Thursday, December 26, 2013


After the passage of the McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 countries were required to mark the name of the country of origin written in English on products imported to the United States. "Nippon" was how the Japanese referred to their country, so this was printed on their goods. In 1921 The United States required "Japan" to me used for marking imports. This helps somewhat in dating pieces, although keep in mind that "Japan" and "Made in Japan" were used again after World War II. 

There are generally two categories of Nippon wares, early Nippon and late Nippon. Early Nippon was generally made by groups or families. Gradually manufacturing changed to mass production. Early Nippon wares are more individual in nature, whereas the later wares are more uniform. 

This type of Japanese ceramics was definitely made for export. The Japanese much prefer pottery and simple designed porcelain over the ornate. I must say that I agree! There is a warmth in pottery and a cool sophistication to simple designs.  Since there still seems to be a market for Nippon, I include it here. That being said now and again I find a piece that I like.


                                                        Antique Nippon Hair Receiver

 To be honest I did not know what a hair receiver was initially. With the help of Wikipedia I learned that women had them at their dressing tables to keep the hair removed from their brushes after brushing. The fallen hair was used to stuff pin cushions, small pillows and to make "rats" for adding volume in Victorian hair styles. How resourceful. 

      Celery dish. Hand Painted Rising Sun mark




            This is the Nippon crown/star mark.

            Toothpick holder. This is the Nippon Morimura (Noritake) wreath Mark pre-1918.

       Nippon RC, meaning Royal Crockery


Jonroth Studios NIPPON

Founded 1909

                  *This is one I really like

Royal Kaga Nippon

Kaga refers to an area in Japan which is where Kutani wares are made. This patters is often referred to as "Geisha Girl Porcelain". In reality the figures have nothing to do with geisha. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Going Gaga Over Guinomi

Many people find that one way to enjoy various styles, types and ages of Japanese pottery is to collect guinomi or sake cups. They display well and they are usually reasonably priced, unless made by a famous artist or a "National Treasure". They don't take up a lot of room in a suitcase or as a display.



 Top left Takatori-yaki, top right Koda-yaki, low left Shigaraki-yaki, low right Shigaraki-yaki

top left Kutani-yaki, top right Kutani-yaki, low left Tenryo-gama, low right military cups

          Asian Zodiak a cup for each year (8 shown here)      


Soma Yaki


KUTANI KYOKUZAN stemmed cup, bajohai

Whistling sake flasks and cups, mid to late 20th century 

Dragon ware sake cup with lithophane of woman

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