Dragons: 100 Mon and 1 Sen Blue
Issued 1871 & 1872 Scott #2 & 6 and Sakura #2 & 6.
Size is 19.5 x 19.5 mm.
100 Mon, Plate 1
100 Mon, Plate 2
1 Sen, Plate 1
Vignette plate same as 100 mon, plate 1. Only center value new.
1 Sen, Plate 2
Vignette plate same as 100 mon, plate 2. Only center value new.
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
Found on all except the 8 and 13 positions of the 100 Mon and 1 sen Dragons
Plate 1: Claws turn forward.
Characteristics and Photos of the Genuine Two Positions Without Secret Mark
100 Mon, Plate 2, Position 6
Same vignette used for 1 sen, plate 2, position 6
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
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: 100 Mon, Plate A: Black sankō in very high position above central value characters
Wada: 100 Mon, Plate A: Black sankō – low near top of bottom central character
Wada: 100 Mon, Plate A: Black sankō – low near middle of bottom central character
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: 1 sen, Plate A: Black sankō – large and high, near top of central value characters
Wada: 1 sen, Plate A: Black sankō – low near bottom of bottom value character
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 C
Wada: 1 Sen, Plate B
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
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: 100 Mon, Sankō in Black, Value Characters Short
Maeda: 100 Mon, Sankō in Black, Value Characters Taller
Maeda: 100 Mon, Sankō in color of design
Maeda: 1 Sen, Sankō in Black
Maeda: 1 Sen, Sankō in color of design
Maeda Types with no Sankō
Maeda: 100 mon, Type 2, with the small value characters
Maeda: 1 sen, Type 2 with large value characters
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.
100 mon, Type A.
1 sen, Type C.
Number of raimon in borders (both 100 mon and 1 sen):
- Type A, N border: 4 full raimon. Type A, W border: 5 raimon.
- Type B, N border: 4 1/2 raimon. Type B, W border: 4 raimon.
- Type C N border: 4 raimon. Type C, W border: 4 1/2 raimon.
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 – 3 loin flames, but only 2 in genuine
Hirose: 100 mon Die B – circles in shippō, but + in genuine
Hirose: 100 mon, die A – 3 loin flames, but only 2 in genuine
Hirose: 1 sen Die B – circles in shippō, but + in genuine
Spiro Types “unsigned”
Spiro: 100 mon, Type 2. N and E outer frames have 4 1/2 raimon.
Spiro: 1 sen, Type 2. N & E outer frames have 4 1/2 raimon.
Engraved – Most deceptive forgeries
Kasahara: 100 Mon – very, very deceptive forgery
Kasahara: 1 sen – very, very deceptive forgery
“Unsigned” – ABC Kurabu – 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.
ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 100 mon – Vignette B
All states (No. 2)
Characteristics of Vignette B:
- Break in NW frame line.
- Break in shippo.
ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 1 sen – Vignette G
All states (No. 6)
Characteristics of Vignette G:
- Break in tail of dragon.