Dragons: 100 Mon and 1 Sen Blue

Genuine

Issued 1871 & 1872 Scott #2 & 6 and Sakura #2 & 6.
Size is 19.5 x 19.5 mm.
Dragons: Genuine 100 Mon, Plate 1
100 Mon, Plate 1
Dragons: Genuine 100 mon, plate 2
100 Mon, Plate 2
Dragons: Genuine 1 Sen, Plate 1
1 Sen, Plate 1

Vignette plate same as 100 mon, plate 1. Only center value new.

 
Dragons: Genuine 1 sen, Plate 2
1 Sen, Plate 2

Vignette plate same as 100 mon, plate 2. Only center value new.

Dragons: Genuine 1 Sen, Plate 3
1 Sen, Plate 3

Completely new vignette plate, but value characters same as Plate 1 & Plate 2,

Characteristics of 100 mon

and 1 sen Plates

Secret Mark

Found on all except the 8 and 13 positions of the 100 Mon and 1 sen Dragons

Characteristics Plate 1

Plate 1: Claws turn forward.

Characteristica Plate 2
Plate 2:  Claws turn back
Characteristics of Plate 3 with Plate 2
Plate 3:  Claws like Plate 2, but a much wider space between outer and middle frame lines
Secret Mark: 100 mon & 1 sen Dragon
Dr. Ichida in his book about the Dragons says, that the “A” secret mark appears in the left side center raimon of both Plates 1 & 2. In Plate 2,  it was overlooked in positions 6 and 35, and appears as “B” in position 28.  It has been my experience that this secret mark is a lot harder to see in the 100 mon and 1 sen stamps, than the similar secret mark on the 48 mon and 1/2  sen stamps.  The 100 mon and 1 sen stamps seem to show more wear and often the secret marks are worn off or blurred by heavy inking.

 

Characteristics and Photos of the Genuine Two Positions Without Secret Mark

100 Mon Dragon: Plate 2, Position 6
100 Mon, Plate 2-6
100 Mon, Plate 2, Position 6

Same vignette used for 1 sen, plate 2, position 6

100 Mon Dragon: Plate 2, position 35
100 Mon Dragon: Plate 2-35
100 Mon, Plate 2, Position 35

Same vignette used for 1 sen, plate 2, position 35

The Wada forgeries of the 100 mon and 1 sen blue

Engraved

There are three plates of six of Wada forgeries on the 100 mon and 1 sen dragons: A, B, & C.  Wada would use the same plate and erase a sankō or mozō and put it in a different position or remove it altogether.  He did whatever suited him at the moment. New information about his forgeries is still being discovered.  His Pate A 100 mon is found with sankō in four different positions, mozō in one position, and with no sankō or mozō.  As far as we can determine, his plate B & C were always without and “signed” markings.  The 1 sen, Plate A had a sankō in 2 positions.  Plates B and C do not have any “signed” markings.

Note: All (Plates A, B. & C of the Wada imitations, have the Plate 1 claw positions of the genuine.  Wada did not imitate the claw positions of Plate 2 or 3 of the genuine 100 mon or 1 sen dragon stamps in either the 100 mon value or the 1 sen value.

 

Wada “signed”  forgeries

 

 

Wada: sankō high above central characters

Wada:  100 Mon, Plate A: Black sankō in very high position above central value characters

Wada: low near top of bottom character

Wada:  100 Mon, Plate A: Black sankō – low near top of bottom central character

Wada: sankō low in middle of bottom character

Wada:  100 Mon, Plate A: Black sankō – low near middle of bottom central character

Wada: mozō above central characters

Wada:  100 Mon, Plate A: Black mozō – high above central value characters

Note:  Wada, Plate A, 100 mon stamps are also said to exist with no sankō or mozō.   No examples available.

Wada: large sankō high

Wada:  1 sen, Plate A: Black sankō – large and high, near top of central value characters

Wada: large sankō low

Wada:  1 sen, Plate A: Black sankō – low near bottom of bottom value character

Wada: small mozō high

Wada:  1 sen, Plate A: Black mozō small and wide apart at top of top value character

Wada Plates with no Sankō or Mozō

Wada: 100 Mon Plate B

Wada:  100 Mon, Plate B

Wada: 100 mon, Plate C, no sankō

Wada:  100 Mon, Plate C

Wada: 1 sen, Plate B, no sankō

Wada:  1 Sen, Plate B

Wada: 1 sen, Plate C, no sankō

Wada:  1 Sen, Plate C

 

Note:  The Wada,100 Mon, Plate A example above has sankō. No example of Plate A without sankō is available for this study.  But Plate A, without sankō is known to exist.

