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    Gotheborg.com

    Authentic "Nippon" ?

    I have a plate that I wonder if you could tell me if it's real Nippon or fake. 4 pictures are attached.

    It is a heavy gray clay pottery rather than the lovely porcelain we usually see. The design is also very heavy handed. The printed mark is "NIPPON" only....no other printed mark, wreath, etc.

    There is an impressed mark. 4 characters in a square. The characters don't look very oriental however.

    Have you ever seen anything like this before? I am very grateful for any information you can give me.


    Japanese porcelain but maybe Chinese enamels

    Unfortunately I don't know enough to give you a full answer on this.

    I am no expert on Japanese porcelain, and compared to the specialized "Nippon" collector's I know next to nothing about these wares. Still, I have gathered that much that the "Nippon" pieces that collector's usually go for are mostly the delicately decorated pieces that were manufactured by the company that later would become the Noritake Company.

    Around the turn of the century the situation was different and there were yet no Noritake Company.

    The "Nippon" mark which actually just means "Japan" was used by a lot of different companies and put on just about anything that were to be exported.

    The first and probably largest company working with selling Japanese porcelain to the US was founded by Baron Ichizaemon Morimura in 1876 when he established a trading company called Morimura Brothers with offices in Tokyo, and a retail and wholesale office in New York for the export to America of china, gifts and other decorative products bought from factories around Nagoya, the center of Japan's ceramic production.

    I think we need to notice here that these items was not made by a single company but just bough and exported by the Morimura Brothers.

    Then finally in the 1904 Morimura built his own factory in a little village named Noritake just outside of Nagoya and six years later, in 1910, the first china products from the new company, called Nippon Toki Kaisha, left Japan for the U.S.

    In 1981 the company officially changed its name to Noritake Company.

    Finally to complicate matters totally I can also tell that the number of known, different, Noritake marks are more then 400.

    To come back to your question, if this is a genuine "Nippon" - I don't know - maybe. The porcelain appears to be Japanese while the decoration actually imitates Chinese Famille Rose in a as you put it "heavy handed " way. From my point of view the enamels could also actually have been added in China in lets say, the 1930s.

    As you see I can't really answer your question, but thank you anyway for sending me the pictures and the question. Hopefully someone who really knows, will contact me and tell us how this really fits together.

    Thank you for your interest.

    Best regards,
    Jan-Erik Nilsson

    www.710.com