Guide for attribution of Tenpo Tsuho (1835 1871)

天保通寶

Compiled by Heinz Gratzer

 

All mother coins were cast in Edo and sent to the other mints, therefore the attribution of coins Tenpo Tsuho is very difficult. Every mint has different tiny counterstamps (shirushi 印) on the edge. For attribution should be checked shirushi, size of coin (length, width and thickness) and the distance (A) between Ten and Ho 寶.

 

Saikaku 細郭 - thin rims variety

***

Chokaku 長郭 - same as Saikaku but with slightly rectangular hole

***

Hirokaku 広郭 - wide rims variety

***

Chukaku 中郭 - same as Hirokaku but with slightly bigger hole

***

Okaku 横郭 - same as Hirokaku but with slightly rectangular hole

***

Composed signature of mintmaster Hashimoto Mitsuji

 

NAME OF COIN

and Variety of COUNTERSTAMPS

at both edge sides

MINT

PREFECTURE

TIME

of

ISSUE

 

Bakufu-sen 幕府銭 (government)

Honza 本座

Kinza 金座 Asakusabashi / Edo

 

Chokaku 長郭 - same as Saikaku but slightly rectangular hole

Tokyo

Tenpo 6

(1835)

Honza 本座

Kinza 金座 Asakusabashi / Edo

 

Saikaku 細郭 - thin rims

Tenpo 8

(1837)

Kochihan-sen 高知藩銭

Tosa 土佐

Flat rims and inscription

smaller counterstamps than usual

Kochi

 

Satsumahan-sen 薩摩藩銭

Satsuma

Chokaku 長郭 - same as Saikaku but slightly rectangular hole

 

Hirokaku 広郭 - wide rims

 

Okaku 横郭 same as Hirokaku but slightly rectangular hole

Kagoshima

Yamaguchihan-sen 山口藩銭

Nagato 長門

Nagao Tsu 長尾通 long tailed Tsu

Yamaguchi

Aizuhan-sen 会津藩銭

Iwashiro

Hirokaku 広郭- wide rims

 

Saikaku 細郭 - thin rims

Fukushima

 

 

Akitahan-sen 秋田藩銭

Dewa 出羽

Chokaku 長郭 - same as Saikaku but slightly rectangular hole

 

Hirokaku 広郭 - wide rims

 

Saikaku 細郭 - thin rims

Akita

Nambuhan-sen 南部藩銭

Mutsu 陸奥

Hirokaku 広郭 - wide rims

 

Saikaku 細郭 - thin rims

 

Iwate

Fukuokahan-sen (Kurume-sen)

福岡藩銭 久留米銭

Chikuzen 筑前

Hirokaku 広郭 - wide rims

Fukuoka

Bunkyu 3

(1863)

Fukuokahan-sen 福岡藩銭

Chikuzen 筑前

Hirokaku 広郭 - wide rims

 

Chukaku 中郭 - same as Hirokaku but slightly bigger hole

Bakufu-sen 幕府銭 (government)

Honza 本座

Osaka / Settsu

 

Hirokaku 広郭 - wide rims

 

Chukaku中郭 - same as Hirokaku but slightly bigger hole

Osaka

Keio 1

(1865)

Mitohan-sen 水戸藩銭

Hitachi 日立

Ibaraki

Keio 4

(1868)

April

Sado-sen 佐渡銭

cast by the Daimyo Maeda in order of the Bakufu 幕府

Sado

light copper only

cast with moulds for Osaka-sen

 

Hirokaku 広郭 - wide rims

Niigata

Meiji 2

(1869)

February - June

Tatsugoro Nambu-sen

辰五郎南部銭

privately cast iron varieties by Tatsugoro

Mutsu 陸奥

Iwate

Meiji 2

(1869)

Hiroshima-sen 広島藩銭

 

not confirmed

Aki 安芸

Hirokaku 広郭 - wide rims

Only at one side, two counterstamps * punched left and right on the corners

of the edges

* not recognizable

Hiroshima

?

Okahan-sen 岡藩銭

found at the site of the Oka-Han (Bungo / Oita)

Strokes of Tsu are weaker than the other characters

Strokes of Tsuho 通寶 are weaker than the other characters

 

Time and place of casting not known

Counterstamps of different mints

not attributed mints 不明

Varieties of Tenpo Tsuho with additional engraving

 

1)     Obverse: 天保銭は人の鏡 Tenpo-sen wa hito no kagami (Tenpo coin is the mirror of mankind) .

 

2) Obverse: 天保銭は吾が鏡 Tenpo-sen wa wa ga kagami (Tenpo coin is the mirror of myself).

3) Obverse: 天保銭は海運橋 Tenpo-sen wa kaiunkyo (Tenpo coin is the connection for shipment; meaning ?)
same reverse on 1, 2, 3):
玉塚栄次郎 Tamazuka Eijiro

 

4) Obverse and reverse the same: Yama (not a Kanji but outline of a mountain) and Ishi

(meaning of engraving not known).

 

Those varieties were engraved by Tamazuka Eijiro 玉塚栄次郎 (real birth name unknown) he was born Manen 1 (1860) at Nihonbashi 日本橋 / Edo 江戸 and was adopted two years later by Tamazuka Eizo. After he was grown up he learned the business of a stock-jobber and was very successful.

Meiji 24 (1891) he opened his own company. He was very found of Tenpo Tsuho and since Taisho 5 (1916) he bought all he could get. He was known by his nickname Tenpo-sen Shugi 天保銭主義 (Tenpo-sen doctrinaire). That time he also edited a book on Tenpo Tsuho. It's not known when he started to engrave the coins, four differend types are known. He used mostly Honza-sen of Asakusabashi, Osaka and Aikawa but also Satsuma-, Mito-, Aizu-sen and unknown mints. Tamazuka Eijiro died Taisho 9 (1920).