Anitique China & Fine China Query - Japanese tea set or not?

by Charmaine

Antique China & Fine China Query - Japanese tea set or not?

Great website...

As a child we went to visit an aunt and she gave us 2 china tea sets to play with. My mom snatched the sets away from us and told my aunt they were too beautiful for kids to play with.

I always had my eye on one of the sets and when she moved she gave me the Japanese one. I actually don't know if it's real Japanese but it has a teapot and small cups & a creamer and sugar bowl. What's interesting to me is the beautiful pattern, it has dragons on it and there is no marking but when you hold the delicate cup to light there is a image of a Japanese lady's face.

So I suspect it is bone china and Japanese because of the face and that light shines through the china when you hold it up to a light.



Reply from Peter (admin) below - just scroll down


antique china values

Reply by Peter (admin)

To:- Antique China & Fine China Query - Japanese tea set or not?

Hi Charmaine

Lovely story, thanks for sharing! And thanks for your comments about the website.

First thing to say is how lovely the set sounds - with the face of the Japanese girl etc..

Second thing is, it would have been nice to see some photos. It would assist me if visitors were to upload a clear picture of the back pottery marks as well as one of the item itself.

Third, I have to say my knowledge of Japanese wares is not so good, so I suggest you drop in on the oriental experts at, or call in the cavalry by getting a professional appraisal.

I'm really sorry I can't help more, Charmaine. That said, I do love stories like this as they make great reading - many thanks.

Best regards

Peter (admin)

p.s. The following page is a 'must see' if you are researching fine china - for value and identification:-

Researching the identity and value of antique and vintage fine china.

Comments for Anitique China & Fine China Query - Japanese tea set or not?

Click here to add your own comments

child's dragon teaset
by: tonyy

The 'Japanese' teaset would not be bone china as that is not a ceramic body associated with Japan. But it could be egg-shell porcelain which they are famous for. I agree with Peter - a photo would really help identify it.

Mystery solved - Japanese tea set or not Query - "Geisha" porcelain
by: Charmaine

Hi Peter,

Thank you so much for directing me to the Gotheborg website on the Japanese tea set or not Query.

I found the set almost similar to mine under the title" 1924 Cherry Blossom Marks" except mine has no markings but the Japanese lady that comes to life when the cup is held to a light source as demonstrated in the picture.

It is really a piece of art and I wonder how they were able to emboss it at that time. (They did not have laser technology ; ) ) I now suspect that it's is earlier than 1920's because I failed to mention that my childhood was in South Africa and the set must have been imported during the Dutch/West Indies period. I am thrilled!!

Thank you,



Further comment by Peter (admin)

Thanks for this great update Charmaine. What a great story! I would love to know the technology involved in the embossing too. I will ask around my more technically minded colleagues. meantime if anyone else has any ideas, please post a comment here.

Visitor Rod (see above comments) has stumbled across a similar set which he has researched on Gotheborg and feels it might even be older than yours. He requested your email to contact you. I have no objection to this, and don't mind visitors using these pages to talk to one another but recommend you don't publish your email addresses online as they can tend to become victim of the horrible 'Spam Bots' who search the net for victims to send stupid unsolicited emails to.

Instead, use my contact form (see the left side nav bar on most pages)to contact me direct and I will forward the initial emails and you can take it from there. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CROSS REFERENCE THE TITLE OF THE EMAIL AS "Geisha Porcelain - Japanese tea set or not Query", otherwise it may get lost in the system (I often have 200 emails and submissions waiting to be sorted.)

Thanks again, Charmaine, for enhancing the site with your contributions.

Best regards

Peter (admin)

"Geisha" porcelain - dragon/lady's face Japanese tea set
by: Rod

Hi Peter and Charmaine

I stumbled across a set of this very beautiful china (?) just today. One of the pieces (not a cup or saucer) had the stamp on its base of an S in 5 triangles as shown and described in Gotheborg's under Japan China #35 between Rozuki and SPP. Of course this sign had no further clarification.

Should you have more info, wish to buy, or would like more info from me I would love to share this with the lady who has this set. Rather than take up Peter's space further, he is welcome to share my email address with you for this purpose.

I apologize, Peter, for using your space for this. I just happened across your site and then had the audacity to make this outrageous request.

My interest is 19th and early 20th century American stoneware crocks; consequently I am tirelessly searching for origins of a number of marked, but unidentified, utilitarian stoneware pieces. That is how I wandered from the path to your driveway.

Thanks ever so much.


"Geisha" porcelain - Dragon/lady's face Japanese Tea Set (Charmaine)
by: Rod

Hi Peter,

Sorry for the interruption for yet another comment for Charmaine (April 2, 2009)and also for your information. Further research leads me to further identify Charmaine's tea set as being known or referred to as "Geisha" porcelain.

