We get a lot of questions about Nippon backstamps and dates of manufacture. Unfortunately, we are not experts, but we always turn to a wonderful book by someone who is for our information. Joan Van Patten has written many books on collecting antique Nippon porcelain, and she has compiled known dates for certain backstamps. We are sharing a small list here (with pictures) of the ones we have come across in our Nippon journeys. We hope this helps those out there looking for this information quickly.
We cannot stress enough that this is NOT a complete list. You will need to pick up one of Joan Van Patten’s books in order to get all the information you need. If you know any dates for a backstamp not shown here, feel free to leave the information in the comments. Information about each mark is below the picture.
UPDATE 1/4/12: We’ve added more backstamps to this post!
UPDATE 2/20/12: Even more backstamps have been added to the list!
If you are having a problem identifying a Nippon mark, feel free to use this link to contact us through eBay & we’ll be happy to help you as much as we can. Sorry – we can’t leave our email address here – there’s just too many spam bots. Please have a CLEAR picture of the mark & of the item so you can email it to us, we cannot go by written descriptions since there are over 350 known Nippon marks.
“Noritake Nippon”, used on blank pieces (undecorated) for export. Dates from 1911. Found in green, blue (shown), and magenta. Note that this mark has the artist’s signature underneath. Van Patten’s #68.
“Royal Nishiki Nippon”, made for the domestic Japanese market since 1906. Found in green. We have also seen many Royal Nishiki items marked with “Hand Painted” in blue and a numbering system in blue as well (example: #24/250). Van Patten’s #91.
“Maruki Symbol Hand Painted Nippon”, since 1912. We have only encountered this in blue. Note how similar it looks to the Spoke mark above. The lines in the spoke mark above almost appear straight, whereas these have more curved parallel lines with a straight line going down the middle. The script used in “Hand Painted” is also a bit different. Van Patten’s #180.
“Nippon Maruki Symbol”, circa 1906. We have only seen this in blue. No definitive manufacturing date(s) known. Van Patten’s #254 (Many thanks to E. for this pic!)
“Noritake M (Morimura) in Wreath Nippon” Found in green (shown), blue & magenta. No known manufacturing date(s). Van Pattens #66.
“Torri Hand Painted Nippon” Found in green, blue & burgundy (shown). No known manufacturing date(s). Van Patten’s #113. (Note: the left bottom side of the Torri mark is slightly worn, it should be even with the right bottom side of the mark.)
“Pagoda Hand Painted Nippon”, no known manufacturing date(s). We have only seen this in blue. Van Patten’s #71. Please note there are wear marks in the middle of “Nippon” and the Pagoda.
“Imperial Nippon”, found in blue (shown) and green. Date(s) of manufacture not known. Van Patten’s #38.
“Oriental China Nippon”, no known manufacturing date(s). We have only seen this in blue. Van Patten’s #70.
“Cherry Blossom Hand Painted Nippon”, found in blue (shown), green & magenta. No known manufacturing date(s). Van Pattens #4.
“Crown (Square) Hand Painted Nippon”, found in green and green with red. No known manufacturing date(s). Van Patten’s #10.
“Miyako Nippon”, we have only seen this in green (as shown). No known manufacturing date(s). Please note the manufacturing defect that is going through the mark, this is the only pic we have of this stamp, sorry. Van Patten’s #251.
“TS Fan Nippon”, we have only seen this in green (as shown). No known manufacturing date(s). Van Patten’s #111.