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    

Nippon Teapot Maple Leaf Maker's Mark Ornate Floral 10" TallVintage 1920s Hand Painted Nippon Gilded Moriage Poppy Flower Porcelain VaseRare Nippon Porcelain White Woodlands 8 1/2" Moriage Handled VaseAntique Painted Nippon Biscuit Jar Black Americana Moriage Humidor Man Banjo Japanese Nippon Enamel Porcelain Serving Berry Set Bowl Magenta 10" Maple LeafNippon Dragonware Vintage Moriage Teapot Hand Painted 6.5" - M In Wreath MarkVery Rare C. 1900 Blown Out Nippon Porcelain Duck Plaque Signed 18" X 9"Large Pair Signed Nippon Morimura Moriage Hp Hand Painted Floral Gilt Vases Nippon Japan Hand Painted Porcelain 8 Pieces Dresser Vanity Set Very PrettyRare Antique Nippon Plate Hand Painted Shore Scene Green MarkAntique Nippon Cobalt Porcelain China Gilt Trim Lidded Bullion Cup W/ UnderplateHand-painted Nippon Plate, Heavily Jeweled, Saint Bernard Portrait!Nippon Dragonware Vase 4 1/2 Inches Tall M In Wreath Maker's MarkRare Antique Nippon Blown Out Charger Two Yaks Morimura Brothers M Mark C.1889Nippon Teapot Set Ornate Floral 10" Tall With 2 Cups And SaucersNippon Hand Painted Large Yellow Roses Casserole Bowl Ornate Handles 1911Nippon Hand Painted Roses Gold Beaded Cobalt Blue Moriage Art Nouveau Bowl 1900sBright Noritake Nippon Toki Kaisha Artist Signed Hand Painted VaseJapan Late 1800’s Meiji Export Moriage Nippon Satsuma Ware Amphora Vase Nr YqzAntique Japanese Nippon Moriage Double Handled Footed Gold & Pink VaseRoyal Kinran Nippon 9" Chocolate Pot - Pitcher Late 1800'sNippon Gold & Floral Ornate Decorative Vase 8" MintNoritake 'nippon Toki Kaisha' Drummer On Taiko Drum Bone China Figurine, JapanAntique Nippon Japan Cobalt Blue Hp Gold Floral Bouillon Cream Soup Cup & SaucerRoyal Moriye Nippon Porcelain Vase Japan, 1891-1921 Antique Nippon Moriage Cream And Sugar With Maple Leaf MarkNippon Dragonware Vintage Moriage Teapot Hand Painted 6.5" - Rising Sun Mark Noritake Orange Lustre Vase Art Deco Lady Geometric Patterned Dress Nippon Vintage Nippon Hand Painted 5 Piece Tea SetAntique Nippon Rose Design 8 Corners BowlLovely Antique Vtg Nippon Hand-painted Deer & Lake Sunset Creamer Sugar MoriageSet 6 Nippon 6" Dessert Plates Hand Painted Flowers Pink Blue Purple Gold TrimNoritake Nippon Bone China Toki Kaisha Japan Rooster FigurineVintage Nippon Hand Painted Covered Dish Jewelry Holder Powder/trinket Box Vintage Hand Painted Nippon Purple Violets Mayo Condiment Bowl Plate Ladle SpoonVintage Art Deco Nippon Pair Footed Lusterware Vases 1920's XlntRoyal Nippon Cup & SaucerHand Painted Nippon 9 1/4" Flower VaseNippon Moriage Hand Painted Tea Pot 4 Cups With Saucers Pink Rose With 14k Gold Gorgeous Nippon Hand Painted Nuts & Leaves BowlVintage Nippon Hand Painted Celery Dish With 9 Open Salts Pink RosesNippon Hand Painted Double Handled Ceramic Vase With RosesVintage Nippon Lady Head Vase W/earrings And Necklace8 Vintage Nippon Porcelain Hand Painted Butter Pats Open Salts ~Vintage Nippon Japanese "geisha" Hand Painted Flow Blue & Gold PitcherAdorable Teen Nippon 7" Head Vase / Planter W/ Faux Pearl Earrings & NecklaceAntique Hand Painted Nippon Condiment Bowl And Saucer Amazing Cond Maple Leaf MkAntique Nippon Beaded Moriage Hand Painted Plate Pink Roses Japanese Porcelain Nippon Royal Sometuke Serving Bowl With Handles Blue/white Oriental Scene #1562Art Nouveau Majolica Style Handled Nippon BowlRed Nippon Plate - Lots Of Gold And RosesNippon Hand Painted Cups And Plates Antique Noritake Porcelain China Tea Pot "nippon Toki Kaisha" 1947-49Lovely Vintage Blonde 6" Nippon Lady Head Vase / Planter With Pearl Earrings.Vintage Nippon Handpainted Creamer & Sm.bowl-boats & Windmill(paint Error)Nippon Cream Pitcher With LidVintage Hand Painted Nippon Orange Flower Gold Detailed 7 ¾” Bowl Dish PrettyNikko Blue Peony Japan Sm Compote Footed Excellent Condition ! Free Shipping!Nippon Footed Candy Dish Hand PaintedDragonware Vase 5 1/2 Inches Tall Rising Sun Maker's Mark