Between your info about dating these pieces and Gotheborg's information ( - under section titled "Antique Japanese Porcelain Q & A" - subsection "Geisha Girl Dragonware" and - subsection "Geisha" seen when held up against the light) it would appear that Charmaine's tea set would have been made post 1941, since my pieces show the "S" Triangles symbol described in my earlier note to you with the words "Made in Japan" beneath the symbol.

Also Gotheborg suggests that this may have originated in the Kutani and/or Arita factories; however, the "S" triangles marking might refute that.

I would like to see your response to these comments for my info. Would I see that in your blog, an email, or your newsletter? Thanks. Rod

BTW the info is free.


Further Comment by Peter (admin)


Thanks for sharing your great research on these Japanese tea sets. Also thanks for giving permission to use your info elsewhere on the site etc. Much appreciated.

I really don't know about Japanese pottery marks so can't comment more about the Kutani and/or Arita factory marks, but would appreciate any visitor posting more info on the subject.

You obviously have a real eye for detail.

I have posted a comment to Charmaine (see below) to suggest I can forward on visitors emails to each other if required.

You sound quite an authority on early 20th century American stoneware crocks. I like the way you describe finding this site as "wandered from the path to your driveway". Although this site deals mostly with fine china rather than studio pottery or stoneware, please consider uploading an article or two on your collection as it is not totally unconnected.

Best regards and thanks again

Peter (admin)

'Geisha tea set'
by: Malcolm from Cambs UK

Hi, sorry to go back to Charmaine's story about the tea set but I believe I also have something similar.

It was given to me by my father who always said he bought it at the end of WW2.

It is a white china tea set with silver Japanese style drawings. When you hold the tea cup to the light you can see the face of a Japanese lady.

I have always wanted to know more about this set. It is really interesting to hear that others have similar sets too.

Thank you

Japaese tea set or not?
by: Debbie

Charmaine I have the same tea set but only 5 cups and only 1 with the face in the base. The markings on the other cups/tea pot etc is Cherry China. Mine also came to me from a great aunt

japanese tea set
by: Anonymous

I acquired about 18 months ago a set of cups and saucers which have the geisha face in the bottom and the dragon around cups and saucers, these are japanese dragon lithopanes and are made of egg shell porcelain, mine are in orange, white and rich brown, i have seen some in browns and white, blue and white as well.

Japanese Giesha Face China
by: JapanFan

I was randomly looking up things in google when i came across this post.
I have 2 sets for the egg-shell china "Giesha face" tea set, and my mum has 2 as well.
We each have a coffee and a tea styled set.

3 of these sets were bought by my dad during his visits to Japan. All from the same manufacturer in a small plaza in Osaka. During his last visit in 2003 the old man sadly told him that he was no longer going to make them because younger generations wouldn't learn the skills required and weren't interested in buying tea-sets anymore.

1. Mums coffee set was bought brand new during 1976
2 & 3. Were bought in 2003 and were the last two complete sets in the store.

My last set is pre- WW1, compared to the others the egg-shell is magnificent, hardly 1mm thick, while the 2003 variety are 2mm thick.
The 24 carat gold leaf coverage and quality is lacking in the later models.
Also the faces vary between the different years as well.

Hope this helps someone.


Peter (admin) says:

What a fantastic contribution! People like you make this website tick. Can't thank you enough for taking the trouble - nice karma!

Such please small things doth make...
by: Charmaine

Hi Peter & friends,

I learned a lot from all the comments and visiting the sites re the Japanese set. I am still intrigued by the embossing. How did the Geisha end up at the bottom of the teacup? I did ceramics & pottery myself and I learned to make imprints but the Geisha is two toned.

Looking forward from hearing from you.


Moms china!
by: Anonymous

If one has a set of china with a Lady in the bottom of the cup, what would one do with this set??? please email me @


my wife's mother died in 1936 the tea set was left for my wife it must be at least 75 year old
of the nine cups with geisha girl 4 are broken but still together in all the set has 34 pieces

Geisha girl Japanese tea and coffee set
by: eddie legge

My wife says the 34 piece Japanese set I mentioned was originally a tea and coffee set
We do not believe it is of any value money wise having been told it is made of Japanese egg shell porcelain and they were brought into the country in large numbers. My wife lost her mother at birth Oct 1936 the set must be at least 75 years old.

