Monday, December 28, 2015

An Extra Line?!!

New Entries

I was preparing a new post for My "ArtInStamps" blog about an Italian Designer and Engraver who had a major role in Japan's Philately, when I first thought of doing this post about some of the Japanese classic stamps... I will talk of the "Cherry Blossom" series , of  the "Koban" Series and of the very famous "Chrysanthemum Series" ... in the end , there will be some more recent stamps from the 90's ....

 The first 3 stamps are from the 2nd main series of Japan--- the Cherry Blossom Series----. We can easily identify it by the cherry flowers present in each of the 4 corners of the stamp... the series was first emitted in 1872 with two issues in native paper, differing in the thickness of the paper and in the these early issues of Japan , until the Tazawa series there was no use of Watermarks.....1st) the 1st stamp is the 1/2s brown variety printed in a hard native paper...this stamp can only be classified as part of one of the 1872 issues , because of the paper used in the printing and above all,due to the non existence of a small detail.. the designs included in this issues could present us the Imperial Crest and branches of the kiri tree (that's the case of the stamps presented..), imperial crest and dragons, or the Imperial Chrysanthemum...if you see clearly in this 1st stamp, there are something like two swords in the union of the two branches(in the opposite side of the Chrysanthemum).. and in the other stamps there is a small square with a Japanese Syllabic written inside..the syllabic could be presented in other places, but it's presence clearly indicates that the stamp is not from the first 1872 two issues... one point I want to highlight here is  the strange upper "s" that definitively has problems..! in any of the 3 catalogs I used , there is no reference to this small detail, so it must be nothing.. the SAKURA catalog , tell us about the existence of 3 different types for this 1st issues of 1872, and they differ in small details in the way the "N" is printed..(the catalog is Japanese, and unfortunately I don't understand if it talks about the upper labels or down labels, because the N look different in each case...)
1872 "Cherry blossom Series" (6) [Engr (A. Matsuda)][Recess (Matsuda,Tokyo)] Sc(9) SG (34a) SAK(9 ?Type)

These two other stamps were not issued in Native paper , but in foreign paper.. this paper is wove, laid or porous .... my knowledge of papers is not the best ( and strangely , is not getting better...) , but fortunately in both cases , I can get the right classification just by the color of the stamps... the only grey 1/2 s stamp with the 3rd syllabic is from the 1875 issue and also ' from the same harvest ' the violet 30s with the 2nd syllabic... I will show below one picture taken from an old 2006 SAKURA catalog with the 23 syllabics in english ... 

it is interesting to know that not every value have the 23 possibilities, but each value have their own syllabic possibilities, and some of them could reach enormous cv's... of course, as I said in previous posts , the general condition of the stamp is very important , and with stamps like these You cannot wait for something very different from zero, but they are sufficiently good to be the subject of our conversation.. from what has been said we can conclude that the number of possible combinations paper, syllabic and color is very large and this series alone is a good example of how interesting could be this period of Japan's Philately...
1875 "Cherry Blossom Series" (8) Sc(40,49) SG(66,72) SAK(41b,48d)

This is a 1873 Revenue stamp... the study of Japanese revenue stamps is somehow difficult , because there is no catalog of these stamps, and the only source of information about them is from the hard work of  a small number of experts that dedicated their time to the study of these stamps , and a large world of information and certainly a large amount of fun is waiting for those who pursue this field of Philatelic knowledge... I will leave here two links for you to see if you're interested or not in continuing with these stamps...
some basic information : pdf file 
More basic information : pdf file

I will now start with the presentation of some new entries to my Koban Series or just spare stamps of those series.. in each case, these are all stamps in much better conditions that the one's I have , so they will replace them in the collection... the perforations and the centering of the stamps is good in general (specially in the New Koban series..) , so I tried to take the scans with a higher resolution , because the stamps seem to me like good examples... in the scans we can see the differences in the backgrounds , frames and ornaments even if the main design (central ) is identical... As we know there are 3 Koban Series : The Old Koban , the UPU Koban and the New Koban ...I will present the stamps in this order...As I said in the beginning there was an Italian Designer that moved to Japan and rapidly gained great importance in the Japan's Printing Office... that Artist was Edoardo Chiossone and he was the designer of the 3 Koban Series...

