Noritake Porcelain is porcelain manufactured by the Japanese company Noritake Co., Limited.
Brief History and Description
Noritake Porcelain gets its name from the village of Noritake in Nagoya City, Japan. As Noritake was the name of a place, the company was initially prohibited from registering it as a trade name. Finally in the 1980s, and because of the company’s outstanding contribution for close to a century, the Government officially granted them permission to register the company name as Noritake Company Limited.
The company when formed in 1876, was known as Nippon Toki Kabushiki Kaisha Ltd. For more than a century, since its inception as a trading company by the Morimura Brothers, this multinational Group was involved in many prosperous partnerships and mergers with other companies. During the late nineteenth century, Baron Ichizaemon Morimura, recognizing the product’s export potential, decided to ship the Noritake porcelain products to America and sell them through a retail outlet in New York.
Since then, the U.S has been the primary customer of Noritake and has also helped the Company to stay afloat after World War Two. In 1956 Noritake diversified its product line to include stainless steel flatware and in 1961 to include Crystal glassware and later in 1971 to include earthenware and stoneware.
Today, Noritake is one of the world's largest manufacturers of china and porcelain and they are known for its top quality.
Guide for Collectors
Noritake is a frequently heard word among those who collect fine and antique porcelain. Most of the early products when they were being exported to the Western and European markets carried the various Nippon backstamps so as to indicate their country of origin. The early Noritake carried the insignia M (indicating Morimura) with a wreath around it.
This logo was present on other pieces as well, but had the words "Made in Japan" printed below the logo. A tip for collectors – most of the Nippon era (1891 to 1921) examples carried the backstamp of "Noritake", although the first recorded U.S registry for a "Noritake" backstamp was only in 1921.
Notable Auction Sales
A collection of eight porcelain table settings went for a premium price of $9,350 at the Arts & Crafts Auction held at Christie's, New York on 14th December 1991. Each setting had seven pieces (comprising of a dinner, salad and bread plate, cup, saucer, bowl and fruit bowl all decorated with red, green, blue, yellow and gold concentric circles against a white ground).
A collection of eight porcelain table settings went for a premium price of $8,250 at the Imported 20th Century Decorative Arts, Crafts & Architectural Design Auction held at Christie's, New York on 8th June 1991. Each setting had six pieces.
A Noritake porcelain tea-set went for a premium price of £690 (against an estimated price of Estimate £20 and £100) at the Imported 20th Century Continental Decorative Arts Auction held at Christie's, London on 2nd April 1998. The tea-set comprised of a teapot and cover, milk jug, sugar bowl and cover, four cups and saucers and four silver and enamel teaspoons, each polychrome printed with exotic bird amongst foliage, against turquoise ground with black banding, in original presentation case.
A Noritake landscape painted tea set with blue and gilt patterned borders comprising, twelve cups and saucers, twelve side plates, two cake plates, a sugar bowl and milk jug went for a premium price of £564 at the County Sale, held at Bonhams, Chester on 15th March 2004.
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