The sentimental value shall be lost after our days
We have 3 children 5 grand children and 3 great grand children who not are not interested in this wonderful work of art

tea set
by: kenn MacAskill (UK)

Hello and how informative your site is thank you,
I have a tea set as described with face in bottom of the cups I have set of 6cups 6saucers 6side plates, tea pot, milk jug, sugar bowl,all with the dragon design, the dragons are all slightly different in colours and look like they were handmade and just laid on when wet, on the bottom of the set apart from the cups the mark on mine is CHH over CHINA in red surrounded by Asian looking Laural leaf with what appears to be a cherry blossom flower in the middle top.
I was given mine in 1977 in the UK by a friend who knew i liked Asian things, She told me her father brought it back from the far east after the war, I was just interested in finding out a bit more about it and i came across your site so thank you again and hope the little bits i have added to this forum helps,
PS, am still researching the CHH CHINA mark and will let you know if i find anything else . regards kenn

Japanese Giesha Face China @ Kenn/Eddie
by: JapanFan

Your china is Dragon Ware. Giesha Girl china doesnt have any marking on the bottom other than the face, from the 10+ sets i have seen.
Your set sounds alot like what my mum has. its a matching tea and coffee set with side plates aswell. If your family does care for it, take it to a second hand wares shop, and fetch a penny for it now. Dont waste it on them.

These are a dying art form and should be cared for, if that means selling them to a collector for them to be treasured and preserved.
Even if some are gimicky trinkets brought home by soldiers, they are still artifacts of our history.
Just look at how much some people are paying for old McDonalds toys.

I have my own set!
by: Sam

I submitted my own story to the site, and you can find it at the above link. It includes pictures of one of the saucers (a gold and red dragon) and the Lady's face that appears on the bottom of the cup. You have to hold the cup to the light in order to see it - we held it over a lamp for the picture and were looking into the cup.

We have 21 pieces in all. Six cups, plates, and saucers, plus a tea pot, a creamer, and what we think is a sugar bowl (I'm unsure if it had a sprout or not). They all match, for they all have the same dragon print that is in the photo. All the saucers have the same mark on the bottom, which I believe to be from the company "Nichi Hon".

My grandmother believed that the face on the bottom of the cup was not a geisha, but the Emperor's wife - although we were unsure if it would be the Kogo or not. For those who do not know, the Kogo is the first wife of the Emperor who leads all the other wives.

Please look into it? =] We really want to get it dated at the very least. I'll be looking into the China Cultural Center here in Phoenix, Arizona as soon as I can (Senior year of High school starts soon, so I'm very busy!).

My dad has a dragon tea set
by: Anonymous

He was in Malaysia in the 50's (UK National Service) and bought it there, shipped it home to his mum. It cost him a few dollars, but i've seen one valued at 475 usd.

His is blue background with dragon in red with white dots. the cups do have a japanese style womans face in the bottom.

he said there was another set when he bought his that had the face set to the back of the cup rather than underneath.

Hope this helps.

Geisha Girl Tea Set
by: Anonymous

I have the same tea set! I have 16 tea cups with sausers and there is a geisha girl in the bottom of the cup - I also have the teapot, sugar and creamer plus other pieces that match it. It is white with green and gold dragons and rimmed in gold. It was my Grandmothers and she brought it (plus several other sets) back from when my Grandfather was stationed in Japan. My Mother has a full chinet set - plates, salad plates, teapot and cups with sausers and it is actually stamped "made in occupied Japan" - we have always wondered what the value of our sets were! If anyone has any idea please email me at! Thanks!

I have a set too
by: CookieHook

I'd love to know more about haw to research my tea cup set with the geisha lady only visual up to the light. Mine are blue and white like a blue willow pattern with Japan on bottom-not made in japan. Any more info or value or whatever, email me at

giesha tea service
by: sue

my mother in law has one of these that her brother bought her while he was in japan, the markings are HHP, i know the HP stand for hand painted, and they are in a red wreath. my mother in law was offered £75 by an antique dealer 10 years ago, i hope this throws some light onto the value.

geisha girl
by: Chris

I truly would love to own a cup and saucer with the geisha girl in the bottom--does anyone know where to purchase one or more?

geisha girl tea set
by: sue

Hi, I have the geisha girl tea set, in white/gold, cups are finer than rest, consists of teapot/milk jug/sugar bowl, six plates, six saucers, five cups, not sure what happeded to other cup. The set was given to me when my mother died, her husband bought different things back after the war, also when at sea, would like to know of/if any value, or to sell, as my children would not won't, when anything happens to us. Be interesting if any interest out there either way.

