Dragons: 200 Mon and 2 Sen Orange
Issued 1871 & 1872 Scott #3 & 7 and Sakura #3 & 7.
Size is 19.5 x 19.5 mm.
200 Mon, Plate 1
200 Mon, Plate 1 – Specimen stamp
Hiragana “Mihon” overprint
200 Mon, Plate 2
2 Sen – only one plate
Vignette plate same as 200 mon, plate 2. Only center value new.
Characteristics of 200 mon and 2 sen Plates
No Secret Mark on these values
The plate for the 2 sen value was the plate 2 for the 200 mon value. Thus all genuine 2 sen designs have no dot.
The Wada forgeries of the 200 mon and 2 sen orange
There are two plates of six of Wada forgeries of the 200 mon and 2 sen dragons — A & B. Wada would use the same plate and erase a sankō or mozō and put is in a different position or remove it altogether. He did whatever suited him at the moment. New information about his forgeries can still be discovered. His Plate A 200 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 was always without “signed” markings. The 2 sen, Plate A had a sankō in 3 positions. Plate B does not have any “signed” markings.
Wada “signed” forgeries
Wada: 200 Mon, Plate A: Black sankō – low near middle of bottom central character
Wada: 200 Mon, Plate A: Black sankō – high near middle of top central character
Wada: 200 Mon, Plate A: Black sankō in high position near top of top central value characters
Wada: 200 Mon, Plate A: Black sankō – high above central characters
Wada: 100 Mon, Plate A: Black mozō – high above central value characters
Wada: 2 sen, Plate A: Black sankō – low near bottom of bottom value character and wide apart
Wada: 2 sen, Plate A: Black sankō – low near middle of bottom value character and closer together
Wada: 2 sen, Plate A: Black sankō – high above central characters
There is a scan of the 2 sen value with a black mozō above the central value characters, but the resolution of the scan is so poor it can not be enlarged to show here. It is noted on the ISJP site at https://isjp.org/cd-additions-dragons/. This is probably a good time to remind readers that these forgers did what they pleased and there may be more to discover about their wares. Also, it can not be said that all forgeries exist. Anyone can make a new forgery tomorrow. This study can never be complete. Study the genuine stamps…that’s the best way to identify a forgery.
Wada Plates with no Sankō or Mozō
Wada: 200 Mon, Plate A
Wada: 200 Mon, Plate B
Wada: 2 Sen, Plate B
Note: All Wada Plates with or without sankō or mozō imitate the plate 2 design of the 200 mon; i.e. none have the dot in NW corner raimon. Also notice middle talon of the middle dragon claw on the W points E or is short. On the genuine this talon points S.
Maeda “signed” forgeries
Note: All known Maeda forgeries imitate Plate 2 of the 200 mon and 2 sen genuine stamps. All types probably exist for both values, but at this time there are no scans available.
Maeda: 200 Mon, Type 1, sankō in black
Maeda: 200 Mon, Type 3, sankō in color of design
Maeda: 2 Sen, Type 1, sankō in black
Maeda: 2 Sen, Type 4, sankō in color of design
Maeda Types with no Sankō
Maeda: 200 mon, Type 2, 4 dots in shippō
Maeda: 2 sen, Type 2, 4 dots in shippō
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. The “mihon” characters on the 200 mon values are located on each side at the top of the bottom value character. The 2 sen position of “mihon” characters is on each side of the bottom value character near the bottom.
Number of raimon in borders (both 200 mon and 2 sen):
- Type D, N border: 5 full raimon. Type D, W border: 4 1/2 raimon.
- Type E, N border: 4 1/2 raimon. Type E, W border: 4 1/2 raimon.
- Type F, N border: 4 1/2 raimon. Type F, W border: 5 full raimon.
200 mon, Type D
2 sen, Type D
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 values required separate dies.
Hirose: 200 Mon, Die A – 3 loin flames but only 2 in genuine
Hirose: 200 Mon, Die B – circles in shippō, but + in genuine
Hirose: 2 Sen, Die A – 3 loin flames, but only 2 in genuine
Hirose: 2 sen, Die B – circles in shippō, but + in genuine shippō
Spiro: 200 mon, type 3, dots in shippō, “elephant trunk” NW fire flame
Spiro: 2 sen, type 1, circles in shippō, 2 half raimon
Spiro: 2 sen, type 3, dots in shippō, “elephant trunk” NW fire flame
Engraved – Most deceptive forgeries
Probably Kasahara: 200 Mon – very deceptive forgery
Probably Kasahara: 2 sen – very deceptive forgery
ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 200 Mon & 2 sen – Vignette C
All States of the 200 mon (No. 3) and State 5 of the 2 sen (No. 7).
Characteristics of Vignette C:
- Talons of the east dragon closed.
- Break in design line.
ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 2 sen – Vignette H
States 1, 2 & 3 of the 2 sen (No. 7). State 4 is shown above and has no number on back.
Characteristics of Vignette H:
- Break in the frame line.