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Igor Ostapenko

Order of the Sacred Treasure

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The mark must have been used for only a very limited time (like you said 1929 start) - most orders do not have the mark, even though they were made by Osaka so the period of use was a very few years I believe. My thinking is that at the time of the scandal and shortly after, Osaka wanted the authenticity to be known - but after a few years, because everything was made by Osaka, they dropped the M. Just a thought - but of course, without it, how can they guarantee authenticity? Of court, not hard to copy an M stamp!! But why don't all of the orders have this mark otherwise? Something else that is interesting that I have noticed is that the rosettes of a certain period also have the mark "ス" on them, maybe around a similar time? What do you think of this?

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The mark must have been used for only a very limited time (like you said 1929 start) - most orders do not have the mark, even though they were made by Osaka so the period of use was a very few years I believe. My thinking is that at the time of the scandal and shortly after, Osaka wanted the authenticity to be known - but after a few years, because everything was made by Osaka, they dropped the M. Just a thought - but of course, without it, how can they guarantee authenticity? Of court, not hard to copy an M stamp!! But why don't all of the orders have this mark otherwise?

Very interesing hypothesis Dieter! :cheers: I was thinking about that myself.

Yesssssss. This mint marks… Why M appears in the 1929 and disappears soon after the Second World War or even before WWII? There is not a speck of evidence in this case. This is what I think.

Edited by JapanX

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The real question is not “when”, but “what for”

If we’ll answer on the second question, then we’ll answer on the first. What is the real meaning and purpose of Japanese order marks?

I understand why Soviet Mint marked its orders (proof of identity+quality control) and why Germans manufacturers (guild regulations + government regulations). But why Osaka Mint?

Ok. Maybe before 1929 there was some non-government guild regulation or (what is more probable) it’s just makers pride, prestige and some kind of guarantee. But why Osaka mint continues to mark orders after 1929?! For prestige? Don’t think so. Quality control considerations stands no longer because all orders have one unified stamped mark M (though some sacred treasure orders have M not stamped but engraved, but still it is M). Dieter hypothesis seems very sound to me. Really why don't all of the orders bear the mark? Very few actually did. By my subjective estimates – between 15% and 35% of all orders of sacred treasure (from Showa epoch of course) and no more than 15% of rising sun orders (in 7 and 8 class of rising sun no more than 30%) have these mark. Maybe it is really because all orders were marked for some time (no more than 10 years) and then the mark has been abolished.

The only problem with Dieter hypothesis – before 1929 not all orders which were made by private workshops bear there marks (no more that 30% and for some marks and orders even less). Why?! And maybe Osaka mint continued to mark orders (for some time) because of the simple inertia/tradition affect? And the reason was the same as the reason of private manufacturers? And this reason is still unknown to us.

Edited by JapanX

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Fukuoka on 31 July 2011 - 09:01 said:

Just an interesting tidbit I found:

We all may know that the RC medals have a lot of different hallmarks. It was a bit puzzling, but I think I have a vague answer. In my 1953 official history of the Japan Mint, there is an article on the hallmarking of pure gold & silver items. And one line in that section stuck out. It said that the use of katakana and other symbols indicated the years of manufacture on other items. I am assuming the phrase 'other items' is referring to the RC medals among others. Previously I had thought that the marks referred to different places of manufacture, but that appears to be wrong.

However, there was no chart or other hint as to what years the hallmarks indicated. But we take each piece of the puzzle one by one...

Cheers, Rich

So the different katakanas give us information about years of manufacture. Hmmmmm :unsure:

But then we should have at least 40 different mint marks and we don’t have even 10 (with all red cross medals no more than 15 for sure). And why not all the orders were marked? And why one mark you can meet more frequent than the other? And why use katakana and latin letters? If there was a time-mark-chart (as we have for Finland orders) that I think it should be unified. Don`t you think so? I personally have serious doubts that marks were used as time marks.

Edited by JapanX

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I am inclined to think that marks referred to different places of manufacture.

To be more exact - different workshops.

Why?

Same style of production = same mark

Usually this equality holds pretty perform well enough.

Something strage is going on only with marks on red cross medals. Very strange. Way too many marks and they don`t correlate with the time period (you can meet wwII medals with marked tabs! they even manufactured from different alloys).

It looked like old tabs (from Meiji-Taisho) were used for new medals (war Showa). Very strange. At least it looks strange ..

Edited by JapanX

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So the different katakanas give us information about years of manufacture. Hmmmmm :unsure:

But then we should have at least 40 different mint marks and we don’t have even 10 (with all red cross medals no more than 15 for sure). And why not all the orders were marked? And why one mark you can meet more frequent than the other? And why use katakana and latin letters? If there was a time-mark-chart (as we have for Finland orders) that I think it should be unified. Don`t you think so? I personally have serious doubts that marks were used as time marks.

NO - not with Red Cross anyway. I think the characters range from year X to year Y - but no idea what the range is, how big or small. I think maybe 1920s - 1940s. Just a guess!!

Really a Timetable?

Not exactly - but some of these marks do occur within time periods it seems - not specific years.

I am inclined to think that marks referred to different places of manufacture.

To be more exact - different workshops.

Why?

Same style of production = same mark

Usually this equality holds pretty perform well enough.