Geisha girl
by: valowencarlson

The picture of the womans face on the bottom of tea cup...seen when you hold it up to a a Geisha girl.....i too have the set, only it is the blue willow and no dragons....beautiful....delicate and treasure to me.

anyone know the story of my set
by: dawn

i have 2 cups and matching saucers both cups have the picture of a lady when you hold them up. it has a picture of a mother and child in a garden with buildings, a kite, pink flowers,a bridge over water and a mountain in the background. it has gold leaf painted in the picture and round the rim. any info welcome thanks

Dragon Cup Saucer w/Imprinted Geisha - not Lithopane
by: hitotx

I have a dragon cup and saucer set. However, my Geisha Girl at the bottom is not the lithopane image that you all have (the one you have to hold up to the light to see). Mine is imprinted into the cup - it is all one color - same as the inside of the cup. Anyone know what this process is called or what the name of this style is? And, what is the value??? It is in mint condition - no cracks or chips. Thanks for any input.

japanese geisha girl tea set?
by: jayde

hello i have just stumbled across this page i have aslo got a set that sounds identicle to this one. i have been trying to find some information about it and came across this page.
my set was given to me by my granfather it was his mothers but i am told it is a coffee set not a tea set. it also has the dragons and the geisha girl inside the cups when you hold it upto the light.

adult & childs dragon (geisha face) teaset
by: kathy

I have received a complete set of cups and saucers and dessert plates, along with a child's tea set with the same pattern (dragon with blue black white, and small dabs of pink) The cups have the hidden "geisha". I also have 2 matching teapots 32 pieces in perfect condition, no chips, dents, scratches, or wear. cups all have gold on rims. Can anyone let me know what they might be worth? The mark on the bottom says best porcelain with a crown and a lion. Thanks

Emperor's Wife
by: Anonymous

I have purchased , at a garage sale, a tea set with a tea pot and sugar and creamer with five delicate cups and six saucers . It is delicate and exquisite. The only markings are 1924 Japan and I believe that they are commemorative sets for the Empress of Japan at that time .

I did do some research but did not remember the name of the Empress .

Someone in this chain's grandmother is correct .

I would love to know if this is valuable or not . Anyone have a clue ?

ideas on dual tea set?
by: Elaine

I have a black and white stripped box that contains 12 2inch cups with the geisha girl in the bottom....12 saucers....12 small spoons and a pot with lid no spout....6 are a set orange with 2 geisha girls blue background the other 6 have flowers and red roosters.....bottom of the plates have a red dragon picture with the words fine china. Does anyone have any ideas? Bought this set at an army thrift shop about 10 years ago?

Whats ot worth
by: Michelle

Hi every one...great information on this piece.
My Great Aunt gave me one of these sets tooo!

Dose any body know if its worth anything? and would it be worth get it insurance?

They are so beautiful and i proud to own one :)

Coffee Set
by: Karen

Hi we have a coffee set to with six cups and saucers coffee pot cream jug and sugar bowl all the cups have the Gershi girls face in the bottom it is white and green with gold on.

japanese tea/coffee set
by: rachele graves

hi, i have 2 japanese tea/coffee sets

set 1 - japanese set

12 cups (all have japanese head in bottom of sweet-faced geisha).
12 saucers
milk jug
sugar pot with lid.
tea/coffee pot with lid.

set 2 - all have stamps on bottoms with crown and s.p.p

5 cups (1 cup missing)
6 saucers
6 side plates
milk jug
sugar pot with lid.
tea/coffee pot with lid

has anyone got any idea on the value of these sets.

just learning more
by: brian

geisha,never would have thought,however,she is lovely,thank you. know a little more now.

Japanese tea set
by: terri mccall

My friend has one saucer and 3 tea cup little plate's. And 2 larger ones. Do you know if there worth anything? ? My e mail add. Is TowTruckTerri@gmail. Com

Value is in the eye of the beholder
by: Charmaine

Hi Everyone,

It seems like a lot of people have the pleasure to own some of these beautiful pieces. The question gets raised regarding the value of the sets. From what I have gathered on the comments, it's not worth much in monetary value but it's beautiful to look at and that in itself has value. Value is also determined by the rarity of the items and it appears that there is quite a few among us who owns the pieces...
If any appraiser happen to be able to determine the value of some items, it would be appreciated.

Once again Peter, thanks for this website.

Geisha tea set
by: Tammy

Fascinating! I also have a full set... With faces on all my cups trimmed in gold and painted with a delicate scene of greenery and acorns. I inharited the set 6 years ago when my 96 year old grandmother passed. I just know have started my research.

by: JILL

I have a set of six cups and saucers six small plates tea pot sugar bowl jug large plate white silver pattern on it and lady in bottom of tea cups my late uncle bought 2 sets home after his national service one for my parents and one for my grandparents so I guess early 1950s I now have them and would like to know if they are worth anything. Sounds like there are lots of sets out there. thanks

Japanese Geisha Golden Dragon Tea Set
by: Brenda

It's amazing! This site is so informational. It's enjoyable to heard from everyone. Interesting how everyone acquired these wonderful tea sets.

