21-05-2015 – 01-01-1970
Japanese Gold Coin Estimated One million Swiss Franc Offered in Zurich
On May 22, 2015 Hess Divo will auction off the rarest and most prestigious Japanese gold coin. With an estimated price of one million Swiss Francs this coin is one of the most valuable coins in the world.
Lot 1226: Toyotomi Hideyoshi, 1585-1591. 10 Ryo or Oban Tensho 16 (1588). Also known as Tensho Hishi Oban. Friedberg 1a; JNDA 09-1. From the famous collection of Tokugawa Ieyasu Shogun (1543-1616). Extremely Fine. Estimated: 1,000,000 CHF.
This is the first Oban in Japanese Monetary History and the first one ever to be in public auction. It is a coin of the highest rarity, only 6 pieces are known, 5 of them are in museums. This the only Tensho Hishi Oban available on the market.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) was a preeminent warrior, general, Samurai, and politician of the Sengoku period (1467-1603). He is regarded as Japan’s second “great unifier” and is noted for a number of cultural legacies, including the restriction that only members of the Samurai class could bear arms. He financed the construction, restoration and rebuilding of many temples standing today in Kyoto and played an important role in the history of Christianity in Japan when he ordered the execution by crucifixion of twenty-six Christians.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi changed Japanese society by the imposition of a rigid class structure, restriction on travel, and surveys of land and production. Upon taking control, he decreed that all peasants be disarmed completely and he required Samurai to leave the land and take up residence in the castle towns. This solidified the social class system for the next 300 years.
In 1590, Hideyoshi completed construction of the Osaka Castle, the largest and most formidable in all Japan, to guard the western approaches to Kyoto.
This magnificient and impressive Tensho Hishi Oban illustrates without any doubt the power and ambition of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and matches in a perfect way the few words he once wrote in a letter to his wife: “I mean to do glorious deeds and I am ready for a long siege, with provisions and gold and silver in plenty, so as to return in triumph and leave a great name behind me. I desire you to understand this and to tell it to everybody.“
This coin is one of 1,200 lots offered by Hess Divo in its auction sale 328 taking place on May 22, 2014 in the hotel Baur-au-Lac in Zurich. Total estimate of the sale is 4,500,000 Swiss Francs.
You can view all offered lots here.
To get to the website of Hess Divo please click here.