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    

C-005 Antique Hand Painted Nippon Enameled Moriage Vase / Gold Gilt Rose MotifMoriage Antique Portrait & Roses Vase Hand Painted Nippon W/gold OverlayStunning Nippon Porcelain Hand Painted Vase ~ Moriage ~ Beading ~ Gold GiltAntique Wall Pocket Nippon Toki Kasha Vtg 1924 Noritake Lusterware Parrots JapanNippon Lavishly Gilded Rose Cabinet Plate Circa 1911Nippon Hand Painted Bolted Vase Or Urn With Rose Decoration And Raised GoldC-004 Antique Hand Painted Nippon Pillow Vase, Gold Gilt Floral Motif Circa 1910Nippon Japanese Porcelain Vase No ReserveNippon Rose Tapestry Scenic Tobacco Base No ResMagnificent Hand Painted Nippon Gold Encrusted Beaded Cobalt Blue Chocolate PotC-006 Antique Hand Painted Nippon Medallion Bowl / Gold Gilt Rose MotifNippon Old Noritake ~ Cobalt And Gold Vase W/ Swans Medallion & Fancy HandlesVintage Noritake Nippon Toki Porcelain Koi Gold Fish FigurineHandpainted Nippon Porcelain Vase W/ Aster Flowers Ribbon Handles Gold Accents Outstanding 8.25" Nippon Heavy Gold VaseTwo Antique Cobalt, Gold Tallest Early Nippon Open Handle Vases, 17" & 17 1/2"Vintage Hand Painted Nippon Chocolate Tea Set Green Pink Flowers Gold Gilt 7pcs.Antique Nippon Moriage Porcelain Pitcher Decanter Ewer Handpainted Iris 7.5"hExcellent Very Clean Nippon Chocolate PotAntique Nippon Porcelain Hand Painted Jardiniere Chrysanthemum Motif3 Piece Set Hand Painted Nippon Morimura Moriage "m" In A Green WreathNippon Hand Painted 2 Piece Food/pancake Warmer, Ivory & White With Gold Trim. 4 Pc Vintage Handpainted Nippon Dresser Set - Tray; Hat Pin Holder; Lidded JarsBeautiful Vintage Japan Hand Decorated Moriage Owl Creamer, Circa 1890's/1900'sHand Painted Antique Nippon Porcelain Moriage Floral Biscuit Cracker Jar & TrayMonumental Antique Nippon Porcelain VaseNippon Ceramic Vase JapanSuperb Gold Encrusted Nippon Purple Violets Tureen Covered BowlFooted Nippon Bowl, Hunting Scene, Moriage Trim, Old Maple LeafNippon Decorative Handled Pitcher/vaseAntique Hand Painted Nippon Covered Butter Dish. Green Wreath M W/ Centered StemNippon Noritake Vase Hp Roses Scene Gold Moriage Accents Ram Head HandlesBeautiful Vintage Nippon Hand Painted Moriage Pink /gold Vase Nippon Japanese Moriage Porcelain 2 Handled Large Loving CupNippon Gold Moriage Satsuma Jelly Or Mustard Jar & Gold Spoon Gorgeous! SignedVtg Hand Painted Nippon Soap Dish/toothbush Holder And Matching Jar1911nippon Hand Painted Gold Trim 3 Pc Set Footed Dish, Saucer, Mayonnaise LadleFlying Turkey & Phoenix Bird Nippon China Teapot With StrainerStunning Twin Handled Octaggonal Arabesque Noritake Centre Piece NipponBeautiful Pair Hand Painted & Gilded Mirrored Twin Handle Noritake Vases NipponBrass Cloisonne Lidded Jar On Wooden StandAntique Royal Nippon Hand Painted With Nautical Scene Vase - 10" TallVintage Hand Painted Nippon Japan Scenic Tray Boat Beaded Rim Small Mark 47Nippon Noritake Cup And Saucer Japan Hand Painted Enamel Flowers VintageHand Painted Yellow White Flowers Tea Cup Saucer Hand Painted Nippon Vase Flowers Pink/greens/golds/brown Neck MotiageVintage Royal Nippon Nishiki Lotus Flower Japanese Vase Stunning 9.5"Vintage Large Nippon Porcelain Hand Painted Pancake Warmer Serving DishOrnate Vintage Nippon Handled Porcelain Sugar ShakerNippon Antique Hand Painted Porcelain Bottle Jar & Lid Pansy Exc 5" PerfumeRare Antique Nippon Pitcher Aqua Blue Hand Painted Pink White Roses 24k GoldAntique Porcelain Nippon Vase Deep Cobalt Blue Glazing Short & StoutNippon Hand Painted Blue Bird Ladle 4-3/4" Exquisite Handpainted Nippon Butterfly Design Dish W/handlesFour Porcelain Noritake M Nippon Derby Floral With Blue Rim Gold Trim Demitasse Vintage Nippon Dresser SetBeautiful Noritake Nippon "the Ceylon" 9 Tea Cups & 9 Saucers Nippon VaseVintage Lustre Floral Victorian Couple Tea Cup And Saucer Set JapanNippon Hand Painted Vase 2 Handles Pink Roses Blue & Black Trim