Porcelain

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Interesting information about porcelaine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    


19thC Qing Chinese Monochrome Yellow  Baluster Bud Vase

Chinese porcelain was a discovery through the many years of development and manufacture of the pot making techniques specific to China.  Three conditions made it possible for the emergence of porcelain:

These three conditions developed in the Yuyao region of Zhejiang towards the end of Eastern Han Dynasty from A.D.113 to 175. Wood-ash glaze could be coated on the body at high-temperature, making the pot look bluish green or yellowish green. This initial porcelain colour was a high-temperature glazed celadon ware. Called "Yuezhou Celadon", this was the colour that identified Chinese porcelain.

Chai (yao) Kiln

One of the well known ancient kilns, Chaiyao Kiln was known as the royal kiln for Emperor Zhou Shizong, Later Zhou of Five Dynasties, whose family name was Chai after which the kiln was named.  Despite searching, the sites of Chaiyao Kiln remain undiscovered, but are thought to be around Zhenngzhou, Henan Province.

According to historical records, this special porcelain ware produced by the Chaiyao Kiln and,  "featured smooth, delicate outlook with fine cracks on sky blue glaze; most of the products were with foot showing the color of coarse yellow earth."

An important book written in Ming Dynasty called Sacrificial Ding & Li in Xuande Reign,  put Chaiyao ware as the top quality porcelain all collections in the imperial court collections.  It is said that very few Chaiyao products still exist in the world, and thus there is a common saying that, "It takes ten thousand pieces of gold to have a piece of Chaiyao ware." However the following article also sheds a different light on the meaning if this phrase. However, it is indeed impossible to authenticate a Chaiyao ware because no sites of the kiln have been so far discovered or excavated. A stoneware pillow in the Sir Percival David Collection bears an incised poem by the emperor Ch'ien Lung calling it Chai ware, but it is virtually indistinguishable from ChÄn.

An 18th c. commentator wrote that its colour was 'blue as heaven after rain seen through a rift in the clouds'. Indeed it was known as Celeste Glaze which also means heaven.

 

UNESCO: Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity - 2009
UTube video on how Longquan Celadon Pottery is made

URL: http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/RL/00205
Description: The city of Longquan in the coastal Chinese province of Zhejian is known for its celadon pottery and the traditional firing technology that imparts its distinctive glaze. Compounded from violet-golden clay and a mixture of burnt feldspar, limestone, quartz and plant ash, the glaze is prepared from recipes that have often been handed down for generations by teachers or within families. The glaze is applied to a fired stoneware vessel, which is then fired again in a repeated cycle of six stages of heating and cooling where precise temperatures matter a great deal: either over- or under-firing will spoil the effect. Experienced celadon artists carefully control each stage with a thermometer and by observing the colour of the flame, which reaches temperatures as high as 1310º C. The final product may take either of two styles: elder brother celadon has a black finish with a crackle effect, while the younger brother variety has a thick, lavender-grey and plum-green finish. With its underlying jade-like green colour, celadon fired by the family-oriented businesses of Longquan is prized as masterwork-quality art that can also serve as household ware. It is a proud symbol of the cultural heritage of the craftspeople, their city and the nation.
Country(ies): China
© 2008 by Longquan Celadon Industry Association

This is a Vase made in Longquan . It is 9 inches high and has the Longquan Pottery Mark -Code JZ


 
MNH stamps set "Porcelain Pottery" from PRC. 1998

Longquan celadon (龍泉青磁) refers to Chinese celadon produced in Longquan (龍泉) kilns which were largely located in Lishui prefecture in southwestern Zhejiang Province. With those in other prefectures the total of discovered kiln sites is over two hundred, making the Longquan celadon production area one of the largest historical ceramic centers in all of China.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/82/Song_Dynasty_Celadon_Vase.jpg/150px-Song_Dynasty_Celadon_Vase.jpg

A Longquan Ware Celadon Vase, Song Dynasty, 13th Century, from the Nantoyōsō Collection, Japan

Celadon production had a long history at Longquan and related sites, but it was not until the Five Dynasties (五代 907–960) and Northern Song (北宋 960–1127) period that production of scale truly began. Five Dynasty wares displayed a variety of shapes and carved finishes with the characteristic "Yuezhou" (岳州) glaze. In the Northern Song period the Dayao (大窯) kiln site alone produced wares at twenty-three separate kilns. The era of greatest ceramic production was not until the Southern Song 南宋 (1127–1279), Yuan ( 1271–1368) and Ming ( 1368–1644) periods.

