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    

Antique Japanese Nippon Hand Painted, Moriage Accented Porcelain Vase & Ewer, NrC1920 Japanese Nippon Morimura Porcelain Hand Painted Vase W/ Thistle Flowers NrAntique Japanese Nippon Hand Painted Scenic Porcelain Vase, Moriage Accents, NrAntique Japanese Nippon Hand Painted, Floral & Moriage Accented Porcelain VaseAntique Hand Painted Moriage Japanese Nippon Porcelain Ewer, Creamer & Bud VaseAntique Arts Crafts Mission Deco Signed Nippon Porcelain Tobacco Humidor Jar BoxAntique Marked Nippon 8 1/2" Double Handled Ring Vase, Flower DecorNoritake Nippon Vase, Lake At Sunset, 1910-11Nippon Moriage Basket Shaped Vase Maple Leaf Mark - Meiji C.1890'sAntique Vtg Nippon Hand Painted Porcelain Moriage Rose Roses Floral Vase Old8 Noritake Nippon Cobalt And Gold Plates 1910-11Gorgeous Coralene Nippon Vase 9 1/2" Nippon (leaf Mark) Two Handled VaseAntique Nippon Coralene Vase From The Meiji Period Vintage Gorgeous Nippon Handpainted Floral 7 Well Oyster PlateAntique Hand Painted Nippon Floral Scalloped Gold Moriage Bowl 3 Footed - NorsvVintage Nippon (?) Moriage And Flowered Cartouche Demitasse Cup And SaucerNippon Scenic Double Handles Biscuit / Cracker JarVintage Cobalt 5" Covered Individual Teapot ~ Delicate Flowers & Gold NipponAntique Nippon Hand Painted ** Elk Hunt ** Dogs Blown-out Humidor, Tobacco JarRare Nippon Moriage Monk Grapes Wine Beer Mug Tankard Mint Condition M In WreathBeaded Hand Painted Nippon Wowser!!Nippon Moriage Vase Green Wreath Mark Art Deco Nouveau Stylized Roses JapanVintage Hand Painted Nippon Royal Moriye Moriage Double Handled Vase As-isNippon Vase--very OrnateVintage Hand Painted Nippon Bowl - Roses & Gold GiltEarly Footed Hand Painted Porcelain Biscuit / Cracker JarWow! Blinged Out Nippon? Bowl Handpainted Florals Gold Embossed MintVintage Morimura - Hand Painted - Nippon Gold Stippled Vase Antique Hand Painted Nippon Humidor W/ Touring CarAntique Npsk Nippon Porcelain Cobalt Blue And Gilded Coffee Suite Ca.1890Vintage Un-marked Nippon Two Handles Vase Floral Raised Gold Beading Antique Nippon Biscuit/tobacco/cracker Jar, Pink,yellow, Raised Gold Trim,Nippon Style Hand Painted Two Piece Tea Strainer Pink Flowers Gold Trim VintageAntique Hand Painted Nippon (old Noritake) Moriage Monk Mug Vintage Nippon Hand Painted Porcelain Tea Strainer And Rest Pre 1922Nippon Single Candle StickAntique 14" Nippon Hand Painted Porcelain Roses Bowl Tray #52 Mark Ca.1900Nippon Stick Pin Holder And Stickpins, Pearls! Antique Hand Painted Roses,gold Trim Tea,coffee,cocoa Pot JapanVintage Moriage Nippon 3-d Dragon Design Teardrop Wall PocketVintage Nippon Hand Painted Bone China 6" Round Trivet-white & Ivory & Gold TrimHand Painted Gold Beaded Royal Crockery Nippon 3 Leg Pedestal BowlVintage Nippon 6" Footed Bowl Candy Dish Hand Painted Flowers Gilded 24k BeadedVintage Japan Hand Painted Nippon Fine Porcelain Gold Trim Trinket BoxVtg Porcelain Nippon Berry Bowl 4 Dishes Hand Painted Red Carnations Gilt GoldRoyal Nippon Hand Painted Vase Nishiki Pink Purple Green Gold Flowers 12.5"Antique/vintage Hand Painted Square Double Handle Nippon VaseNippon Handpainted Red And Gold Pedestal Cup And Saucer Antique Nippon Berry BowlsAntique Nippon Porcelain Squat Vase Daisy Cosmos 1900Nippon Vase, Black With Daisey's Gold Handle 6" TallVintage Nippon Floral Gold Gilded Tea Set & 6 Cups & SaucersHand Painted Nippon Jardinière Or Biscuit JarVintage Hand Painted Floral Nippon Footed Berry Bowl W/ Under Plate Antique Old Hand Painted M Wreath Morimura Nippon Egyptian Landscape Pyramids Noritake Nippon Creamer And Sugar C.1912-no Reserve AuctionGorgeous Nippon Bowl - Roses, Gilding, 6 Nippon Hand Painted Cake Dessert Bread Plates Raised Gold Design Green MarkHand Painted Nippon Hat Pin Holder