Nippon - (Ceramics, Japan, time period 1865 - 1921)

Nippon - (Ceramics, Japan) (Time Period 1865 - 1921) The word "Nippon" used in the back stamp of famous Asian china, simply means "Japan." Nippon china was produced for export to the United States beginning in 1865, when the country ended its long period of commercial isolation, and ending in 1921, when the United States enforced the McKinley Tariff act which prohibited the import of items which were not "plainly marked, stamped, branded or labeled in legible English words." Nippon was considered the Japanese word for the country of origin, "Japan" being the English equivalent, the period of the Nippon china mark ended. While Japan had a long period of porcelain manufacturing, dating back centuries with its close ties to China, Nippon porcelain was produced strictly for Western consumers. Early in its porcelain trade, the Japanese government commissioned a number of foreign experts to come to Japan to train people in the production of European styles. They were highly successful in these attempts at imitation, and much of the Nippon China that was produced bears a strong resemblance to such European porcelain products. Much of the antique Nippon china available has been hand-painted with ornate decorations that, ironically, the Japanese of the era considered excessive and distasteful. During the Meiji period (1868-1912) much of the Nippon porcelain pieces were decorated with gold. Much of this decoration was not very durable and wore away over the years, so it is common today to find Nippon china pieces with the gold rubbed off. Dozens of Nippon china marks were used during this period, representing the work of many different porcelain manufacturers working in Japan at the time. Today, Nippon porcelain is among the most highly collected and sought after of all antique china.

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