I have been trying to find out information on two Japanese tea sets my father brought back from Korea in 1951 or so. One was white background with gold/green and rust dragon. The other was rusty brown background with white/gold/green I believe. Coffee or tea pots were dragon heads for spouts. 3 dimensional look and feel to them. They also have the Geisha/or woman in bottom of cups. The one set looks like Sam's set.

If anyone has anymore information regarding these sets - please comment. Thank you.

My sister and I will be inheriting these sets. My sister will get the white background tea set and I the rusty brown background.

I am looking for someone that has the same set (Rusty brown background) I do and who might be interested in selling. My set is missing pieces.

These sets will be passed down to the next generation so it would be nice if they were complete.

If you own the Japanese white background golden dragon with geisha/woman and want to sell, contact me and I will forward your email to my sister to see if she wants to purchase more pieces of her set.

If you feel you have the Japanese rusty brown background with gold dragons and geisha/woman in bottom of cups of tea set, please email me at

Thank you Peter for providing this service.

Japanese lady in teacups
by: Sue

We have part of a dinner and tea service with four cups showing the Japanese lady. The larger items are marked 'King China' with an insignia of what appears to be a crown surrounded by leaves and MADE IN JAPAN below. The set has a White background with a green decorative, border and three sprays of flowers below the border. Any ideas on age and value would be welcome. We have four cups, three saucers, seven side plates, five salad plates, six dinner plates, a meat dish and a serving dish.

milk jug 6 saucers 6 side plates and two cups
by: Heather

Hi i have been giving the above by my mum who told me that her brother brought them for my nan who have both passed away so would be grateful if someone could tell me were the come from they are white and have a gold dragon and the lady when u look through them to the light and on the bottom there is a marking reading lucky in red hope to hear back from you heather ...

fully coverd gold plated china, embossed dragon w/gold drippings
by: linda-california

This is a beautiful 21 pc tea set (service for 6). i only know that it is over 45-50 years old. it was given to me by my grandmother, i believe my grandfather brought it home from war.i cannot find anything like it online. there are no markings on it at all, can anyone help?

My "Geisha Ghost" tea cups
by: Maggie

I've been wondering for years where (what I call) the "Geisha Ghost" tea set originated. I got mine in Athens, Greece from a relative and brought it to the States. Everything but the cups have have markings althought the Dragon tea pot, creamer and sugar say in English "Shimokata" "Made in Japan" with an image of olive branches around it. The plates do not say Shimokata, rather, "Cherry China" "Made in Japan" and have a Cherry Blossom image in gold. On the design, all have gold detail and an picture of what must be a cherry picking event (two women and a man) Obviously these were meant to be sold to English speaking customers, as the writing is all in English.

Japanese tea set
by: Anonymous

I have a twenty piece tea set dragon ware with geisha in cups which I founding a charity shop a few weeks ago I bought it because I love it not because of value I enjoy in the fact the work that went into the making of the tea set which is no longer in manafactor love it and enjoy its a great taking piece

I am about to sell my Geisha tea set on ebay
by: Anonymous

Hi, great reading some of the information and details about Japanese 'Geisha' tea-sets. I have a set which I inherited recently from an old aunt. I don't know too much about it but I am about to sell it on ebay under the title 'Japanese, Geisha girl dragonware porcelain tea set'. It goes on sale today if you are interested. As someone said, it may not be worth a lot but it's beautiful too look at and all the cups have this really interesting embossed face at the bottom which you can see when the cup is held to a light source. The dragons are amazing, giving them a 3D effect. Check them out! I want them to go to a good home. Cheers! Pat

Japanese markings
by: Anonymous

I have a tea set as well, pre 1960's, and i Say that because my mother aquired them in 1962. They are green and gold trimmed dragons, the face of the girl when held up to light in all teacups. 12 teacups in all . 12 saucers in all, 1 sugar bowl. 16 silver spoons and 8 golden spoons in this mint condition set. The interesting part is that it is only marked on the bottom with japanese characters, are these the real deal? does anyone know how much they could be worth? please email me at

by: Anonymous

i own these beautiful Japanese or Chiness COFFEE/TEA POT SET Sugar Creamer Cups. with the facae of a woman on the bottom
i have no idea about the value or brand or material and realy reallly need help to find more info

how can i post a picture?

by: Lucy

I bought a tea set today with the exact same CHH CHINA mark as yours. Mine has brown/red, gold and black decorations of the same scene with three Asian women on them, two sitting at a table and one standing up, birds, a bridge, trees etc. They appear to be hand decorated.
Have you managed to find anything about the CHH CHINA mark? I'm sorry but this was the only website I was able to find with any mention at all of that mark when I searched it up! I can't seem to find anything else on the mark!

