Q&A on Collecting
Porcelain vase is decorated with Asian trees, pagodas
Q: I have enclosed a photo of a footed porcelain vase that I bought at an estate sale. It is approximately nine inches tall, has two handles and is decorated with Asian scenes of pagodas and trees. The trees are embellished with gold dots, and there is a gold band around the top. On the bottom is a wreath with the letter “M” in the center. Outside the wreath are the words “Hand Painted — Nippon.” Thanks for any information on the age, history and value of my vase.
A: You have a nice example of hand-painted Nippon porcelain. The letter “M” in the mark represents the Morimura Brothers. They had offices in New York City and imported porcelain to the United States. “Nippon” is the Japanese name for Japan and was used in trademarks from 1891 to about 1921. Nippon porcelain is very collectible. The gold dots are called moriage and often were used to decorate both Nippon and Satsuma Ware.
Your vase was made in the early 1900s and would probably be worth $300 to $500.
Q: This mark is on a complete set of dinnerware that I have. The set is a service for 12. It originally belonged to my mother who got them when I was a child, and I am 84 years old. The dishes are eggshell color and decorated with gold rims around the edge and gold band inside with roses in the center. Also included with the mark are the words “USA — 44N5.” Since I plan to pass this set down to my daughter, we would like to know more about its history, age and value.