- Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 00:00
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Over the course of my decades in the antiques business one of the most rapid rises in popularity I have witnessed is that of Japanese porcelain hallmarked “Nippon.” In the 1970s nice pieces of such wares brought very little money, at a time when “Occupied Japan” items were quite the rage. Today the difference is astounding. Simple Nippon dishes sell for over $25, and more important pieces bring into hundreds of dollars, while the craze for Occupied Japan has abated somewhat.
This week’s item is a Nippon vase belonging to a Northern Neck couple, who found it many years ago at an antique shop. They bought it because they liked the color, which matched other decor in the room where they planned to use it. They have acquired no other pieces, thus they are not Nippon collectors, but always have liked this piece.
The marking, “Nippon”, on china indicates that it was made between 1890 and 1930, and that it was intended for foreign markets, whether American or European. The factories that produced it were destroyed in the Second World War, and those built after the war did not replicate the quality of the work of the earlier ones.
This piece is particularly nice, with excellent decoration in the painting and in the gold leaf enamel highlighting. The shape is distinctive, as most Nippon is, and the
craftsmanship is very good. It is worth $125, and perhaps more to a specialized collector. I suggest extreme caution in cleaning it, as the gold leaf can be washed off with any hard scrubbing. The slight discoloration of the gold leaf is typical, and should not be addressed by any form of touching up of those areas.
As Nippon goes, this is a simple, but great piece. Happy Antiquing!