Antique Nippon Porcelain Mustard Jars

So, what exactly is a mustard jar?  Back in the ‘old days’, our female ancestors had clever ways of hiding unsightly jars and cans in their kitchen.  One of the smallest kitchenalia items we’ve seen from the past are the adorable mustard jars.  Mustard was used quite often for all types of cooking, so these little jars came in quite handy.  Little spoons were included and were usually made of porcelain. Sometimes they had under plates, and some of them were even attached to the jar, like this little beauty:

Even though it has no spoon, this beautiful piece covered in pansies & gold is in super condition!  Buy it here!

We also adore this footed mustard jar featuring violet flowers & gold.  Buy it now here!

We have many other antique Nippon mustard jars in our eBay store, you can find them all by clicking here.


Nippon Backstamps and Known Dates of Manufacture

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.

“M in Wreath”, M stands for Morimura Bros. (importers).  Mark used since 1911.  Found in green (shown), blue, magenta, and gold colors.  Van Patten’s #47

“Maple Leaf Nippon”, dates back to 1891.  Found in green, blue (shown) & magenta.  Van Patten’s #52.  This mark should be 1/4″ high.  Known fake Maple Leaf backstamps are 1/2″ high.

“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.

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More Antique Nippon Vases

On our last trip to visit our TA client, we made sure to pick up a good amount of the larger vases that everyone has been asking for. We’ve been listing them all week, and we have some gorgeous ones waiting for a new home!

We particularly like these darker colored matte finish vases – one has an orange poppy and the other has large white roses.  Matte finish vases are not that common from what we understand, as most people liked their items shiny and glossy back in the Nippon era.

This gorgeous magnolia vase with raised gold accents is one of our favorites.  We seriously considered buying it ourselves…as we all know, it’s a good thing when a husband & wife can agree on home decor.  🙂  We also both adore this square “sponge painted” blue & floral vase. If you like your Nippon dripping in heavy gold, we have a stunning unmarked Nippon pink rose pretzel ring vase that you could die for!

You must see this HUGE vase featuring blue leaves (very unusual!) and pastel florals.  We also listed this floral humidor and this beautiful blue & heavy gold Cherry tree ewer.  If you love magnolias as much as we do (we have a magnolia tree beside our driveway, and what is more southern than their sweet, succulent smell?), check out this earthen tone magnolia chocolate/teapot.

Are you a collector of the much mysterious IE&C Co. stamped antique Japanese porcelain items? We have just the item for you – an absolutely stunning heavy gold & pink rose pitcher. If you’d like to know more about this elusive mark, Mr. John Henley of the Noritake Collectors Guild has a wonderful .pdf file you can download on this page.

We’d like to take this opportunity to say Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!  We hope you have a wonderful (and relaxing) weekend!

The History of our Nippon Currently for Sale

As we’ve been selling this large Nippon collection, many buyers have asked us about the history behind it. We say, ask, and ye shall receive!

Our client started sending Nippon back to his mother, who was a collector, when he was in the US Navy and stationed in Japan. When he returned home, he started collecting for himself as well. When his mother passed away, he inherited her entire collection. This, in combination with the Nippon he continued to amass, turned into a 50+ year collection. When we first visited their home, there were 5 rooms completely full of Nippon. We have made a total of four trips, and there is still more than plenty for us to get! We have sold quite a few different collections over the years, and this is the largest one we have encountered so far.

Our client is also not picky about what they have collected. They collect because they like the piece, no matter if it has a hairline or other imperfection. Their thoughts on hairlines, small chips, ect, is that these pieces are 100+ years old, and anything that old is probably not going to be perfect. He understands that is not everyone’s opinion, but that is what he has told us he feels about the matter. 🙂  They are also very involved with us on the selling process.  If you send us a Best Offer, please allow us time to contact our client and consult with them.  Please do not get offended if we decline your offer, we are only complying with our client’s wishes.

We hope this gives you a little insight into the Nippon we are offering. If you have any questions (for us or our client), feel free to leave them in the comments and we’ll be happy to answer them or ask him for you.