As someone who has mainly focused on United States coinage in my personal collection, I have been fascinated by the Obans and Kobans from the Pinnacle Collection. Quite large in size, these fit within the aspect of “odd and curious” money, as they are such a departure from typically encountered types of coinage. A variety of stampings is present on the obverse and reverse of each, indicating the type and time period of manufacture. Additionally, the obverses display rather skillfully and elegantly inked calligraphy—enhancing their beauty, artistry, and sense of uniqueness. These issues served as large multiples of the more transactional denominations like the Shu and Bu, also somewhat odd and curious in that they were rectangular rather than round, but at least their overall dimensions were more typical. These interesting pieces also serve as a direct link to the fabled pre-Meiji era of Japan, dominated by feudalism and the legendary backdrop of samurai and ninjas. With the opening up of Japan to the west, a currency reform took place under the Meiji Emperor in 1870, replacing the fanciful denominations of yore with a system and designs that mirrored those of the western world.
There are a variety of Obans and Kobans offered in the April 2021 Hong Kong sale, and we invite you to visit our website where you can browse the entire auction.
Coins in Motion seeks to enable collectors, bidders, and consignors to accurately appreciate how Stack’s Bowers Galleries coins look in hand. Ultra-high resolution animations depict how luster moves over the coin’s surfaces, while the rotating motion allows for any possible imperfections to be revealed. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is proud to have acquired Coins in Motion. To view our YouTube Playlist dedicated to Coins in Motion, click here. Videos are added weekly