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Nippon, Noritake, Occupied Japan - Facts and Tips

In October of 1890, the McKinley Tariff Act required items entering the United States be marked with the country of origin.  As of Sept. 1, 1891, the Nippon era began and lasted until 1921.  During that time, merchandise from Japan, had to be marked Nippon, the Japanese name for Japan.  After 1921, the US required that imports carry the word Japan or made in Japan.

There were loopholes in the law that allowed many unmarked items to enter US ports where only the crate or box was marked.  Many of these unmarked pieces are spectacular and should not be overlooked by collectors.  However, there were also many unmarked Japanese pieces produced after the Nippon era that are advertised as Nippon or pre-Nippon.

Early unmarked Nippon is of higher quality, the artwork and decorations are superior and with a little study and experience, you will be able to distinguish the difference.  Novice collectors should study marked pieces and educate themselves since so many reproductions have flooded the market during recent years.  Several books are available to assist.

Items made in Japan, for US export, during the US occupation (1945 - 1952), had to include the words Occupied Japan on the piece or on the container.  Only pieces actually marked or with their original box can be considered authentic.  We recommend that the buyer search for the finer quality Occupied Japan items, as they are fewer and harder to find.

Noritake chinaware started with the Morimura brothers establishing a trading company in 1876. Then "Morimura Brothers", established in New York in 1878, was the first goods shop to import Japanese antiques and porcelain. This was the start of the Japanese-American trade where Japanese culture attracted attention, the Morimura brothers were most








 

interested in Western tableware.  In 1904 they created the “Nippon Toki Gomei Kaisha” in the village of Noritake and implemented the Art Deco and Art Nouveau designs into their wares. Eventually they became the Noritake Company as we know it today.

The dinner plate was created in 1913 and dinner sets the following year.  From 1921 - 1931 their fancy line of items included flower vases, wall pockets, candy holders, coffee/tea pots and sets, chocolate pots, sugar bowls, etc.  New skills were developed, in 1932 they brought forth a beautiful milky white bone china. Noritake is loved worldwide, from the home to hotels and restaurants.  The vast and varied patterns and styles makes it easy for the shopper to find that special set or piece that speaks to their individual personality.

Today, there are several china replacement companies that can assist you in adding to your china set or help find that special piece that was accidentally broken.

Comment about this Article: caroldubilo@gmail.com

 

 

 

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