Japanese 'Geisha' tea cups
by: Anonymous

Thanks for all of the comments about the geisha image tea cups. I too, have come accross a set, which was brought back by a soldier from Hiroshima after the bombing.

I am currently doing a study of these pieces and can be contacted through my website

Thanks to everyone who posted about these interesting items.

tea sets or coffe sets?
by: margaretAnonymous

I read with great interest that so many people own these lovely sets, I have two, one has the geisha girls face in each cup , the other is made by Manna and is bone china hand painted in gold, unfortunately I cannot find any information about the latter, but I love both sets which I had as a present more than 50 years ago, doubt very much if I would part with either because the craftmanship in both is outstanding. Just thought I;d share my thoughts with fellow owners.

geisha set
by: jacqui

Hi, read others comments with interest. I was given a coffee/tea set with embossed dragons and gold leaf with the face of a geisha girl at the inside base visible when held to the light.The jug, tea pot and sugar bowl have a gold laurel with H H P inside it. I was told that it dates from around the 1920's. Can anyone shed any light on this.

by: kenn

Hello thanks for your comment about the mark on bottom of plates, Have not had much luck finding out any more yet but will keep looking, I have photos but not sure how to post them here, have them at ok thanks again this is the only site with any info,

tea cups
by: Anonymous

Hi i too have some of these , my dad brought them back from malayia he was doing national service out there ( last ones) they are very beautiful and and it's nice to know others have them mine are black with the lady at the bottom. my dad was told not to use them as they had not been fired not sure if this is right .

Geisha head
by: Anonymous

I have a set similar, although my dad said was chinese coffee set from Kowleen China 1957. I have coffee pot, sugar bowl with lids, cream jug, 6 cups and saucers.They are white with silver etching of boats,watermill,trees and volcano and the back. Has anyone come accross these.

Asians Notorious for drinking tea
by: Anonymous from Houston

Actually I purchased my set in a flea market from an Asian vendor back in 1983. Mine is mother of pearl with the embossed dragon of charcoal gray/blk white & baby blue hardened clay or something. It has gold trim and is stamped in reddish brown made in Japan. It too has the geisha girl @ bottom of cup when raised to the light.

I also, purchased just one cup and saucer plate @ a garage sale about a yr and a half ago. This one is white the dragon appears to be gold filled the belly outlined in reddish brown with the raised
hardened clay yellow and charcoal gray on top. The cups handle is the reddish brown and has the raised dots. The base of the cup is charcoal gray/blk. The plate is marked in reddish brown
with the letters MEIJY either 6 or the letter O
made in china and has a line with the left end curled up.

My good friends dad had actually purchased his mother of pearl tea set in San Francisco while on
vacation in late 70's. Who knows what they are worth. I paid $50. for mine back in the day and it still looks brand new.

worried geisha tea set full and complete
by: kerrie moloney

My tea set has a gold water wheel and mountains, 6 cups, saucers, 6 side plates. Teapot, sugar bowl, milk jug, what looks like a smaller sugar bowl but is apparently an incense bowl. All match, all beautiful the good pattern looks new. Was owned by a relative and apparently bought home after ww1. I will be selling as I've been quoted £4,000 for full set. Unless I want to auction which can be long winded. But the geisha look magical

geisha girl coffee set
by: Anonymous

I also have the same set 6 saucers 6 cups coffee jug milk jug and sugar pot with lid dragon print blue with gold trim. Also all six cups have geisha girl in bottom of cup which you can see when held up to the light. I received these off my mother inlaw, she bought them in America in 1952

by: jay

we just got one from a friend our is just one cup one saucer and one side plate not that we would sell it but find it hard to believe someone wouldnt buy this set at a auction its so pretty

got a full set to sell
by: kerrie

Email me will send pics

Tea set with Girl / Emperess face when held to light
by: Cathi

I have a tea set, pot, creamer, sugar, cups and saucers, but has a delicate cherry blossom lined path leading to a mountain in the background. Any ideas of its worth?

keep it going
by: Charmaine

Hi Peter,

Thank you for all the updates and maintaining a great website. I can't believe that my first query was in 2009!

I still have my tea set and will cherish it for as long as I or the tea set exist.

What I discovered in the search, so far, is that my tea set is a Coralene (due to the glass beads) Dragonware Lithopane Set. I found a great website that describes the positions of the Lithopaned Geisha's because the positions of the face determines the value of the tea set.

Apparently there are some very rare ones around.

Nowadays, there is much more information regarding the Geisha Sets on the internet but I appreciate yours because it has, like you stated, no spam.

Thank you Peter, and keep it going...


Thanks Charmaine
by: Peter (admin)

Hi Charmaine

Yup, this site is evergreen, just like you and me!

Thanks to you and all the other contributors keeping it real.