Longquan celadons thus were an important part of China's export economy for over five-hundred years. From the twentieth century native and foreign enthusiasts and scholars have flocked to the kiln sites. Among modern Chinese scholars themselves, the main kiln sites were first systematically investigated by Chen Wanli in 1927 and 1934. According to local gazetteer entries two celebrated ceramicists and brothers, Zhang Shengyi (章生一) and Zhang Shenger (章生二), worked at the main Dayao kilns The Longquan Prefecture Gazetteer (龍泉省志) noted that their celadon reached jade-like perfection. Thus began the Ming period tradition of dividing the best Longquan wares into Elder Brother and Younger Brother categories. Elder Brother ware was thought to be the Geyao (哥窯) crackle glaze ware treasured by collectors throughout history. Recently this confusion has begun to resolve itself with excavations of the Hangzhou (杭州) official ware kilns and others.

Southern Song celadons display the greatest variety of shape and glaze color. Japanese tea masters and collectors have treasured examples with a decidedly bluish glaze which they have termed "kinutaseiji" (砧青磁). Chinese collectors have perhaps enjoyed a greater variety of Longquan ware and devised a special vocabulary to describe them such as meizi ching or "plum green" celadon. After the Southern Song period Longquan celadon experienced an expansion of production with a lessening of quality. However even the stoutly potted celadons of the Ming period have had their imitators at Jingdezhen (景徳鎮) and in Japan. Scholarly appreciation of Longquan celadon experienced great progress with the discovery of a sunken trade vessel in Sinan County off the Korean coast in 1976. It was discovered that finely finished Southern Song style celadon was manufactured well into the Mongol or Yuan period.[1]

Longquan ware, Wade-Giles romanization Lung-ch’üan, celadon stoneware produced in kilns in the town of Longquan (province of Zhejiang), China, from the Song to the mid-Qing dynasties (roughly from the 11th to the 18th century).

Early Longquan celadons had a transparent green glaze that was superb in quality, thick, and viscous, usually with a well-marked network of fine cracks. The most frequent surviving examples are large dishes, for which there was a thriving export trade; this popularity was in part because of the superstition that a celadon dish would break or change colour if poisoned food were put into it. Bowls and large vases were also sometimes made with this glaze. Decoration of Longquan ware was usually incised but could also be molded. The heavier varieties were intended to withstand the rigours of transport to overseas markets. The finer surviving wares are the rarest and often the oldest.

 

 


This was translated by Hans Qin a close friend of my own friend Shu Zheng Xu in Nanjing.. It refers to the type and style of porcelain described above. I thought it was very beautifully written and wished to share this with you.

A Single Piece Worth a Thousand of Pieces of Gold

Published by 'China Relics Gazette'
Written by Li Longjiang

"No other porcelain will interest you any more after you
have appreciated the Chai Kiln porcelain; a single piece
of Chai Kiln porcelain is worth  a thousand pieces of gold. "
Only after you have looked at  Chai Kiln porcelain can you
comprehend that  "worth a thousand pieces of gold " in this
old saying, handed down over one thousand years, literally
means it contains a thousand pieces of gold.

The lotus-leaf-shaped bowl which I got hold of many years
ago is jet-black and shiny with glaze. It gives out the blue light .
Slightly change its angle and you will see it changes to
grape-purple and tens of  thousands of golden rays from the
tens of  thousands of  gold pieces in the porcelain are blinding.
It can only be appreciated under soft light. The camera can hardly
capture its true feature. The brim is lined with pieces of gold and
the glaze has peeled off. Your first sight of it will always remain in
your memory. Many of my friends exclaimed "Chai Kiln porcelain
is extraordinarily beautiful."

The porcelain glazed with many pieces of gold could only be used
by the royal family. That's why it's seldom seen. Even if it's seen,
the kiln workers had no way to find so much gold to imitate it. It's very
natural that the art was lost.

