Nippon Tea Set Made for Noritake Hand Painted Circa 1920
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This pretty tea set from Japan was hand painted with pink and yellow flowers, green leaves, pale blue backgounds, touches of gilt and trim of burgundy moriage style beading, all on pure white porcelain. The blue mark on the bottom of each piece is a cherry blossom composed of five letter M's with the word NIPPON under it and Hand Painted in script to the right. According to Gotheborg.com, the mark was used on porcelain that was sub-contracted to other independent companies by Noritake (the Nippon Toki Kasha Company) for export to the U.S. The Gotheborg site dates it circa 1924; however, the U.S. required Japan to stop using the word "Nippon" in 1921 and start using the English word "Japan," so this set is more likely circa 1920 or even a bit before that. Using the five letter M's was a subtle way of marking the Noritake-ordered wares, as they used the M for Morimura Brothers as one of the marks on their own porcelain.
The teapot 4 1/2 inches tall to the top of the lid knop, measures about 7 inches from spout to handle and holds 2 1/2 cups comfortably. The sugar bowl is 4 inches tall and 5 1/2 inches from handle to handle. Both have their original lids. The cream pitcher is 3 1/4 inches tall to the top of the handle and 4 3/4 inches from the spout to the handle. The cream pitcher is the only piece that has a tiny chip--on the spout, seen on the upper left in photograph #3. In person, it's difficult to see unless you are looking for it, since it's white on white. Otherwise, the raised beading is intact and there is just some wear of the paint and the gilding to show their age. All the pieces are clean and ready to use or display with pleasure.