Cherry Blossoms: 1 Sen Blue and Brown with Crossed Branches
Blue Issued 3 October 1872 – Scott #10 and Sakura #10 or #16 on native paper
Brown issued 1875 – Scott #51 and Sakura #39 on foreign paper
(Brown was printed from plate 26 of the earlier blue stamp)
Blue stamps are on wove or laid native paper of varying thickness. There are 26 known plates with 40 stamps in each plate (each stamp hand etched). This means that there are 1040 known recognizable different varieties of this stamp.
The brown stamps, issued much later, are on foreign paper. It was printed from plate 26 of the 1 sen blue above when the government ran out of usable plates with syllabics for the 1 sen value.
Genuine 1 sen blue on native laid or wove paper. 1sen brown on foreign wove paper.
Reminder: Only 16 petals or florets in the genuine Kiku Crest (Chrysanthemum Crest)
Consistent Differences Between Genuine & Forged
A. Genuine: The lowest blossom on the right stalk of the right paulownia is almost always attached to the left-hand stalk. In most forgeries; this blossom is attached to the right stalk. On a significant number of the genuine stamps the lowest blossom is attached to the left-hand stalk or the two stalks come together as one before or at the lowest blossom.
B. Genuine: The three top paulownia blossoms are usually slightly separated at the base. Forgeries: They are joined at a common base in most.
C. Genuine: The stem of the third paulowina is usually visible, although in many instances the double lines appear as one thick line. Forgeries: This stem is rarely found in the forgeries.
Plate 26 “Mihon”
1 sen Heavy Wear
Plate 12 Position 30
Plate 21 Position 26
Plate 21 Position 31
1 sen brown Plate 26-10
Forgeries with sankō, or mozō
Wada: Plate 2 with Sankō
Wada: Plate 17 with Mozō
Maeda: Type 1 with Mozō
Maeda: Type 2 with Sankō
Forgeries without sankō, or mozō
All are shown with a genuine stamp.
Horose: Plate A, Position 1
Horose: Plate A, Position 2
Horose: Plate B, Position 1
Horose: Plate B, Position 2
Horose: Plate B, Position 3
Horose: Plate B, Position 4
Horose: Plate B, Position 5
Wada: Plate 3
Maeda: Type 3
Forger Unknown – One of the early forgeries discovered
ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) - 1950's-1960's
Note: Numbers in parenthesis and bold are the catalog numbers found on reverse of the forgeries. State 4 forgeries did not have any numbers on the reverse. It is believed that State 4 forgeries exist for all different values. But only a few State 4 examples were available for examination. When State 4 was available for examination, the design type is recorded.
ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 1 sen blue – Designs 101-A & 101-B
State 1 (No. 9), State 2 (No. 10): Design 101-A. States 3 & 5 (No. 10): Design 101-B.
Characteristics of Design 101-A:
- Top of “N” touches frame.
- Bottom of “N” projects downwards.
- Edge of crest is flat.
ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 1 sen brown – Designs 101-A & 101-B
State 2 & 5 (No. 41): Design 101-A. States 1 & 2 (No. 41): Design 101-B
Characteristics of Design 101-B
- Break in North frame line.
- Edge of crest is flat.
Forgeries Described by A. M. Tracy Woodward
The genuine stamps were printed in both blue and brown, but these forgeries are known only in blue.
Woodward says on page 279 that the four stamps pictured above, from plate 172 in his book, are four of only five known stamps of this “postal forgery”.
This is the earliest “postal forgery” described by Woodward. He says it’s on “peculiar native wove paper”. All the rest of the “postal forgeries” are described as being on heavily grained foreign wove paper. With either description, it is clear that the paper was different from the papers of the genuine stamps.
- Varro Tyler in Japanese Philately, Volume 23, pp 213-216, only points out the tiny dot above the west end of lower horizontal stroke of 手, the lowest central character. On this example the dot can been seen, but on all the four examples from the Woodward book, it can not been seen.
Other Characteristics that help when the dot can not been seen:
- Genuine: Both north and south “S” are thick and perpendicular to the frame line. Forgery: The “S” both top and bottom are slightly slanted.
- Forgery: Small break between top flower and stalk of west paulownia branch.
- Genuine: The lowest flower on the right stalk of the right paulownia branch is almost always attached to the left-hand stalk. Forgery; this blossom is attached to the right stalk.
- Genuine: Stems across middle leaf of paulownia branch are close together and often appear as one line. Forgery: Stems are wider apart and clearly two lines. Also, east stem does not touch the south leaf.
JSPA: 1 Sen Blue from Sheet No. 3, Issued 25 October 1961
This stamp reproduces the genuine issue of 23 August 1872 on laid paper. The sheet is on vertical laid paper.
1907 Tayama Reproduction
This 1 sen blue is found in sheet 2 included with the 1907 issue of the Communications Law Monthly Report. It has the type 2 cancel. Both the sheet and the stamp are shown at the left.
Inscriptions around the stamp translate:
Sakura 1 sen blue;
Issued: Meiji 5.7 (July 1872);
Off Sale: Meiji 8.2 (February 1875);
Invalidated: Meiji 22. 11 (November 1889)