It was rumoured that Chai Kiln porcelain was made during the time
of Chai Shizong, Emperor of  Later Zhou of Five Dynasties(954 -
959) and because  his surname was Chai and he ordered the
porcelain to be made, the porcelain was named Chai Kiln porcelain. 
Actually we should understand a simple fact that many emperors in
Chinese history loved porcelain, but none of them named  a kiln with
his own  noble surname. The name of the kiln was only named after
the owner of the kiln or the name of the place.

The Chai Kiln porcelain boasts many colours. More than ten years
ago I saw a porcelain bottle at a collector friend's home which was
glazed brown, gave out the  blue light  and turned  purplish red,
the pieces of gold in the glaze formed tens of thousands of plum
blossoms and sent forth tens of thousands of golden rays,  which
is incredibly beautiful.


Japanese Porcelain and porcelain marks

The old Japanese ceramic industry was in many ways smaller in scale compared to the Chinese. Marks was also applied for different reasons that on the Chinese porcelain. Personal signatures by the artists involved are quite common. We also find a different attitude towards what marks that are put on the Japanese porcelain and in particular the export porcelain from the 19th century and onwards. The entire range of Imperial reign marks so common on Chinese porcelain, genuine or not, is mostly lacking. The marks are more commercially oriented, more numerous and can vary even within a set of pieces. They can indicate the name of the factory, the potter, the decorator, the pattern, the customer, the exporter, the importer or both or a part of them or maybe just say "Made in Japan", "Japan", "Nippon", "Happiness" or "Good luck" in any number of ways. Increasing the confusion are the hundreds of porcelain decorating firms active in the early to mid 20th century simultaneously putting many different marks on the same wares seemingly at random but probably for some reason. To take just one example, the Noritake company which has been active for about one hundred years only, are thought to have used over 400 different marks.

To immediately gain a better understanding on the many names that occurs in Japanese pottery and porcelain, I believe the map available here that indicates the most common kiln areas (blue names) and cities (names in red) will be helpful.

Regarding dates, the following Japanese historical period names are the ones most commonly met with:

The marks are normally read from top to bottom, and right to left. Signatures are usually followed by a suffix, for example Sei, tsukuru or saku all meaning "made", or Ga, Dzu or Fude meaning "painted" or "drawn". Then there are place names, Satsuma, Kutani, Seto etc. To read these requires references such as a good Japanese/English dictionary such as Nelsons. One simple and easy guide to reading & writing Japanese is Ed Florence Sakade & al. J Bowes, Japanese Marks & Seals is very helpful as is Koop & Inada, Japanese Names. It is a very unrewarding task to go through lists of marks and signatures as the below in the hope of finding the exact one to match yours, however a modest amount of study can produce a big difference. Beware though, it can become an obsession

Satsuma porcelains - mainly produced in and around the city of Kagoshima in Kyushu. Wares of this type are finished in ivory lustre with fine crackles. They have a picture of a number of artisans sitting at the traditional low Japanese tables hand painting vases.

Arita procelains - produced in the Saga prefecture of Kyushu.

Kutani porcelains - produced in the prefecture of Ishikawa in the Hokuiku district of Honshu, the Japanese main island. On the whole Kutani porcelains are characterized by their elaborate picture decorations in thick gold, red, blue and some other colours.

Kyoto wares

Seto ware. "The province of Owari, with Nagoya as its commercial and industrial metropolis, is the greatest ceramic center [of Japan] so far as the amount of products ... Owari produces so many varieties of porcelain and stoneware that the Japanese familiarly speak of porcelain and pottery in general as "setomono" after the village of the same name in this province."

Bizen ware (Okayama Preferecture) characterized by their peculiarly humorous figures of gods, birds and beasts

Banko wares (Mie Prefecture) which are mostly unglazed

Awaji wares (Awaji island) monochromatic with a bright yellow or green glaze

Soma pottery (Fukushima Prefecture) on which a picture of a horse is usually seen.

Aoki, unknown meaning possible a family name. Porcelain made at Arita kiln
1193. Mark: Mark: Aoki, unknown meaning possible a family name. Porcelain made at Arita kiln. Bowl. Diameter 12", height 5".

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948. Mark: Aoki, unknown meaning possible a family name. Porcelain made at Arita kiln. Tentative date c. 1950.
1058. Mark: Aoki, unknown meaning possible a family name. Porcelain made at Arita kiln. Plate with one firing support mark.

