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    

Antique Morimura Nippon Egyptian Revival Relief Porcelain Humidor - Rare, ScarabR Lalique 3 X Nippon Madeira Glasses. 7.8 High. Pefect Cond. Item 5244. Rene.Large Nippon Moriage Dragon Vase M In Maple Leaf Mark, Great Detail Morimura Very Rare C. 1920 Nippon Porcelain Blown Out Mug With Fisherman N/rDecorative Plate, Nippon Hand Painted Primrose With Gold Trim, For HangingVintage Nippon Hand Painted & Trimmed With Gold Accent Porcelain Bowl, ExcellentAntique (c. ~1891) Nippon Condensed Milk JarOriginal Signed Nippon Moriage Figural Humidor Owl On Branch Vintage " Hand Painted Nippon " ChargerMagnificent Antique Hand Painted Nippon Vase Japan Iris Flowers Moriage Art DecoVintage Nippon Hand Painted DishAntique Nippon Hand Painted Limoges Style Taureen W/ Lid Pink Green Gold GiltGorgeous Vintage Nippon China Cup Saucer Plate Trio-rich Gold Beaded DesignAntique Nippon Japan Hand Painted Porcelain Poppy Flower 9" Floral Vase Nr LoeArt Noveau Nippon Era (late 19th Century) Moriage VaseHand Painted Nippon Two Handled Square Tapered Vase Iris Moriaga TrimVintage Nippon Hand Painted Cup & Saucer- Heavy Gold GuildVintage Hand Painted Nippon Mug Cup Glass Golf Outing English Golfer Green StampAntique Nippon Porcelain Hand Painted Bowl ~ Roses Gold Moriage BeadingVintage Antique Rare Double Handle/ Socket Pull String Nippon Nishiki Lamp BaseRoyal Bayreuth Sunbonnet Babies CreamerAntique Nippon Desert Scene Camel BowlNippon Hand Painted Pottery Dog VaseNoritake/nippon Rc Ornate Hand Painted Gilded Pink & Red Roses Rare Shaped PlateGorgeous Vintage Nippon China Plate W/2 Saucers Trio-rich Gold Beaded DesignNippon Moriage Dogwood Vase Orange Nippon Vase With Bird And Cherry Blossom TreeArt Noveau Nippon Era (late 19th Century) Moriage VaseVintage Nippon Hand Painted Cup And Saucer- Heavy Gold Guilding12" Nippon Moriaga Owl Vase As IsRare Nippon Baby Set With Flying Stork Tray And Talcum ShakerNippon - Footed Stacking 3 Bowl Set With Lid, Hand Painted,gold Moriage Beading,Vintage Antique Nippon Hand Painted Violets And Gilt Trim Vase - CharmingVintage Chocolate Pot With 3 Cups Gorgeous Hour Glass Shape ScallopedNippon Tea Set Hand Painted Rose PatternA Beautifulgilded & Hand Painted Noritake Cabinet Plate Nippon Nippon Berry Bowl SetBeautiful Hand Painted Nippon Bowl Handles Floral Design Gold Morimura Bros. Antique Nippon? ~ Hand Painted ~ Violets ~ Gold Guild & Beading~ Stunning! Unusual Antique Nippon Porcelain Reticulated Tri Footed Portrait Rose Bowl Antique Double Down Handle/ Socket Acorn Pull Chains Heavy Brass And IronVictorian Era Etruscan Nippon VaseLovely Roses Marked "hand Painted Nippon" 4" Wide Covered Vanity Trinket DishAntique Chinese Export Imari Hand Painted Large Fruit Bowl Indian Basket DesignC1920 Te-0h Nippon Japanese Hand Painted Lemonade Set Pitcher 12 Cups MintRare Vintage Nippon Demitasse/coffee Set White/yellow 24k Ornate 1940's 15 PcVintage Double Handled 6" Hand Painted Nippon Vase Green Mark WheatSuperb Sendai Nippon Bowl,footed,hand Painted,extremely OrnateHand Painted Nippon Bowl With Three Matching Small BowlsHandpainted Cups And Vintage CreamerAntique Nippon TeapotA Stunning Hand Painted And Heavy Gilded Noritake Milk Jug NipponNippon Chocolate SetHand Painted Nippon Dish Plate With Handles Green Wreath Mora Mora BrothersW.a. Pickard Clover Sugar BowlNippon Cobalt Blue Handpainted Teapot Coffee Pot Chocolate Pot