Tensho Oban for auction by Heritage Auctions on 9 September 2011. The Tensho Naga Gold Oban - Omodaka variety ND (1573-1591), one of the rarest of all Oban varieties. The Tensho Oban weight was fixed at about 165 grams and was hammered into three different sizes. This example is the 'NAGA' (or long type) and the largest physical size of all the Obans minted. The estimate price for this auction are $300,000 - $350,000.
This is an extremely rare variety of the Tensho Naga Oban due to the different upper stamp of the two stamps on the reverse: the Omodaka stamp. The Mori family was given permission by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (the great uniter of Japan) to make this official Oban and stamp the symbol of the their family on the reverse, which was the Omodaka plant leaf and flower. The large gold coin plate minted in 73% gold and 27% silver. The ink is original and a vibrant black color. There is scuffing on the high points of the obverse with a small amount of ink missing. Repair apparent on both sides at 8 o'clock on the obverse, and at the matching area on the reverse at 4 o'clock, as evidenced by the disturbance of the original texture of the surfaces near the edge. The repair seems to have been done over a hundred years ago and carefully hammered after perhaps being dropped.
Oban were made of hammered gold with a face value of 10 ryo or 10 Koban coins. The word Oban means 'large stamped' in Japanese. The earliest ōban were made in the 1580s, when the feudal lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536/7-98) co-operated with wealthy merchants in the Kansai district of central Japan and monopolized Japan's metal mines. He then began to mint gold coins of fixed quality.
The auction will take place at Long Beach, California or you can bid it online at: The Tensho Naga Gold Oban.
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