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”)

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]

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]

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]

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]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique Hand Painted Nippon Porcelain Hot Chocolate, Dessert, Tea Set, NrMagnificent, Nippon, Gilded, Hand Painted, Chocolate Pot, With "jewels" Nice!Vintage Art Deco Noritake Nippon Porcelain Gilded & Beaded Roses Flowers JugAntique Nippon Old Noritake Chocolate Pot Rose Flowers Gold Beading Blue MapleVintage Nippon Pancake Dish, Roses, Gilt, Fabulous!Beautiful Signed Nippon Rose Ewer Pitcher Coralene Moriage Jeweled, EnameledBeautiful Nippon Noritake Rose Decoration Vase Moriage Jeweled, EnameledRare Nippon Moriage 2 Scrolled Handled 4 Footed Cobalt Gold Gilt Roses Vase7 Pc Antique Hand Painted Dresser Vanity Set Limoges, Haviland, Nippon AustriaHand Painted Nippon Souvenir Bowl 1904 St. Louis World's Fair ?Scarce And Beautiful Nippon Cobalt Blue- "golden Forest" Scenic Powder Box.Antique Nippon Japan Hand Painted Tea Cup Gold Moriage 1891–1921 Blue Maple LeafNoritake Koi Fish Figure Nippon Bone China FigurineMorimura Bros Nippon Aqua Flying Swan W/moriage Trim~jewel Demitasse Cup/saucerGorgeous Vintage Nippon Porcelain Hand Painted Footed Covered Box ~ Gold Gilt Rare Purple With Electric Irr Carnival Northwood Nippon Bowl Full Of Color!!Antique Nippon Hand Painted Vase Gold Moriage & Beading Tall Vintage PorcelainsVintage Japan Lustreware Bird Condiment Set Salt/pepper/mustard Nippon/noritakeIncredible Footed Nippon Bowl, Hand Painted, Gold Moriage BeadingNippon China Set - All Items Pictured Mna3027 Local Pickup Or Send Your ShipperVintage Nippon Hand Painted Juicer Reamer Antique Nippon Dresser Set, Hand Painted14 1/2" Oval Platter Phoenix Bird Nippon Japan Flying Dragon Turkey Blue & WhiteVintage Handpainted Nippon Vase - 8 1/4 Inches Tall14" Oval Platter Phoenix Bird Nippon Japan Flying Dragon Turkey Blue & WhiteEarly Hand Painted Nippon VaseParts: Noritake/nippon 175/16034 Gold Encrusted Moriage Lacquered Sweet Meat SetAntique Hand Painted Nippon Round Cracker Dish A-12Vintage Nippon Morimura Bros "blue Bird" Platter Bowl Shape & Moriage Gold Trim10" Oval Platter Phoenix Bird Nippon Japan Flying Dragon Turkey Blue & WhitePretty Little Hand Painted "nippon" Footed BowlAntique Nippon Footed Cobalt Blue & Gold Scrolls Lided Sugar Bowl Vintage Noritake ~ Koi Fish ~ Bone China~ Nippon ~ As Is~ PairSet Of 6 Hand Painted Nippon Oval Open Salts W Pale Blue Rims, Violets & GoldNippon Japanese Square Fluted Bowl - Sunset Colors - SwanVintage Hand Painted Nippon Butter Pat Dishes White Gold FloralNippon Porcelain PotNippon Footed Creamer And Sugar Heavy Gold Moriage Maple Leaf MarkNippon, Hand Painted Celery Dish W/6 Salt Dishes Green M On The Back,usedNippon 7 Pc Round Serve Set Chip & Dip Set? Bird Decor Gold Trim Te-oh ChinaNippon Morimura - Hand Painted Ferner Or Bowl, Large, Early Green Stamp FootedVintage Noritake Celery Tray W/ 5 Salts Gold Relief With Pink Roses NipponNippon Bud VaseVtg Nippon Hand Painted Porcelain Roses Floral Gold Gilt Enamel Filigree PlateAntique? Vintage Nippon Marked Demitasse Tea Cup And Saucer Handpainted NiceVintage~cobalt Blue & White Porcelain Lidded Dresser/trinket Box~hand PaintedNoritake Nippon Toki Kaisha Plate Of Mt Fuji By SendaVintage Nippon Sugar Bowl W Lid Gold Trim Hand PaintedNippon Little Square Footed Nut Bowl, Circa 1912, Hand Painted, Gold Beading Antique Nippon Hand Painted Roses 6 Pcs Dessert Bowl & Fruit Berry Bowls JapanAntique Set Of 6 Cobalt Blue Small Cups & Saucers Antique Painted Ceramic Vase By Nippon With 2 Ceramic Flowers Japan 5"Royal Satsuma Nippon Dish With Handle Beautiful Extreme DetailVintage Nippon Demitasse Cup & Saucer Set Of (2)