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Porcelain was produced in Arita for the first time in 1616 under the control by the feudal lord of Nabeshima, or the present Saga Prefecture. Arita ware is also called Imari ware because the products of the Arita kiln were mainly shipped from a nearby port of Imari. Arita porcelains of the early days were typically made in the Chinese style of the period, with deep-blue patterns on a white background, called sometsuke = "blue-and-white". In the 1640s, a new style called aka-e" was invented, characterized by bright colors and bold patterns principally in red. These two styles, "sometsuke" and "aka-e," dominate Japanese "Arita/Imari" wares. The products of the 17th and 18th centuries are typically called "Ko-imari" (old Imari) and "Ko-sometsuke" (old blue-and-white).
1386. Jar, blue and white decoration. Mark: Arita

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912. Mark: Saishintei Keiko (Woman's name), however J Bowes in Japanese marks & seals reproduces the same mark which he gives as 'Saishintei Sisi' (male name). Japanese porcelain, probably Arita. Early 20th century.

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500. Mark: Kozen? Arita Yamaki zo

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129. Seal reading Arita-yaki - , the left being a single character, early to mid 20th century.
743. "Arita" Modern mark, Late 20th century.

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Arita - Zoshuntei Sanpo Zo
This is a very early company name or trademark and was in use between 1840 to 1870. Zoshuntei Sanpo means "Zoshun (shop) Sanpo Made (made by Sanpo). The owner was Tsunemasa Yojiro Hisatomi who as one of the first potters in the Arita region in 1841 was granted an export permit by the Lord of the Arita province (Arita Han). This was also the first time it was allowed to put a signature on pieces exported from Arita, other than Fuku (Happiness) or various copies of Chinese reign marks.
795. Mark: "Zoshuntei Sanpo Zu "Zoshun (shop) Sanpo Made (made by Sanpo). Good quality, mid 19th century, Japanese export ware with Imari style decoration. Mid 19th century.

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872. Mark: "Zoshuntei Sanpo Zu "Zoshun (shop) Sanpo Made (made by Sanpo). Good quality, mid 19th century, Japanese export ware with Imari style decoration. Mid 19th century.
1396. Tea cup and dish with underglaze blue and white decoration in imitation of Chinese Kangxi period (1662-1722) porcelain. Mark: "Zoshuntei Sanpo Zu "Zoshun (shop) Sanpo Made (made by Sanpo). Good quality, mid 19th century, Japanese export ware. Mid 19th century.

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Arita - Fuki Choshun
Fuki Choshun written in Kanji characters, meaning Wealth, Nobility, Longevity and Youth, also translated as 'Good fortune and long life'. Common on Arita porcelain during the Edo period (1603-1867).
880. Arita porcelain food (rice) bowl with Japanese 'Imari' decoration. Mark: Fuki Choshun. Early 19th century.

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883. Japanese porcelain with Nabeshima looking enamel decoration. Mark: Fuki Choshun. Date: this dish probably Meiji (1868-1912) period.

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884. Japanese porcelain with Japanese 'Imari' decoration. Mark: Fuki Choshun. Date: this dish probably Meiji (1868-1912) period.

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903. Japanese porcelain with Japanese 'Imari' decoration. Mark: Fuki Choshun. Date: this dish probably Meiji (1868-1912) period.

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Arita - Fuku
Fu ku, common on Arita porcelain during the Edo period (1603-1867).
584. Fuku - "Happiness". Arita, Imari porcelain. Meiji period, around 1880 - 1900.
Dai Nippon (Great Japan) hand drawn marks (Meji period 1868-1912)
It is generally accepted that marks that includes "Dai Nippon" in Japanese characters on the whole date to the Meiji (1868-1912) period, reflecting the greatly increased nationalism of that period. However, in stamped versions it also occurred on mass produced export wares well into the 1930s.
1039. Mark reads Dai Nippon Shimada Zo, and looks typical of those on 'Satsuma' but is in 'Kutani' style probably decorated in Yokohama. As for a date, in spite of the "Dai Nippon" mark that would indicate Meiji (1868-1912), this could be later though and the mark just carried over from Meiji to Taisho (1912-26). The porcelain is thus likely to be from the first decades of the 20h century.