Maeda “signed”   forgeries

Lithographed

At least one Maeda Dragon forgery is known with a red sankō overprint–see under “Red Sanko”

Note:  All known Maeda  forgeries imitate Plate 1 of the 100 mon and 1 sen genuine stamps.  Both the signed Maeda forgeries and the forgeries with no sankō type 2 have large and small (tall and short)  value characters.  Between the two states all other feature are the same.  This feature will be noted, but only one state is shown.

Maeda: Type 2, sankō black, short value characters

Maeda:  100 Mon, Sankō in Black, Value Characters Short

Maeda: Type 2, sankō black, tall value characters

Maeda: 100 Mon, Sankō in Black, Value Characters Taller

Maeda: Type 3, sankō color of stamp

Maeda: 100 Mon, Sankō in color of design

Maeda: 1 sen, type 2, black sankō

Maeda: 1 Sen, Sankō in Black

Maeda: 1 sen, Type 4, sankō color of design

Maeda: 1 Sen, Sankō in color of design

Maeda Types with no Sankō

Maeda: 100 mon type 2 no sankō, small value characters

Maeda: 100 mon, Type 2,  with the small value characters

Maeda: 1 sen type 2 with large value characters

Maeda: 1 sen, Type 2 with large value characters

Maeda: 1 sen Type 6

Maeda: 1 Sen, Type 6

Unknown Forger: “signed”  Mihon

The specific types for this unknown forger were determined by the # of raimon in the N and W borders, not by the size and position of the “mihon” characters. There are 5 raimon on all sides of the genuine stamp.  All the 100 mon values have a similar position for the “mihon” characters.  While the 1 sen position of “mihon” characters is very different from the 100 mon, all the 1 sen positions are similar.

Unknown Forger: 100 mon, "mihon" type A

100 mon, Type A.

Unknown Forger: 1 sen, "mihon" type C

  1 sen, Type C.

Number of raimon in borders (both 100 mon and 1 sen):

  1. Type A, N border:  4 full raimon.  Type A, W border:  5 raimon.
  2. Type B, N border:  4 1/2 raimon.  Type B, W border:  4  raimon.
  3. Type C N border:  4  raimon.  Type C, W border:   4 1/2 raimon.

Hirose Forgeries

Engraved

Hirose Dragon forgeries are known with a red sankō overprint–see under “Red Sanko”

All of the designs for both the mon and the sen values, were printed with the same engraved plate. Only the values and color were changed.  Hirose imitated the basic vignette of the 48 mon and 1/2 sen for all the dragon values.

Varro E. Tyler in his book Philatelic Forgers, Their Lives and Works, pp 53-54, says that the forgeries of the 1871-1872 Dragon stamps were produced in sheets of 48 (6 x 8) from two engraved dies. The two dies have been designated as A-die and B-die. The A-die was later retouched altering the right upper claw of the east dragon, leaving the claw shorter and incomplete. The eight different inscriptions for the black value indicia required separate dies.

Hirose: 100 mon, Die A, retouched

Hirose:  100 Mon, Die A –  3 loin flames, but only 2 in genuine

Hirose: 100 mon, Die B

Hirose: 100 mon Die B –  circles in shippō, but + in genuine

Hirose: 1 sen, Die A retouched

Hirose: 100 mon, die A –  3 loin flames, but only 2 in genuine

Hirose: 1 sen, Die B

Hirose: 1 sen Die B –  circles in shippō, but + in genuine

Spiro Types “unsigned”

Lithographed
Spiro: 100 mon, type 2

Spiro: 100 mon, Type 2. N and E  outer frames have 4 1/2 raimon.

Spiro: 1 sen, type 2

Spiro: 1 sen, Type 2.  N & E outer frames have 4 1/2 raimon.

Kasahara? “unsigned”

Engraved – Most deceptive forgeries

 

 

 

Kasahara: 100 mon

Kasahara:  100 Mon – very, very deceptive forgery

Kasahara: 1 sen

Kasahara:  1 sen – very, very deceptive forgery

“Unsigned” – ABC Kurabu  – 1950’s-1960’s

More information about the ABC Kurabu Forgeries and Vignettes.

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.

Genuine 100 mon plate 1 & ABC Kurabu: Vignette b

ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 100 mon – Vignette B

All states (No. 2)

Characteristics of Vignette B:

    1. Break in NW frame line.
    2. Break in shippo.
Genuine 1 sen plate 2 & ABC Kurabu: Vignette G

ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 1 sen – Vignette G

All states (No. 6)

Characteristics of Vignette G:

    1.  Break in tail of dragon.