Tokyo: The Shimbi Shoin, 1909. Limited first edition. Loose leaf. 1/400. Elephant folio. 19x13". 77  loose plates. Original portfolio with decorative floral motifs (broken). This is the first part in the 15 volume series collecting and presenting countless masterworks of Asian art to a western English-speaking audience. This volume contains 77 works of early Japanese painting, dating from the Asuka period (538–710 C.E.), through the end of the Heian period (1185).
Following a title plate with a decorative border, and a detailed index plate, the the illustrated plates contain beautiful reproductions of the paintings in b/w photogravure and color lithographs (some highlighted with pochoir) on heavy cardstock. The paintings contain a variety of subject matter, but many contain Buddhist subjects or imagery. 2 plates are fold-outs including #31 which measures a total of 34.5x19.5". Each plate is captioned underneath in English, and some have their original tissue guards.
The portfolio has been broken into separate pieces but is present. Some of the plates contain ink stamps in the margins, which have been scratched-out and abraded. Minor smudging and/or sporadic light foxing to the margins of some plates throughout, with images almost entirely unaffected. Portfolio in poor, plates in very good- to near fine condition overall. poor to near fine. Item #44031