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701. Might read Dai Nippon Zao - "Great Japan Made". If so the "pon" character is very simplified in this particular case. It is generally accepted that marks that includes "Dai Nippon" in Japanese characters on the whole date to the Meiji (1868-1912) period, reflecting the greatly increased nationalism of that period. Possibly Kutani, 1900-1920.

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Dai Nippon (Great Japan) Printed marks (1920-40)
It is generally accepted that marks that includes "Dai Nippon" in Japanese characters on the whole date to the Meiji (1868-1912) period, reflecting the greatly increased nationalism of that period. However, in stamped versions it also occurred on mass produced export wares well into the 1930s. There are a number of examples of export wares where marks including the Japanese charcters for Dai Nippon are stamped or printed, that suggests that this marking did continued to be used in-between the wars. I belive that all signs so far points towards that printed marks occurred until trade difficulties during early WWII made export to the west difficult. Without any scientific foundation or literary source to refer to, I would still like to suggest that this kind of printed Dai Nippon marks in general belong to the period in-between the wars with a suggested end in the late 1930s/early 1940s
1218. Mark: Dai Nippon. Plate in Satsuma style but on porcelain, from around 1935. The decoration is of Kannon with a rakan on each side of her. This type of wares made heavy use of moriage or raised enamels. The mark on the back of the plate is a generic one meaning Dai Nippon or "Great Japan". These wares were mass produced for export during the Taisho (1913-1926) & early Showa (1926-1988) period.

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1230. Mark: Dai Nippon. Plate in Satsuma style but on porcelain, best guess, the 1920s. The decoration is of Kannon with two rakans on each side of her. Displayed above the figures is the cross in circle mon of the Shimazu family crest. This type of wares made heavy use of moriage or raised enamels. The mark on the back of the plate is a generic one meaning Dai Nippon or "Great Japan". These wares were mass produced for export during the Taisho (1913-1926) & early Showa (1926-1988) period.

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1359. Vase. Mark: Dai Nippon. Decoration in Satsuma style but on porcelain, best guess, early 1920s from its collection context. The decoration is of Kannon with two rakans, one on each side of her. Displayed above the figures is the cross in circle mon of the Shimazu family crest. This type of wares made heavy use of moriage or raised enamels. The mark on the back of the plate is a generic one meaning Dai Nippon or "Great Japan". These wares were mass produced for export during the Taisho (1913-1926) & early Showa (1926-1988) period.

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1245. Mark: "Dai Nichi Hon/Dai Nippon" (Great Japan), mid 20th century. This marks however printed gives an example of marks that includes "Dai Nippon" in Japanese characters occurs well after the Meiji (1868-1912) period.

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1382. Mark: "Dai Nichi Hon/Dai Nippon" (Great Japan), mid 20th century. This marks however printed gives an example of marks that includes "Dai Nippon" in Japanese characters occurs well after the Meiji (1868-1912) period. According to family traditions this set was aquired as a gift in the early 1940s.

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599. Mark: Dai Nippon Ji mei or ni mei, Tsukuru - "Great Japan ... Made". It is generally accepted that marks that includes "Dai Nippon" in Japanese characters on the whole date to the Meiji (1868-1912) period, reflecting the greatly increased nationalism of that period. Mark from tea set which was bought probably in Czechoslovakia between 1915 and 1935, made from a fine, almost translucent porcelain. Date: Early 20th century.

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694. Mark: Dai Nippon 'Choko sei' or 'Nagae sei' "S.N.", early 20th century.

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Ei
293. Mark: Ei, in Chinese: "Yong" (Eternity).

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Eiraku
The Eiraku lineage were important and historically significant potters in Kyoto from the 18th Century right through to the present day. In Chinese this mark would read same as the Ming emperor Yongle (1404-1424).
1246. Mark: ei and raku, Eiraku lineage of potters of Kyoto or the studio. Silver or gold work over a red enamel ground is quite typical for Meiji (1868-1912) period Eiraku pots. This bowl probably late Meiji or Taisho (1913-1926).

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1249. Mark: ei and raku, Eiraku lineage of potters of Kyoto or the studio. Silver or gold work over a red enamel ground is quite typical for Meiji (1868-1912) period Eiraku pots.

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Eisho
41. Mark: Eisho.

