Satsuma Mark on ReproductionsBy Mark Chervenka
Satsuma Mark on Reproductions
Heavy crude reproductions from China carry a potentially confusing Satsuma mark. Although there are no vintage comparable marks, the appearance of "Satsuma" in the new marks implies the new pieces are old.
Satsuma, like Staffordshire, is a collective name given to a fine quality lightweight pottery developed in Japan. Original ware is generally characterized by a fine network of crackles in the glaze and extensive use of gold trim. Although made since about 1600, the majority of pieces traded in the general antiques market today date from about the middle of the 19th century and were made for export to Western markets. Prior to about 1850, genuine Satsuma rarely includes representations of human figures.
The new pieces are thick heavy shapes including garden seats, vases and serving pieces like the teapot shown here. All are marked with a red stamp "Handpainted Royal Satsuma" followed by Asian characters. Any piece with the word "Handpainted" is always suspect. If the piece was really vintage, it would of course be handpainted. Any time "Satsuma" is spelled out in English is also a warning sign. The only exception is Royal Satsuma Nippon which is an authentic mark used on porcelain, ca. 1890 to 1922.