I agree! I believe marks were used by makers - we know this is true with the "N", "S", "M", "Y" marks found on the Showa Enthronement Medal - the wrapping papers indicate the company that made them, and the marks always seem to correspond accordingly. Red Cross medals can also be found with the "S" - I wonder if it is the same company that made the Showa medal?

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Gents, just wanted to say thanks for an absolutely fascinating topic.

I've been following the posts and this has to be one of the most educational topics in a long while!

Cheers to all :cheers:

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Posted (edited) · Hidden by JapanX, October 3, 2011 - No reason given
Hidden by JapanX, October 3, 2011 - No reason given

No, 1956 wasn't 1946, but it wasn't peaches and cream either! :)

So what is exactly this “not peach and creamy” time?

In concordance with my information Japan in 1957 held

1st place in the shipbuilding (I heard that this is quite metal consuming industry, though 99% of all iron ore and nonferrous metals were imported)

1st place in fishing

1st place in production of ceramics

1st place in production of raw yarn

2nd or 3rd place in rice production

2nd or 3rd place in production of ceramics

2nd or 3rd place in production of photo equipment and radios

2nd place in production of engineering tools

et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…

Held place where?

In the world!

Not bad! Not bad at all!

So where we were?

Attachment economies?

For real? ;)

...they do not seem to have cut corners on those!

Of course they don`t! They could afford it back in 1956!

Edited by JapanX

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Posted · Hidden by JapanX, October 3, 2011 - No reason given
Hidden by JapanX, October 3, 2011 - No reason given

Exactly because of economical upturn in the first half of 50s (I think this is one of the main catalytic factor) Japan decided to restore its awarding system. Here is restoration chronology.

18 September 1953 Merit Medals were restored.

22 January 1955 two new Merit Medals (yellow and purple ribbon) were introduced.

1 April 1956 golden RC order and golden RC medal were introduced.

12 June 1963 Sacred Treasure and Rising Sun orders were restored.

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Posted · Hidden by JapanX, October 3, 2011 - No reason given
Hidden by JapanX, October 3, 2011 - No reason given

So the order itself doesn’t give us any useful information for its accurate attribution (the only thing for sure – it is after 1956 piece).

All we have is the box.

Is it early? Probably. :anmatcat:

Is it late? Probably. :anmatcat:

Is it legit? Probably. :anmatcat:

Is it handmade by recipient/collector/dealer? Probably. :anmatcat:

Is it made by the private workshop in some “edición limitada” fashion? Probably. :anmatcat:

Of course this box may be (or may not be) “late-after-war-circa1956-not-handmade-but-serial-made-piece”.

I can live with that. :)

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Gents, just wanted to say thanks for an absolutely fascinating topic.

I've been following the posts and this has to be one of the most educational topics in a long while!

Cheers to all :cheers:

Hi doc! Thanks and hurray for Japanese Phaleristics! :cheers:

Nick

P.S. May the force be with you :)

Edited by JapanX

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ALSO - I forgot about this - Variation C Sacred Treasures have maker codes on the suspension ball - these were later moved to the back of the paulownia suspension on D - so I believe we know C is more modern buy this as well.

Here some of the marks you can find on Variations C and D. It is obvious that this two variations are blood related. :)

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There is a Sale Room on this forum, but eBay of course!

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Thank you !

And ... What price of this order ?

Well, these are not at all rare. Given that it is a medallion only, in the condition photographed, maybe $40.00-$50.00 U.S. These medals complete with case and all in really goo condition usually go for between $100-$150.00 U.S. But I have learned that prices are a very subjective matter, and I have learned not to question the motives of buyers and why sometimes well beyond the average price is achieved for a given piece!

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Just take a look at this photo display.

Beautiful 6th class (late type of variation B) and no less beautiful 5th class (variation C).

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Note how extremely close (by general appearance and central mirror delineation) variation B (toward the end of its existence) resembles variation C. Obverses differ from each other only by “eyes” – C has eyes of larger diameter.

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Yes, and the kanji stampings look to be of wider lines on C, or maybe it is an optical illusion?? What exactly do you mean by "eyes"??

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Yes, and the kanji stampings look to be of wider lines on C, or maybe it is an optical illusion?? What exactly do you mean by "eyes"??

I think its optical (the left specimen has patina inside kanji stampings).

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What exactly do you mean by "eyes"??

Its my slang word for “precious stones”. :cool: :lol:

Edited by JapanX

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Ok. Got some news.

I just bought a small documented group of sacred treasures orders.

Among them - our old friend - 6th class variation B.

The group is authentic - no doubt about (it came from the family).

Ready?

Document for 6th class dated by 26 february 1946!!!

What a surprise!!!

For me it is :lol:

Not for my mate Dieter ;) He was absolutely correct when he said

Here's what I believe - the lack of screws I believe is a very late war feature, but also carried into later production when it was resumed. The only reason I say this is because of a few specimens I have observed at auction in Japan that included documents, dated Showa 19 (1944).

So now we have a new time period for variation B

1946 (probably 1944 or even earlier) - 90s (i.e. early 90s or even late 80s?)

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by JapanX

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We need more late examples with documents to define the later years, I think the low end is close, no earlier than the mid 40s, but high end? Hmmm......

Anyway, how about some photos of your new family! :lol:

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