2017-09-11

Welcome ...






zen and the art of the koban ...  or, zeitgeist and the gestalt view.
posts here reflect research into art history, the history of print and my personal studies of imitations and foreign mail kobans.





japanese kobans 1876-92   -  the first bilingual  issues of the "Imperial Japanese Post" .
Edoardo Chiossone of Italy designed most, but not all the issues... I hope you enjoy reading various topics presented over time ... thanks for visiting . a member of ISJP.ORG since 1969 ... have assisted the "forgery project" from 1995 ... my outlook reflected in posts offers a new rationalization of koban imitations, or art repros ... you may post your comments : but please stay on topic ...

chiossone taught at Technical Art School in Tokio - 1876-1881. closed 1883. ... I have often pondered if some of the students produced the facsimiles ... 130 woodblock artists were active - 1860-1875 ; however,  modern artviews were developing in japan and elsewhere ... as well, competition for newer printing technologies :  relief printing was infringing on traditional woodblock and serigraphy.

the 1923 earthquake destroyed chiossone's workshop and records ...

my study of kobans:  the focus of majour collectors, philatelic writers and auction catalogs - generally did not feature the koban issues.  the tebori class - dragon and cherry blossoms - dominated.
from early times, the JPS group has expanded knowledge greatly.  2012 has been a good year for new finds in the facsimile area ....  I demonstrate kobans as graphic arts ...  official, illustrations and imitations ...


  
if chrome browser is installed, auto translate available via options ... very fine feature.  this is aid to reading the japanese blogs linked ...     picasa3 is also excellent and free download from google.   also note StampCat v10 just released ...

any typos or errors will be corrected in time ... I appreciate comments and suggestions.

30sen forgeries - new botas




genuine koban on R ...    
crude F unused    
2 new bota types are fake cancels .

2017-09-01

wada 3sen fake ...


OS T /w double bota strike

first seen ...

2017-08-21

mayeda in canada ...






Harold Mayeda was secretary of the forerunner club, later chartered as ISJP.org.
working with Capt Talbot, as japanese translator, their goal was to produce a manual for the japanese imitations that collectors cherish ....


the first compendium was Kristian Wilhelmsen 's work of 1980.*  Varro Tyler of the ISJP then collaborated with a monograph on the koban imitations.  in 1992, I urged the ISJP to edit and review the imitations in a new colour study.   the first edition ISJP CD was released in 1995 - 50 years later.   an appended V2, followed in 2002.
* the b/w photography is excellent, and I still refer to this study.


2017-08-19

2017-03-16

2016-11-11

45sen red - duplex forgery


rarely seen with bota

50sen red ... new forgery




2016-10-23

1880 cover to Ribe DK ...

Nagasaki (Japan) to Ribe (Denmark) in 1880.


the 1872 30sen grey was withdrawn from use, yet applied to foreign mail 5 years after IJPO started its foreign mail service.   prior to 1875, a double-envelope system assured delivery to FM dept, then outbound overseas with treaty port stamps - USA, GB France ...

Florian Eichhorn issued the BPP certificate

M2 45 sen /w OP ...



this is the first woodblock position of the 45sen plate .    this series is prone to weak numerals, likely due to sanding of the register block or the ink paste applied ...    compare to the M2 50sen below, which show a greater range of both shades and clarity of print.

the series appeared on K-series tourist sheets (casey-mono17)  ... but without OP ...
I discovered items /w OP in 2012.



2016-10-21

red sanko 45sen ...


these are scarce ...and show 2 shades produced by maeda

2016-10-11

japan concordance ...

a useful list for collectors ...

3 sen facsimile ...


from La Timbrologie -France 

2016-10-09

2016-09-24

crossroads in red ...


unusual find ... on yahoo.jp

2015-08-31

45sen sumiten forgery ...

the forgery is L item, genuine on R ...  likely a photolitho .  note frame breaks, and errors in oval frame.  the color is wrong.

this a rare sumiten fake ...


2015-04-26

50sen forgery ... misperf


this forgery of 50 sen is unique.

note double-perforation on R



2014-10-18

album art ...


poor design corners and 14 petal kiku


corner designs poor, oval too wide
17 petal kiku



publishers improvised designs, lacking true copies

FOURNIER album cancels ...



the cancels applied to spiro dragons are 1875 forms of yokohama and nagasaki
hence, are late cancels on remainder stock.

the same botas on koban forgeries (spiro) are very scarce ...