We just had a 7 year old pottery mark mystery solved by one of our visitors....

click here to see which one!

We just keep on rolling!

Peter (admin)

geisha porclain
by: FRANKAnonymous


Japanese tea cup with Geisha,
by: Debbie

I also have a tea set with the Geisha in the bottom of the cups. Mine were bought in occupied Japan in 1953 by my father who was a G.I. stationed there. Our family was living there for a short time. Mine is marked Gem China says Made in Japan and has a border of dragons around the printing. It is dark blue with a beaded dragon in red and brown and white with a gold leaf border. Quite beautiful and there is a geisha in the bottom of the tea cup when you hold it to the light. I believe it is a moriage dragonware tea set with lithophane geisha.
I have also a pair of cloissone vases that are dark green with a white rose pattern. Unfortunately not signed so I can't be sure but suspect they are satsuma vases. They have a bamboo pattern behind the roses. Also very beautiful.

geisha lady
by: Anonymous

I have Japanese dragonware tea set , it is not a face at the bottom of the cup but a naked lady , but can't seem to find the value of it, I do no that the cups with the naked ladies and the one with the twin lady are sought after the most but that all , can u help please

Japanese naked lady set
by: Anonymous

I have a dragonware tea set and at the bottom of the cups is a naked lady , I do no they are more valuable than the ones with the face and they are rare, but I can seem to find how much they are worth, please help .

geisha girl cups
by: sue mc

i have a complete tea & coffee service (24 piece) that my parents bought in singapore approx 1967 & had it shipped home, white & pink with dark grey dragons, trimmed in gold, tea cups are tiny, all cups have the ladies face in the bottom, stamp on the bottom of the tea & coffee pots say chh china, have always wondered if it has any value & how did they get the face in the bottom of the cup!



Reply by Peter (admin)

Hi Sue

This technique is called Lithophane - where a light relief sculpture is put onto the mould, so when porcelain is cast - it shows the reverse image when the light shines though.

Peter (admin)

by: Peter (admin)

Hi Sue

Interesting story. I think it's new to these discussion threads that some of these Japanese sets were made in China, so thank you for that.

These sets do have a value, but I have made a decision a long time ago that these friendly china chat forums weren't the place to have discussion about value.

This was after people began to get into a heated debates about what stuff was worth etc. I didn't want to have to referee that type of conversation, so in 2006, initiated my Roadshow style appraisals.Antiques Roadshow style appraisals and banned talk of values. These have helped thousands of people. They are the best value online by far, in my view, and so say the visitors who have taken advantage of them.

We can all help each other out, but not with regard to valuations - these have to be done by professionals.

Best regards

Peter (admin)

Japanese tea set
by: Karen-Toronto

I too have a Japanese tea set with the geisha face on the bottom seen when held up to the light, red and gold in color. It was left to me by a great-aunt too. When my great-aunt died my aunt went to Belize for a funeral and brought it back and when she died i got it.

Please help identify my teaset
by: molle

I've read the entire tread, hoping someone would describe a stamp similar to mine, but with no luck, so I hope some of you nice people can help me :)

The cups are less than 1mm thick, so it must be eggshell, and they have a litophane in the bottom, so you see the beautifull geisha when you hold it against the light. It also appear to be handpainted.
I have it from my grandmother, and she got it when she was young (1920s), her husband brought it back from Asia.

I have researched alot, but have come up empty. The stamp on the teapot and other parts (not the cups) is a red diamond on its side with the word Yamada in the middle. Above the diamond it says "maede in" (notice the spelling error!) and belov it "Nipon" and Nipon is only spelled with one "p".

Can anyone identify this for me? Or tell me a little bit more about it? Thanks alot! :)

Geisha Tea Set
by: Anonymous

This forum is fantastic. I too have a Geisha 21 -teaset. This has been bequeathed to me by my mother. The set would be approx 50-60yrs old.
My set has 6 saucers/cups/side plates??
The colour is white background, with the dragons a kind of rustic reddish brown, gold rimmed and when you run your fingers around the rim of the cup it is rough in places.
What I am fascinated about is whether you are looking at the geisha through the light from inside the cup on from the outside the Geisha is till looking at you from the same the position. Hope that makes sense.
I too am looking from what region they have come from. If someone could tell me where I could send images of the markings to find out more. Many thanks for sharing!!

Black Porcelain
by: Anonymous

Can anyone help. I have some either Chinese or Japanese porcelain. It's Matt black with gold pattern tracings white interior to cups etc. I have never seen one anything like it before. Started out as a full dinner/tea service but over years I suspect a lot has been broken. It was a wedding present in 1962 from an aunt who knew I loved it but it was always in her house for as long as I can remember. I am 73 yrs old and I have no idea how long she had it before I was born.

