Money Tree

This interesting item came up on eBay recently. The description is as follows: “Japanese Money Tree. Almost eight inches from top to bottom. This piece was sold as lot #893 from Hans Schulman's October 1970, auction sale of the Howard D. Gibbs Collection of Primitive Money. Photographed in the catalog. Mikureia Tree of 12 Cash coins. 1774. Coin is Kwi-Gun Ku.
J&V. K315 (S-14). EF."

This item brought $406.

I do not know what “Mikureia” or “Kwi-Gun Ku” is. The year 1774 eludes me as well. It probably refers to the iron issue with reverse mintmark with Ma-To-Tsu? However, the obverse depicts the likeness of Maruyama-Sen or Edo coin of 1668.

These Eda-Sen or Money Tree is a fantasy created for the collectors. Sometimes, these “trees” are refereed to as “temple money.” They are a nice curio for display purposes. If someone wants one for display, I am sure it is worth $400, $4000 or $40. One has to keep in mind, however, that they are not genuine coins.