2014-10-05

new 1sen forgery ...


irregular frame lines L top and bottom

1/4 corner cancel unseen before 

2014-09-23

2 sen koban /w kiban



this is a scarce koban ... coarse cotton paper /w kiban cancel -
i-ka 1 Wakayama (eichhorn)


2014-08-03

50sen M2 /w nijumaru ...



maeda kihei screened from woodblock
normally the 50 is shaded more to L
this is better print 

2014-05-05

2sen koban ... fake or genuine




  1. irregular perf pattern
  2. background detail is abnormal
  3. NE Sn lacks frame


2014-03-07

5 sen brown ... fake or genuine



a rather crude design /w many breaks and lack of detail
3 strike cancels


comments ?

2 sen rose ... fake or genuine



the frame lines and background are irregular.   a partial tonbo marks appears in SWC.

any comments ?



2014-02-17

M1 spiro kobans ...

my study has revealed many "orphans" or unassigned positions, based on the known value sheets.   this points to :


  • many sheets yet to surface 
  • possible assembly of orphans as pairs, multiples
I am always scanning for new 25 position sheets...   if anyone can offer scans or links to images, please contact me

2013-01-14

m3 5sen brown /w signature ...


5sen brown - signature


as my study advances, I have found more "duplex" cancels on m3 imitations ...  the more common appear on the m3 45 and 50sen series ...   recently, the m3 3sen 4sen and 15sen have shown a bota cancel, with the normal double circle form ...

all point to a second screening of indicia ...

2012-10-11

2012 ISJP logo ...


this is my design - respecting the canadian group
and current isjp.org ...





2012-09-24

2003 Endo-Koseki study on cancels ...

this is a signifigant collection that all japan collectors should appreciate ... it is available online.
I am surprised the JPS did not decide to edit and produce a monograph on the subject.

the chart below, details the number of cancels reviewed by JPS 2008 handbook groups...




the lower numbers reflect the early period of dragon and cherry blossoms; to roman letter foreign mail.

signifigant to specialised collections are the number of imitative cancels in each group.   the city "letter" cancels are complex as many types appeared, as well as many imitative cancels.

generally, all FM cancels were reproduced, and are dangerously close to genuine...  in each case, the value must be authenticated against a genuine unused copy.   the imitations below show fancy cancels that predate the koban period ... 1876-1899


this occurence and others points to outsourcing of serigraph work to subcontractors ...  maeda would offer paper and screens to assistants for production orders ...  not being expert philatelists, they quite often juxtaposed the incorrect cancel screen to the sheet ...

the study is online via the blog link :"the kobans stamps of japan"
note : group 215 denshin offers the least imitaions of koban era.

2012-09-13

forgery album in german ...





the 3 underprints : 6 8 and 15sen show unusual design elements ...

6sen :  15 petal kiku, small 6 , irregular kanji
8sen :  18 petal kiku, square post box, irregular kanji
15sen : 15 petal kiku, unusual detail in oval

my projection is that these blocks are M1 (unknown) sheets vars ...  yet close in design to M2 types

auction link ...

2012-07-26

a new 5sen sheet discovered ...

.


a new 5sen sheet discovered offers again 25 new positions ... I am appending these to my spiro study ....

historically, little has been written to describe these woodblock koban sheets ... analysis of the 15 spiro koban sheets has revealed some interesting patterns ... I have compiled results with images and rationale. it is also a collectors guide: pdf album pages for each value and anotated catalog of 340 positions...



to enjoy the full experience of CD, be sure to download Picasa3 ... to view the image library.   some positions remain unallocated ... and I am always looking for new ones !    registered users receive free upgrades ...  anyone who sends a signifigant number of spiro imitations can trade for the study - otherwise.


2012-06-09

M3 matrix ... update nijumaru plating study


the grid view defines the MXC or cancel matrix as 5x5, or 25 position plate.   current focus includes the 4sen, 6sen, 12sen, 30sen, 45 and 50 sen values .   the nijumaru or double circle forms are 3 sizes, and many are noted in the endo-koseki study of 2003 .

using stampCat , the grid is set in notes;  the starting point -  a koban offering intersects...     multiples of 1-5, so far -  M1 .... M5  I run 2 .mdbs : plated and umpated ... the DGM matrix defines the location of the cancels ...  many items show multistrikes of 2-4 cancels ....











