate is Antoine Fauchery (1823-1861). He was known to have travelled with his wife but, sadly, Fauchery died at the end of April 1861 after only having been in Japan for about 3 months. He is supposedly buried at the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery but his grave has not been found there as it was probably lost in an earthquake and/or maybe only had a simple marker.
[Tokyo]. Yamadaya Shojiro. 1861.
Single print as issued. 35.1 x 23.3cm.
In good condition. Some age wear and minor discoloration, mostly at edges. Minor repairs on rear. Otherwise good. Unbacked. u34111294