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    

Beautiful Nippon Floral Basketweave Vase Hydrangeas Blue Maple Leaf MarkAntique Nippon Moriage Dragonware Scalloped Edge Footed Bowl MorimuraAntique Nippon Moriage Padre Friar MugAntique Handpainted Floral Nippon Coffee/chocolate Pot W/ Gold Gilted BackgroundVintage 1900's Hand Painted Roses Unmarked Nippon Type Porcelain EwerAntique Nippon Hand Painted Plate Charger, Gold Encrusted Pink Roses 10"Antique Noritake Nippon Rc Vase - Hand Painted Scene With Silver Overlay Antique Nippon Pink & Red Rose Ewer Pitcher Chocolate Pot W Raised Gold Detail Antique Nippon Gold Gilded Cobalt Blue Chamberstick With FlowersNippon Hand Painted Porcelain Planter M Mark SignedOld Antique Nippon Hand Painted Plate W Spooky River Scene 10 3/16"Gorgeous Nippon Egyptian Scene Vase2 Vintage L & Co Nippon Hand Painted Gilded Porcelain Dishes Floral DecorationBeautiful Vintage Nippon Porcelain Bowl Moriage ~ Blown Out Relief Hand PaintedNippon Vase And Powder BoxBeautiful Hand Painted Nippon Basket With FlowersAntique Handpainted Morimura Nippon Vase 10.5" Lavender Red Xmas Poinsettia DecoAntique Nippon Royal Crockery Display Plate Gold Gilt DecoratedJapanese Noritake Nippon Japan Lustre Ware Porcelain VaseNippon Vase Vintage Unmarked Ewer W/ Cobalt, Gold Accnts & Hand Painted Flowers Vintage Noritake Nippon Toki Kaisha Floral Porcelain Vase Artist Signed 1950'sNippon Moriage Powder Jar And Lid, Early 1900’sTall Big 12" Nippon Meiji Lamp Vase Ca.1890 Beaded Samurai Gilt Relief JapaneseNippon Royal Kinjo Scenic Sharkskin Coralene Vase Patent Mark .99 CentsVtg Noritake Set Of 5 Cups N Saucers, M In Wreath Mark, Handpainted Gold FloralAntique Nippon Oriental China Porcelain Ornate Gold Guild Salt Cellar Dip BowlNorthwood White Carnival Glass"nippon"iridescent Bowl"rare"frosted" W/medallionNoritake Nippon White Horse & Foal Figurine Bone China Toki Kaisha JapanNoritake "the Celtic" Covered Vegetable Bowl - Early 1900's Nippon - Handpainted2 Hand Painted Nippon Bowls Blue Backstamp Roses Gold Guilding Scalloped EdgeCranberry Glass Gold Gilt VaseHand Painted Nippon Perfume Vanity Porcelain Bottle Vintage Nippon Cream And Sugar - Butterflies - Hand Painted1952 Dog Humor 12 X 18 Vintage Hanging Metal Tray Lithograph Just Eight Dogs Unusual Blue Bird China Nippon Mug Bluebird JapanVintage Nippon Covered Sugar Bowl Hand PaintedOld Vintage Antique Nippon Open Footed Salt Dip Salt Cellar Bird Of ParadiseAntique Hand Painted Nippon 2 Open Salt Cellars And 1 Spoon / Ladle Blue MarkVintage China E-oh Hand Painted Nippon Tea Cup And SaucerVintage Nippon Hand Painted Lake Cottage Scene Bowl Black Silhouette Gold Trim Set 3 Raised Gold Encrusted White Hand Painted Noritake China Side Plates Mint Nippon Lamp Vintage.16"h,6"w,6"d. Nippon Hand Painted Porcelain Small Handled Leaf Dish Souvenir Albany.n.y. VtgNippon Salt/dip Cellars - 6 - Gilt, Oval, Pierced 5 Gold Trim Nippon Salt Cellar Dishes / Butter Pats Marked & Excellent!!!Vintaged Hand Painted Nippon Hat Pin HolderRoyalsealychina(1) Royalgrafton China(2), Nippon Handpd(1) Setof 4 Cups+saucersNippon Imperial Glass Dish With Lid Hand PaintedHand Painted Vintage Nippon Sugar Bowl And Creamer Country Scene W BridgeVintage Te Oh Fine China Candy Dish Hand Painted Nippon Floral Cobalt Gold Trim