I have five vintage wood block prints that were a gift from a WWII vet. Any idea how I can get history and artist so I can find out what they might sell for?
They have some characters running vertically on them....take a good clear picture and look on line for some place that can ID your pictures that way.
The vertical characters are usually calligraphic sentances, almost like haiku, or descriptions of the scene. The artists will often use their seal, and it should be off to one side, and often in red. The publishing house will often also include their seal and it's often done in a Japanese syllabary script. If you can get a close up of this offset script and trace it back to the publishing house, it's more easily identifiable as the wood blocks sold then were often done in themed series. I was able to help another poster some months ago and even found his print online with prices. I cannot read Kanji, but can read the syllabaries. Their value will be closely related to whether these are the original set of prints, stamped by the artist or later rendered copies, sometimes done from duplicate blocks. It can make a major difference in value. If the blocks weren't done by a major artists (and many weren't) you may not be able to get much information on them. But publishing house and artist stamp is where I would head first.