How much is it value
by: chanttell

Hi there I would like to sell my tea set but would like to know the value of it.its the same as the dragon set.
Don't know how to send a picture if I can get a Facebook name I could send my pictures to you

another set to the list
by: Anonymous

My Dad was a merchant marine/engineer at sea for 18 years, he brought one set back before WWII and
broke the main tea pot. On a return trip he had to purchase a complete set for an extra tea pot
replacement. He give the new set to his sister Mary W. in texas, shes deceased now so I assume her children inherited it. I have a complete set
in mint condition, the gold may show minor signs
of being handle like brush marks, however, I certainly did not realize this many sets floating around the country. Again, someone stated the value was in the eyes of the beholder or who wants it bad enough for collection and diplay and just what their willing to pay for it. The raised dragons are unique the Geisha girl really stands out when held to a light, I love & cherish my set.

me too my name is Peter
by: Anonymous

i too have a set dark brown the dragon has a pig snout with tusks on it. no giesha face but blue writing on the bottom. was told that the modern eggshel has the empress's face in the bottom. but as this form of china was around in the 1500's am wondering if the one i have is older.
I know my grand father brought it back after WW1.

hidden geisha
by: Renina

My dad has this whole set of the hidden geisha girl when held up in light you can see her. Very exquisive and delicate. He had bought a whole set including dinner plates brand new for his mother, from a japanese woman selling them on the side of the road when he was stationed in japan he eas born in 1929 and was 18 when in japan so that was around 1947. I am interested in the history of how they were made and who made them. His mother passed and he got them back.

Tea cups
by: Anonymous

Im not sure how old this forum is but I picked up a pair of tea cups with saucers in a charity shop up north on the weekend. Both cups have a gesiha girl hologram in each at base of cup. I would like to find out more about them if anyone can help.

by: Mrs C

I have got a gold plated tea set with girl in bottom of cup, bought up the yankstee river during the war by my dad. Its is all complete and in excellent condition. Value? Is it a collecters piece? Would appreciate any feedback please.

by: Anonymous

i have tea set with lady at the bottom would like to know if its worth anything

Geisha Girl tea set
by: David T.

I also have the Geisha Girl in the bottom of the cups. I also have plates with my cups,saucers & Saki cups with a gold emblem on the bottom of plates that has a S inside a the gold emblem & letters under the s that look like a O E D with China under the letters. The design on the set has 2 houses by the water & a pier going out in the lake or ocean. Can U tell me anything about my dinner set? Thank U

Japanese Geisha & Golden Dragon Set
by: Frida M Siton

I have acquired a partial set (6 side plates; 5 saucers; 4 T cups). There is this sign underneath the plates & saucers ( 日本 the symbols are stacked rather than side-by-side). The gold is v rich and there's a 2-toned geisha girl at bottom of cups. I have pictures but can't seem to post them on this site. V thin porcelain which is v light weight. I love the look and quality of the pieces and would like to get other pieces i.e. 2 T cups; 1 saucer; teapot; sugar bowl & creamer to complete my set but would like identical make, with hologram and Japanese sign under plates/saucers. Email me at for pictures and details.

Is this something special? NEW
by: Alexandra

Hello, came across your page trying to research this teaset thats been handet down to me.I would apreciate if you could help me out discovering if its something of higher value or not.i have the full set minus one cup, which was broke in our overseas move.We are getting ready to move again and need to decrease volume and i would rather sell it than have more broke on it.As far as i know it wasn't used and only been in a display cabinet.Is it of higher value or isit a garage sale item? How do i get the pics to you?
Thanx in advance

Mikori Ware Hand Painted NEW
by: Anonymous

I am trying to find out what my 5 piece, trivet, teapot, creamer, sugar bowl with lid, stackable set is worth? I would like to sell it and do not know what to ask for it. I bought it 34 years ago at an Antique store in Hancock Michigan for $125.00. It has never been used by me and has no chips, no cracks and no damage. It has pretty pink roses on it. Can you please inform me of what it is worth now? I would like to sell it. Thank you.

Haysi - Kusani T set NEW
by: Anonymous

I have a beautiful Tea set with Tea pot, milk jug, sugar bowl and six cups and 6 saucers.
In mint condition. It has got a imprint of a Geishas head on each cup. I have pictures.I got it from my mother and she got it as a present from a ships captain. Am very interested to find out its origin and value.

Many thanks for the help! NEW
by: Magnus

Many thanks for the help, Peter and others. I believe I have a full set (I haven't counted the pieces, but it takes up a whole cupboard in itself) of the "sad geisha" white and gold. My father was a (civilian) seaman and bought it in Yokohama in the forties for his mother. I now know so much more about this set than I used to. Many thanks!

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