More Details on Latest Nippon CopiesBy

More Details On Latest Nippon Copies

Joan Van Patten (author Collectors Encyclopedia of Nippon Porcelain series) has provided valuable information on new Nippon reproductions.

The most significant aspect of this group of reproductions is that new pieces are being decorated with old patterns. Prior to this time, Nippon reproductions seldom were decorated with anything that even remotely resembled original patterns. But all that has changed.

Look at the original pattern in Figs. 7 & 8 and the copy on new pieces in Figs. 5 & 6. The match is nearly identical. Likewise with the scenic view in Fig. 9. The colors - pale blue, greens and light browns - are the identical palette of colors used in originals.

The best clues to identifying this latest crop of reproduction is probably by weight. Where originals, and even some of the earlier reproductions, are true porcelain these pieces from China are pottery. The large pieces such as the bowl in Fig. 1 and the vase in Fig. 2 are nearly ¼″ thick. Most originals (excluding very large pieces and rims thickened for strength) are seldom more than 1/8″ thick.

New Chinese pieces with matte finish have a rough surface all over; new pieces with high gloss finish have a rough surface on the areas of decoration. Most originals, both shiny and matte finish, are smooth to the touch on both the body and the decoration. The new gold is also a different color than gold trim on originals but this is not really obvious unless new and old are side by side.

The wreath marks on the new Chinese pieces is very much improved over previous copies. New wreaths are generally horizontal ovals; originals form a nearly perfect circle. New wreaths and lettering look very loose; originals look crisp and sharp as if printed by a machine.

Also note another new mark, the plum blossom Fig. 3, has been added. No exact old counterpart is known, so beware of this mark as it is shown here.

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Fig. 1 (New) 10″ dia. bowl with Geisha girls decoration. Raised gold trim. Rough surface, very thick and heavy pottery. Detail of pierced areas shown in Fig. 2. Marked with Plum Blossom mark in Fig. 3.

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Fig. 2 (New) About actual size; showing heavy 1/4″ thickness in pierced areas of bowl above.

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Fig. 3 (New) Plum blossom mark on bowl in Fig. 1. Actual size 5/8″ dia.; pale green color.

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Fig. 4 (New) Geisha girls decoration. 8 1/2″ high X 1 7/8″ dia. vase. New wreath mark. Very thick walls, rough surface.

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Fig. 5 (New) Pattern on candlestick in Fig. 6, actual size. Pink roses and raised gold trim. Note the wheel-like shape with the raised enamel dots top center. This pattern is nearly identical to the old shown below.

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Fig. 6 (New) New 9″ high candlestick with pattern shown at left. Lots of raised gold trim overall. Marked with new wreath mark. Looking into a firing hole in the base, you can see the 1/4″ thickness of the clay which is much thicker and heavier than originals. Decorated areas have a gritty rough feel.

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Fig. 7 (Old) Original pattern, pink roses and raised gold trim. Note wheel-like shape with raised enamel dots, top center.

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Fig. 8 (Old) Original pattern as it appears on an old creamer.

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Fig. 9 (New) Scenic pattern in pale blue, light browns and greens on 8 3/4″ X 6″ tray. Very nearly a perfect color match for similar scenes on old originals. Much heavier and thicker clay than old. New wreath mark on bottom.