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 Bud Vase With Buttress Handles & Pretty Lady No ResWonderful Handpainted Unsigned Nippon Tri-footed And Handled Vase, MoriageHand Painted Nippon Maple Leaf Mark Chocolate Set Circa 1890sVintage Nippon Hand Painted Floral Vase 7.25" Tall Hr179Unusual Nippon Pattern ---dark Woodland-- Stylized Trees,cottages And Heraldry~ Antique ~ Nippon~ Whiskey Jug ~hand Painted Hillside Code Of Arms - Rare Vintage Noritake Japan Handpainted Nippon Floral Vase With GiltRare Antique Early Nippon Noritake Moriage Enamel Three Handle Loving Cup VaseRare Nippon Heavy Moriage Circular Handled Moon Basket With Mirror Motif Gorgeous Vintage Nippon Japan Bright Blue Floral Gilded Double Handle Vase YqzNippon 13 Pc Coffee Set - Pink Blue Yellow Gold - Coffee Pot, 6 Cups, 6 SaucersAntique Early Beautiful Signed Nippon Morriage Art Nouveau Vase Hand Painted Nippon Floral Bead 5 1/2" Two Handled Vase Stunning!! No ReserveVintage Nippon Hand Painted Floral Vase 6.5" Tall Hr180Floral & Gold Vintage Hand Painted Nippon Salt Dish, Lid And ScoopNippon (old Noritake) Scenic Chocolate Set, Pot, Six Cups And Four SaucersNippon Hand Painted Cup & Saucer Moriage Heavy Gold Stunning Design Gorgeous Antique Nippon Ewer, Gold Moriage, Hand Painted Pink RosesNoritake 175 16034 Chocolate Pot With Lid Old Hand Painted Nippon Mark6 Antique Nippon Noritake Morimura Hp Demitasse Cups & Saucers Hexagonal Bird&flNippon Porcaline Covered Box .Nippon (old Noritake) Gorgeous Gold PlateNippon Vase ~ Small, Gold, Round, With Roses ~ 5" Tall ~ Royal Kinran MarkVintage/antique Nippon Handpainted Beaded 7 - Piece Vanity/dresser SetVintage Nippon Hand Painted Gold On White Porcelain 10" Diameter Scalloped BowlNippon Biscuit Cracker JarNippon (old Noritake) Beautiful Sauce BowlNippon (old Noritake) Hand Painted Floral PlateVintage Nippon Royal Crockery 10 Piece Demitasse SetAntique Original Nippon Powder Jar Hand Painted Flowers W Gold Raised BeadingAntique (circa 1912) Florian Bassett By Noritake Nippon 10 Inch Dinner Plate GucNippon China Small Tray Decorated Bird & Flowered Branch Marked NipponVintage Hand Painted Nippon 11" Plate - Sheep In Pasture By Lake W/ Gold TrimGorgeous C. 1900 Nippon Woodland 3 Footed BowlRare Noritake Coburg Nippon Bullion Cup And Saucer 5 SetsAntique Nippon Cream Pitcher And Sugar Bowl, Beautiful Sunset SwansNippon Hand Painted Porcelain Covered CreamerAntique Unique Nippon Handpainted Snack Plate & Tea Cup Flower Pattern Gold TrimRare Nippon Porcelain Moriage Gilded Scenic Ovoid Vase With Handles & 4 Paw FeetAntique Nippon Green "m" Floral Rams Handle Hand Painted VaseVintage Nippon Te-oh China Hand-painted 5 Pieces Set Pink Rose Gold GiltSet 7 Vtg Marked Nippon Open Salt Cellar Dips Footed Hand Painted Nippon (old Noritake) Hand Painted Scenic BowlNippon (old Noritake) Gold, Floral, And Birds PlateNippon (old Noritake) Hand Painted Plum Tree, Swan Cup And SaucerHand Painted Nippon Wildflower Small Trinket Box