Friday, March 10, 2017

To Noritake or not Noritake?

I have this beautiful set of Noritake china we found in my great Auntie Nina's cupboard when we cleaned out her house a few months after she passed away last year. When I unpacked them, there were only four of the 110 pieces that did not make it. The large bowl with handles and lid on the upper right (the backside had broken off), one small dish and two small saucers. Aside from that, I have 106 beautiful pieces remaining. Only a couple have minor chips and one small piece appeared to have been broken completely in half and glued back together.

I researched the set, not for the value but for the history. I find it interesting where things like this were made and when. I found a great site on Noritake and learned a lot. For example I learned that all goods imported into America after 1921 had to have a country of origin label. I don't think this set was made before 1921 because this exact stamp with the Komaru and Nippon Toki Kaishu was not used together prior to that date. There is also no stamp that matches this one after 1921.  The next best answer is that the set was manufactured in Japan but not for export, which would explain the Komaru and the lack of export mark. So, if that is the case, when was it manufactured? Before or after 1921?

If they were not for export, perhaps someone visited Japan and brought them back. To my knowledge Auntie Nina & Uncle Virgil never visited Japan and Uncle Virgil was stationed in Europe during the war. However, Auntie Nina remarried in 2006, two years after Uncle Virgil died. Her new husband, Bill, a retired USN Master Chief was stationed in the Pacific during the war. It's quite possible that he brought the china back with him sometime during his tour of duty or that he and his first wife Adele had traveled to Japan and brought them back.

Fortunately I was able to contact Noritake via Twitter and I sent them a pic of the china and the stamp. They're researching it for me and will get back to me. In the meantime, I have them packed away. It's a shame though because china is meant to be used, not packed away and yet I have no occasion to use them. Maybe I should create one?

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.