 

 

Satsuma Ware from Japan-click on map to see the major kiln areas

 The typical Satsuma ware we most of the time comes into contact with is a yellowish earthenware usullay decorated with a minute decoration with Japanese figures, expressive faces or detailed oriental landscapes, or sometimes embellished with vivid dragons in relief. This ware is in fact an export product specifically designed in the mid 19th century to cater to the western export market. The Japanese themselves had very little interest in this ware.

From around the 1890's to the early 1920's at least twenty and possibly more studios or factorys were producing "Satsuma" wares of which much were of low quality and destined for the European and American export markets. At the same time, artists studio's were producing wares of the finest quality.

Most of the marks below will detail this ware since there were many masterpieces created during its hayday and several studios have created eternal fame for their names with these magnificent wares. It is easily recognized by its finely crackled glaze and by the fact that its earthenware body does not "ring" when tapped. The production soon spread to several cities such as Kyoto, Tokyo, Nagoya, Yokohama and elsewhere throughout Japan, from the Meiji period (1868-1912) up until today.

Satsuma Han however has a much longer history than that. If you click the map icon to the right you will find this as the Satsuma area on the southern Kyushu island. The first historical kilns here were established by Korean potters in the late 16th century. These first wares were stonewares, covered with a thick dark glaze and are so rare that only museums might have a few to show.

The success of the Satsuma export decorative style inspired many followers, some of which have a stoneware body or a pure white porcelain, why I have choosen to collect any and all Satsuma looking wares, here.

The circle with a cross that often makes up a part of the marks, are the Shimazu mon or the family crest of the clan that ruled Satsuma Han however I doubt that any of the Shimazu clan ever owned a Satsuma export style ware piece. If that were to be the case, the crest would in that case need to be blue, since that was also the Shimazu clan colors.

Satsuma was produced in Kagoshima, Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, and Kanazawa by hundreds of known artists, in many styles and by literally thousands of unknown decorators. Meizan has pieces authenticated as being done in Kanazawa (Kutani). For most of the "Zan brothers" nothing is known, in spite of very good quality work and many good studio pieces are simply unmarked.

from: http://gotheborg.com/marks/satsuma.shtml where you will find more information on pottery, porcelain etc., from Japan and China


JAPAN - MADE IN JAPAN
Marks on export porcelain: In 1891 the McKinley Tariff Act was instated, requiring items imported into the United States to be marked in English with the country of origin. The name "Nippon" was chosen for items coming from Japan. (Nippon is the Japanese name for Japan.) In 1921, the official country of origin name requirement was changed to "Japan", thus creating a defined time period 1891-1921 in which wares were marked Nippon. Previous to 1891, items were either not marked at all, or marked with Japanese characters. During the period 1921-1941 porcelain should be marked "Japan" and roughly after 1941, marked "Made in Japan", though numerous exceptions appears to occurs.

Pieces marked with JAPAN or MADE IN JAPAN in plain text without any company marks, in general date to the period immediately after the second WW. Some come with the addition of OCCUPIED JAPAN.

Made in Japan 721. "Made in Japan". Date 1940s-50s

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Made in Japan 1344. Bowl in crackled earthenware. Mark: "Made in Japan". Date 1940s-50s

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Made in Japan 1343. Tumblers in crackled earthenware. Mark: 'jye' or 'HY' within 'Made in Japan'. Date 1940s-50s

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Made in Japan 1389. Teas set, brought back to the US in 1946. Mark: 'Made in Japan'. Date 1940s-50s

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725. "Made in Japan / Occupied". Date 1945-52.

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975. Mark: Symbol plus "Made in Japan". Date 1940s-50s

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986. Mark: "Made in Japan", Japanese lustreware figure, probly c 1950.
800. Unidentified mark on pottery planter, 1950's ?

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528.
59: The two red characters are: Bi jutsu = "beautiful artwork" which are probably a brand name or product line. Decoration in traditional "Imari" style. The three black vertical characters read IMARI. Modern, late 20th century.
608: The two red characters are: Bi jutsu = "beautiful artwork" which are probably a brand name or product line. Decoration in traditional "Imari" style. The three black vertical characters read IMARI. Modern, late 20th century.
679. Decoration in traditional Japanese "Imari" style. Modern, late 20th century.
482. Decoration in traditional Japanese "Imari" style. Modern, late 20th century.