I wish to thank friends and collectors globally, who have supported this study ...   more than 1 matrix will be revealed in time ...  a much more difficult task, than decoding the spiro 5x5 sheets.








2012 : work-in-progress ...



Build 2012.6 - NIJUMARU STUDY - TOURIST SHEET KOBAN IMITATIONS
the nijumaru section is a large study that will take months to analyse.  radials must be isolated, coded and class grouped...  until more material is accumulated,  my plating is suspended ...





radial types : #2 and 3 are most common



Build 2012.3 - ROMAN LETTER YEAR DATE KOBAN IMITATIONS
this should be available soon after the nijumaru study is complete

Build 2012.3 - MIHON SUMITEN AND SPECIMEN KOBAN IMITATIONS
these appeared in the forgery enkakushi, or tourist sheets.   preliminary study in progress.



progress report ... MXC constructs.

the library of grouped indicia or cancel slugs is advancing moderately... my active study beyond the spiro sheets , includes two basic groups: bota and nijumaru, or double circle. bota subgroups : the foreign seapost , and letter cancels. these will be classified according to the latest cancel monograph of the JPS 2008 ed. ... this will allow collectors to separate the woodblock reproduction series from the genuine kobans.
nijumaru subgroups : the partial cancels (90 or 180 degree) ; inter-value correlation analysis; ... and the free-form double circles ... creating a new series of plated imitations 

a time-series approach ... correlation of genuine and repro kobans

as time passes, more is known about the relationships between the artists, sources of the reproductions and their distribution globally... woodblock method is not unique to Edo period artists of japan, but continues today ... Varro Tyler, remarked that several european artists used this method, for reproducing many nations postal objects ... the japanese case, reflects none were "postal forgeries" during the classic period* ... further, various koban repros followed only after the genuine stamps were withdrawn from use (postal rate changes) ... in fact, this time-delay is signifigant ... Maeda Kihei emulated many genuine obliterators, nijumaru, denshin and even some maruichi cancel forms in his work ... botas reflecting both foreign mail and city letter-cancels also exist... (some are also "imaginative" or indicate "mozo" only)... note that Wada Katoro's son was president of the first philatelic club in japan ... the repro catalogs of this era are scarce ... so a goal was to recreate aspects of japanese philately, where none remained in japan proper or abroad ... foreign seamail postmarks as an example ... this is the function of copyists (graphic artists) : whether philatelic objects or other works of art ...


the work achieved by the ISJP.ORG and JPS members to date**; however, still leaves some "dead-ends" : or unanswered questions ... further, the original numbering of plates was achieved by K Wilhelmsen of Norway ... and the ISJP subsequently, reviewed the plates in the monograph - Kobans Forgeries of Japan : coauthored by Varro Tyler and Kristian Wilhelmsen.... the 2002 V2 CD on forgeries, follows this pattern today ...


in order to sequence koban reproductions more closely, correlation of each repro-object to dates revealed in Monograph 17, and to JSCA koban tables : date of emission, date of withdrawal of each denomination... repro obliterator or cancel form dates will be referenced to 2008 JPS monograph on cancels ....each object, where possible is also cross-referenced to the isjp CD itself .... the cancel or obliterator, where it mimics the genuine should reflect a closer "time-series" of production for many of the koban repros... I am developing these MXCs or cancel matrices overtime ....currently, the ISJP CD divides these as either "litho" or "typo" (engraved) plates as the original survey by Wilhelmsen ... my view is that all are woodblock design ...

* the enkakushi by wada, was a different case ... the IJPO seized most copies, as included were some genuine postal stationery items .... this was omitted from Casey's recent monograph on the tourist sheets. a definitive reference outling sources of classic reproductions ...


** 2008 JPS monograph on cancels , reflects this collaboration

2012-06-07

USPA Japan 1864-1875 ...


the excerpt is from robson-lowe pamphlet - Riddell  n.d.    interesting observation for cancel specialists ...


2012-05-24

M2 50sen varieties ...






















Maeda Kihei formed these imitations from woodblock, then transferred the 5x5 value to a serigraph...
there is some shade variety ... also note 3 items offer an ovpt that was unknown until 2012.  see enlargement ...

the origin are the K series sheets, outlined in monograph 17 of the ISJP .

prints are also known cancelled ...