Nippon porcelain refers to vases, teapots, wall plaques, humidors, and other ceramic objects stamped with the word Nippon on their bases. The practice began in 1891 in response to the U.S. McKinley Tariff Act, which forbade the import of items that weren’t “plainly marked, stamped, branded, or labeled in legible English words.” Nippon is the English spelling of a pronunciation of what Americans call Japan, but in 1921, the word was ruled Japanese in origin, so Nippon was no longer accepted by U.S. Customs Agents. From then on, imported Japanese china was stamped Japan. Today, Nippon-marked porcelain tends to have a higher value than pieces marked Japan, which means collectors should be wary—demand for Nippon porcelain has created a market for pieces with fake transfer-based marks.

Japanese potters of the Nippon era, including those working at the company that became Noritake, were trained in European styles and successfully imitated the work of Limoges, Belleek, and R.S. Prussia. These pieces, meant to be sold to the United States, were hand-painted in an elaborate manner that didn’t appeal to the spartan Japanese tastes of the day. Imagery on Nippon porcelains ranged from animals such as owls, horses, and dogs to elaborate splays of flowers, some rendered in a technique called coralene. Another unique application was moriage, in which clay was applied to a piece like icing on a cake, before being glazed or gilded. Tapestry decorations were another favorite of Nippon artists. In those pieces, the surfaces appeared textured by fabric, which, in fact, was applied to the clay when it was still damp before being burned away in the kiln.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum

You can get happily lost searching through the 10,000 or so objects on the Asian Art Museum's website. For example,… [read review or visit site]

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

This gallery showcases highlights from the 5,000 items in the museum's ceramics collection dating from 1500-1900. I… [read review or visit site]

Gotheborg.com

Gotheborg.com

Jan-Erik Nilsson's extensive reference on antique Chinese porcelain. Jam-packed with information (e.g. on porcelain… [read review or visit site]

Ceramics at The V&A

Ceramics at The V&A

A great reference on ceramics from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Learn about different ceramics techniques and st… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

6 Beautiful Vintage Nippon Porcelain Cups & Saucers ~ Enamel Flowers Gold GiltBeautiful Vintage Nippon Porcelain Teapot ~ Enamel Flowers Gold Gilt Greek KeyAntique Rare Nippon Moriage Porcelain Round Footed Hp Flowers VaseAntique Nippon Gravy Boat Moriage Cobalt Blue Pink Roses Heavy Gold ~ Mint!Beautiful Vintage Nippon Porcelain Sugar & Creamer ~ Enamel Flowers Gold GiltRoyal Kinran Nippon Porcelain Urn Vase Hand Painted Pink Flowers W/ Gold DetailNoritake Nippon Relief Horse Head Wall Plate - Matte Finish - Hand PaintedBeautiful Nippon Hand Painted Cabinet PlateGorgeous Unmarked Nippon 11" Serving Bowl Floral Flowers Pink Roses Heavy Gold Antique Nippon Hand Painted Humidor With Playing Cards And Lady Design Noritake Morimura Nippon Vase Floral W/ Gold Pre 1921 From Historic MansionVintage Artist Signed 10 Pc Porcelain Teaset~hand Painted Roses & Large Tray YqzNippon Hand Painted Coffee Tea Pot With Two Cups Saucers.Nippon Noritake Moriage Dragon Vase Green M In Maple Leaf Mark Morimura JapanNippon 8" Vase With Pink Flowers With Green Marking On BottomGorgeous Nippon Noritake Hand Painted American Indian 7.75" Plaque Plate Mark#47Cobalt Blue Gold Moriage Ornate Chocolate Pot With Lid Japan Vintage Nippon Japan Hand Painted Floral Pattern 10.5" Double Handled VaseSmall Nippon Vase With Lots Of Gold. 8"Vtg Nippon Hand Painted Cobalt +gold Plate W/ HandlesAntique Nippon Hand Painted Floral Scene Jeweled Gold Swags Cup And Saucer SetAntique Nippon Hand Painted Chocolate Pot Set Purple Violets Gold Beaded MoriageUnique Old Nippon Chocolate Pot Set W 4 Cups & Saucers ~lady & House In WoodsVintage Unmarked Nippon Rare Japanese Coralene Decorated Dresser Tray No ReserveSmall 6 1/2 " Vase Nippon With Purple And White Flowers5 Vintage Hand Painted Gold Gilded Nippon Porcelain 3 Toed Nut DishesAntique 1870-1910 Large 14" Nippon Hand Painted Peach Vase W/moriage Gold Nr Yqz9 1/2" Nippon Vase Square With Pink Roses And It Is Green A Beautiful VaseLg Hand Painted Japanese For Export Antique Portrait Porcelain Bowl Gold MoriageNoritake Morimura Nippon Vase Gold And Flowers Pre 1921 From Historic MansionSet Of 4 Demitasse Cups Hand Painted Gold Porcelain Nippon Komaru MarukiBeautiful Large Antique Beaded Moriage Three Handled Vase-unmarkedVintage Noritake Nippon Toki Kaisha Mandarin DuckRoyal Nippon Moustache Cup & Saucer - Cobalt/rose/ MumRare Antique Nippon Scenic Chocolate Pot,cups&saucers Cobalt Blue, Hp Stork, SetVery Pretty Small Vase With Purple And Orange Flowers 8" Small Nippon Vase With Sail Boat 6"(6) Nippon Hand Painted Fine China Spoon Rests / Holders 4" X 2 1/4Beautiful Vintage Handpainted Handled Cake Plate Platter Charger Gold PeachPair Of Matching Vases With Pink And White Flowers 71/2" Tall Green Mark BottomRoyal Nippon Hand Painted Rose Bowl W Under Plate Cobalt Blue & Pansies Gold Nippon Tea Set Hand Painted Rose PatternNippon Hp Violets Cheese & Crackers-chip & Dip-shrimp & Dip-server-estate!Nippon Hand Painted Porcelain Condiment Set Salt & Pepper, Jam Bowl W/spoonPretty Vintage "nippon" Small Nut Bowl With Pink FlowersVintage Nippon Hand Painted Moriage Floral Pitcher Ewer Vase Gold OverlayNippon Chocolate Set With Matching Tray Blue With Swans And Flowers RareSmall Nippon Vase With Different Feet Yellow Flowers 8"Vintage Nippon Green Marked Hand Painted Pastel Ovoid Vase Scenic Ships No RsvVintage Hand Painted Nippon 2 Piece Tea Strainer Heavy Gold Beading Pink FlowersNippon Royal Satsuma Bucket Type Salt Dips Hand Painted Gold Trim MirageAntique Hand Painted Nippon Morimura Peanut Bowl With HandlesVintage Nippon Candy Dish Hand Painted Floral And GoldPretty Vintage "nippon" Serving Plate With Pink RosesTwo Nippon Pieces Vase Nut Dish With Green Wreath 47 MkVintage Nippon Hand Painted Vase Gold Beaded Maple Leaf Mark 2 HandledNippon Hp Purple Violets Center Handle Tidbit Server-8" Rd-nuts-candy-estateNoritake Nippon Toki Kaisha CatVintage Nippon Green Marked Hand Painted Orange Flowers Gold Tone Border No Rsv Beautiful 12 1/2" Numbered Nippon Vase