When we talk about the main design of a Koban stamp, we are referring to the design inside the main oval or circular shape object in the center of the stamp... We can identify six different designs among the 3 Koban series...they are presented above and other values share one of these common designs...
Let us start by the beginning , with the "Old Koban" Series... like in many other Countries, to have a specialized or a less detailed catalog makes all the difference... In a general view the series have 17 stamps, but if We consider a specialized catalog we know that we will find many more....the series was first issued in 1876 , but there are stamps from this series that were issued only in 1886...we have to consider differences in papers and perforations...a difference in perforation could signify a large difference in cv... the color shades have great fluctuations through out the all series

I only have 3 stamps from the "Old Koban" series to present and unfortunately one of them is of dubious origin...Yes, the Brown 5s is almost for sure a fake stamp, because the printing is very bad, the postmark is not like the others, and above all it has a printing error (that I never heard from..!.)..

I have a small scan of this error ([Left]) , where we can see the superposition of another brown line (from another oval) in the main design... it is a stamp with many (too many..!) imperfections , so I decided to keep it as a fake... 
First we have the slate 5r and then the beautiful Prussian Blue 10s..
1872/1886 "Old Koban Series" (17) [Des (Edoardo Chiossone)][Engr (G. Furuya K. Ishii)(T. Saito)][Typo] Sc(55,59,62) SG(76,106g,86d) SAK(61,68,71)

now I have several stamps from the UPU Koban series that has only 3 values (1s,2s,5s) ... we have also to consider many perforation possibilities. The series was issued between 1873 and 1892..

 I have already this complete series in the collection , so the main focus of my attention now were the perforations, to one day reach the final possibilities of the series... the Green 1s is very damaged so I shouldn't 

have shown it , but here it is ; the blue stamps show us that there are several degrees of "dulness" in that Blue.. it is normal ,because the first issues of this series have dull colors and the latest brightest one's...
1873/1892 "UPU Koban" (3) [Des (Edoardo Chiossone)][Engr (G. Furuya K. Ishii)(T. Saito)][Typo] Sc(72,73,74) SG(113g,114h,115g,115,115c) SAK(78,79,80)

For the "New Koban" Series I have more stamps and a few new entries...

This "New Koban" series has 10 stamps, but from these I show , only 3 are new entries, the 8s, the 20s and this series we also have to count with perforation varieties...All the 3 Koban Series are without doubts very beautiful... 
1888/1892 "New Koban" (10) [Des (Edoardo Chiossone)][Engr (G. Furuya K. Ishii)(T. Saito)][Typo] Sc(76,77,77,78,79,79,80,81,82,84)

The Imperial Chrysanthemum is the single motif that is common to all the stamps I showed today.. You can see it always at the top of the main central design.. it is a 16 petals Chrysanthemum ...for example in the last series we saw, we have a 1y stamp that presents a large Imperial chrysanthemum as main center is now time to introduce the last series I have to show for now...

issued for the first time in 1899 , the "Chrysanthemum series" has 18 stamps and the Imperial Seal lies in the center of a Circular frame with Japanese characters that unfortunately I could not decipher or find the correct meaning in the Net...another motif I don't know the real purpose appears at each upper corner of the stamp.. I don't need to say that I don't know any of these things because my knowledge of Japan's culture is minimum .. I should know much more about Japan (one of the few places I would like to visit someday...) because it is for me an attractive Culture with many points of interest... if we take a closer view of the designs, we find that there are some subtle differences between the lower values (less than 5s) and the higher values (from 6 to 20s in our case...) both on the circular frame characters and on the external background... these stamps are all spare stamps...

In a future post I will return to the Japanese stamps of 1970 , 80 and 1990 because I have many still to classify... for now it is all I've got of new stamps from the Classic days of Japan's Philately..




  1. A lovely article 😊 as always packed full of information. I have very few Japanese stamps even though I have a very big Chinese collection. The stamps of Manchukuo are some of my favourites and it is suprising how cheaply they can be purchased considering their age. Thanks again 😊

    1. Hello, Good Night...
      Thank you for your kind comment...I still don't have presented stamps from Manchukuo, because I haven't find yet a significant lot to buy.. I like to buy lots with stamps from several of the main series of the country or representative from a distinct period ..(the 20's,30's etc..).. in the case of Manchukuo It did not appeared yet..!.. in the case of the Chinese stamps,I do not work this way , because since the days I began collecting,China was always a Goal, and now I have the China 50's to end (in this case , I often buy in ebay, bidstart, delcampe ,SG or others..) ... I'm convicted that in a brief future I will talk about Manchukuo stamps...
      Happy New 2016 for you and your Family and Good Collecting..!!!



  2. Happy New Year ! Health and happiness of your family! :) 2016 has come!

    1. A New Year of 2016 full of Good Things..!! I wish the best for Your Family and for yourself, of Course... Let us keep our hobby alive..!!