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. 


  1. Hi,
    I was researching on the makers of two modern Japanese pottery pieces I have and I came upon your blog.Very useful information and it is possible the marks are already published by you but will you be able to look at them and try to identify the kilns or the makers? Here is a link with photos:
    Thanks in advance!

    1. I took a look at your link. I do not have those marks in my files. I am not even sure the brownish red one is Japanese. The blue and white is probably Seto but the mark is stylized so the left kanji is hard to decipher.

  2. Thanks for your willing to help. I am thinking the rust brownish one is Raku ware but not sure. Will try to find someone to translate the mark.

    1. Good luck in your search. I do not think the red one is raku, if you mean traditional raku of Kyoto.

  3. On the marks listed above, I am inquiring about the one below the RC Nippon and above the Imperial Nippon pictures. Hand Painted is in red above a crown, the crown is light green as well as the word Nippon below the crown. Did you explain this one or did I misunderstand?

  4. Hi,
    The mark below RC Nippon and above Imperial Nippon. Hand Painted is in red above a light green crown, Nippon in light green below the crown. Did you comment on this mark or did I misunderstand?

    1. I did some research. It appears the green crown mark you asked about is an old Meito mark. I need to verify this though.


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