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Juzan gama
937. Mark: Juzan gama

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Nippon
The word "Nippon" in western characters means "Japan" and occurs on most Japanese wares from around 1890 until the early 1920's. From 1891 imports to America were required to be marked with the country of origin, in western characters. Thus Japanese exports (to America) were marked with "Nippon" in english from this date to 1922, when the requirement was changed to that the word "Japan" should be used. These are the so-called "Nippon wares". However, the rule doesn't apply in other countries nor always in America becuase sometimes paper labels and the like was used. So while finding a back stamp saying "Nippon" is a useful dating aid its absence is not determinative. Regarding 'Nippon' marked porcelain, wares marked 'Japan' or 'Made in Japan' have not been as desirable as those marked 'Nippon'. Particularly in the US, Nippon marked pieces have always brought a large premium over those marked Japan or Made in Japan and certainly more than unmarked wares. This is true even for pieces of similar quality. In the 1960s, collector ranks swelled and demand for marked Nippon pieces vastly exceeded the supply. Thus arose the transfer (stencil) based fake Nippon mark applied by unscrupulous dealers to thousands of imported Japanese porcelain. This kind of marks can be identified by the mark being applied inside a glaze area looking a bit like a piece of scotch tape. The resulting flood of fakes became well known to dealers and the more knowledgeable collectors.The motive was money as it usually is and the confusion eventually dampened collector enthusiasm.

See also special page on: Noritake

1399. Oriental China Nippon. Mark dateable to the "Nippon" period 1890-1921, probaly 1910-20.

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283. "Rising sun" Nippon. This mark is probably related to Noritake. This mark however dateable to the "Nippon" period 1890-1921, probaly slightly later, maybe at least into the 1930s.
677. "Rising sun" Nippon. This mark is probably related to Noritake. This mark however dateable to the "Nippon" period 1890-1921, probaly slightly later, maybe at least into the 1930s.
6. "Rising sun" Nippon. This mark could be related to Noritake. Mark probably in use during 'Early Showa' where Showa was 1926-1988 and 'Early Showa' is often used to cover the Showa reign before 1945. Simiular printed marks occur on dated screen printed porcelains as late as 1958. The 2 characters below the "rising sun" are read together as "Nippon"=Japan.
14. "Rising sun" mark. Maybe a "war effort period" mark around 1935-40 due to its simplicity.
534. Mark: GR within Rising sun with the addition of "Made in Japan", suggesting a date to the latter part of the 1940s.
1190. Mark: Japanese characters within Rising sun with the addition of "Made in Japan", suggesting a date to the latter part of the 1940s.

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Nichi Hon (Nippon)
7. Mark: "Nippon", meaning: Japan.
12. Mark: "Nippon", meaning: Japan.
13. Mark: "Nippon", meaning: Japan.
42. Mark: "Nippon", meaning: Japan.
71. Mark: The 2 characters are read from right to left. They are the characters NICHI and HON which together read as Nippon (=Japan). Mid 20th century
24. The 2 characters above the Gothic "A" read from left to right, are NICHI and HON, which read together as Nippon (= Japan). A rough guess on a date would be late 19th century/early 20th century befor 1920's.
905. The 2 characters above the "A(L)" read from left to right, are NICHI and HON, which read together as Nippon (= Japan). A rough guess on a date would be early 20th century, before 1920's.

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740. Nippon "Japan". Mid 20th century, 1930's (before WWII).

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876. Nippon "Japan". Mid 20th century, 1930's (before WWII).

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9. Unconfirmed identity but looks like Mount Fuji and a stream. The 2 characters below the picture are read together as Nippon (= Japan). Mark similar to those of Fukagawa. It is possible that this and similar clear red stamped or printed marks actually belongs to the occupied Japan period (1945-52). The red dot following the Japanese character is unexplained.

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Pictures curtesy of Prof. Dr. Karl Heinz Glätzer, Germany

19. Unconfirmed identity but looks like Mount Fuji and a stream. The 2 characters below the picture are read together as Nippon (= Japan), similar to Fukagawa.
680. Japanese export ware. Unconfirmed identity but looks like Mount Fuji and a stream, similar to Fukagawa. Thought to date to the 1920's or slightly thereafter.

