Tosa Tsuho 100 Mon

Tosa Tsuho 100 Mon

this fake from Heritage that brought $460...what a shame!

One can buy a decent copy for a few dollars in Japan (and here). Nicer copies cost a little more, as more hand-detailing is involved. They go for $10-20. But when someone pays dearly for a copy thinking it to be genuine, there is something wickedly wrong stop collecting Japanese coins and start collecting river pebbles instead: they are free and can't go wrong. 

The first Tosa coin I illustrate here is from Heritage 2000 auction, where it was described: Piedmont Collection, Japan, Provincial, Tosa Tsuho copper 100 mon ND (1863), Japanese characters (To Sa Tsu Ho)/Japanese characters (Value, a hundred), Munro pg. 170, fig 12, extremely rare, F/VF. (NGC ID# 3D6J, PCGS# 105885). This coin brought $460!

In order to make this copy, someone used a genuine but common Tenpo Tsuho, shaved off the two top characters from the obverse, and then shaved off the signature from the bottom reverse. That is why those areas look funky and uneven. They would then take the impression on the mold, add in the characters of TOSA, and then make a "seed" coin from that mold. Soft lead/tin would have been used. From that seed coin, many coppery pieces could be made. Note how the two top characters differ tremendously in style from the bottom two characters with this type of creation.

 the above and below illustrate genuine coins (below from Munro's book)

Nobody should be fooled with this junk, but such junk fools collectors all the time. Collectors are fooled because they lack knowledge. They have no idea what a genuine example looks like. So, if they buy a reproduction, it is their own fault. If you collect Japanese cash coins, you would need to understanding the language. By knowing the language, I was quickly able to find out quite a few details on another example below.

above: fake on ebay that brought $247.50
 above and two photos below show how that same fake appeared in yahoo Japan auction bringing $50 for the pair

I illustrate another copy above that sold for $247.50 on ebay recently. If you had some command of the language, you could have found this copy on the net. It appeared on Yahoo auction in Japan. The lot of two pieces brought $50 with only one bidder, probably the seller's own bid. This copy was also made by the process described above, and it looks nothing like the real McCoy. I hope someone who paid $247.50 is happy with this purchase! At least he as something to show


Anonymous said...

Regarding the Ebay auction, maybe the Ebay seller is the buyer of the yahoo Japan auction. He also sold - separately - the thingy with the bird for another 50 $ or so 142551636586
Some Japanese ebay sellers buy there to resell as quickly as possible on Ebay for a profit.

ME said...

"Regarding the Ebay auction, maybe the Ebay seller is the buyer of the yahoo Japan auction."

Isn't that what I wrote on the post?

At any rate, if you do not know what you are buying, you will get burned. There are a lot of copies of Japanese cash coins on ebay (and elsewhere) that are no good.

Anonymous said...

"with only one bidder, probably the seller's own bid"

Hello, thought it was presumed the sellers on both venues were the same person. After failing to sell in Japan he tried on Ebay.

Anyway, nice blog, I was looking for info and nice images of authentic bitasen, kanei, and nagasaki coins when this post caught my eye. Shame on the auction house, I can not believe they ( Heritage ) did not bother to check the coin's provenance. How shameful indeed ...

ME said...

Heritage knows nothing about Japanese cash coins. They would just take consignors' words. It is caveat emptor!

Anonymous said...

- Somebody should teach them. It's not like a nobody from Japan having found a profitable market selling replicas on ebay.

- Any chance that 2 kanei with mintmarks I had never owned before, found recently in very large groups bought online practically for nothing from Japan ( likely from what I believe was a pawn shop ) could be legit ? One has sendai on reverse and the other an oblong dash with its ends a bit curved upwards. Compared with them poorly illustrated in JDNA 2017 and munro pdf my unskilled eyes could make a potential match. I am searching this blog but yet to find images of those. Had been rather lucky finding rare coins before without having to pay a premium, though of different background than Far Eastern.

ME said...

"oblong dash" is most likely just a nailmark and nothing for Sendai I have no idea which one you have.

I think you should buy one of my catalogs from Scott Semans that lists 254 varieties of Shin kanei Tsuho. He is the only who has a copy for sale.