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246. Unconfirmed identity but looks like Mount Fuji and a stream, similar to Fukagawa.

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Souvenir - Japan 723. Mark: Mt. Fuji, a stream, and "Made in Japan", c 1930. Unconfirmed identity but could be Yokoi Sei-Ichi Shoten which closed in 1942. Mark similar to Fukagawa.

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1091. Dragonware tea set. Mark: Nichi Hon (Nippon). Tentative date, c. 1950.

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Okuyama
427. Mark: Okuyama.

Yago - Kutani with subcontracted decorations
After extensive discussions on the Gotheborg disussion board I will tentatively list "yago" marks under a separate heading. It has been put forth that the "^"-character or yago is a shorthand word meaning "house", "house name", "roof" or "under the roof of" indication a family workshop. Other sources sees the Yago as a symbol for Mount Fuji in Japan. The kanji character ya also makes up a part of the kanji character tani meaning valley, possibly refering to Ku-tani, mening Nine Valley.
894. Mark "Kawai", Made in Japan. "Rainbow colored decoration". Tentative date 1940-50's.
907. Mark: Kou, Company mark under Dai Nippon Tsukuru. It is generally accepted that marks that includes "Dai Nippon" in Japanese characters on the whole date to the Meiji (1868-1912) period, reflecting the greatly increased nationalism of that period. Date: Late 19th century

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1090. Mark: "Dai Nichi Hon" (Great Japan) over a sign meaning "roof/house" and the number "three", early 20th century. It is generally accepted that marks that includes "Dai Nippon" in Japanese characters on the whole date to the Meiji (1868-1912) period, reflecting the greatly increased nationalism of that period.

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Yamaguchi Sei (Arita)
1299. Izegara type dish, transfer printed decoration, impressed mark: Hizen no kuni, Arita Machi, Yamaguchi Sei. From Hizen (old term for that area) Arita Town, made by Yamaguchi. Early 20th century
Unidentified Seal Marks
1317. Plate. Mark: Bi Nou Nishi Ura, meaning "Beautiful Dark Western Seacoast/Bay". Contemporary, probably 1970s-1990s.

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921. Mark: Might be saying "Imari" in Chinese. Date: 20th century.

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634. Mark: In Chinese: Rong Hau Jin Zhi - "Rong Hau (name) Respectfully Made. Modern ware, probably 1990's.

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799. Japanese porcelain, Imari style decoration, printed mark. Date: modern c. 1990-2000.

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935. Late 20th century.
742. Mark: ? zan, Late 20th century.

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53. This mark is typical of "seal characters". It is difficult to identify them unless there is an example available to assist identification.
595.

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668. Unknown mark. Kyu getsu? Butterfields' guess "late 19th century", my guess, "mid 20th century or later"
1412. Japanese porcelain with 'Imari' decoration. Mark in underglaze blue. Date: Late Edo to Meiji (1868-1912) period.

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SUNDRY
The following marks are still to be sorted into groups. Help appreciated.
45. Mark imitating a laquer seal, with mythological animal
536. Unknown.
578. Tea or coffee set. According to family history this should be before 1914 and possibly as early as 1890's.
Kutani - Kaga No Kuni. Meiji (1868-1913) - Taisho (1913-1926) period
Mark including "Kaga no Kuni" meaning that these ceramics were produced in Kaga Han (today Kanazawa). Kaga Han and Daishoji Han merged in 1871 to make up the Ishikawa prefecture. However at this period the name Kaga was widely used in Japan and also overseas to designate more generally the ceramic produced in the area. For a period Kaga No Kuni appears on some marks togehter with Kutani to later be replaced with only Kutani. Kutani marks are most commonly met with as a two character "generic" Ku (Nine) tani (Wallys) name, neaning that the individual potter or even kiln cannot be identified. However occationally the inscriptions details both the area, the kiln, the potter and the decorator.
1365. Dish of "egg shell" quality. Japanese Kutani porelain with enamel decoration. Iron red six character hand painted mark "Kaga no kuni Oda Sei". Mid 19th century to early 20th century.

 


 

 


I have been collecting antique Chinese Bonsai-Penjing pots for 35 years. Here are some of my pots. They date from the 17th Century to the 19th Century