Japanese Tea Set - Is it a Collectible? Or not?

by Brenda

Japanese Tea Set – Is it a Collectable? Or not?

What a wonderful and informative website this is! I have been trying for many many months to identify a tea set that I have. I have had no success to date online, even though I have trawled all kinds of websites. I just came across this particular site fairly recently and the amount of information provided about all kinds of china and pottery is absolutely amazing, and to have the facility for people to comment is just wonderful. It makes great reading, whether you are interested in china and pottery or not.

Unfortunately, after poring over the pages, I have still not been able to identify the marks stamped on the bottom of my tea set. I am hoping that someone somewhere has the same tea set (or even a similar set) and that they might share any information they may have.

I have read so much information on Japanese porcelain, and understand that lots of it was actually imported into the UK quite some years ago, and that the market was flooded at one time, but I have no idea if mine is one of those items.

I have been all over the Gotheborg site too, which is also a very informative and interesting site, but I still have not been able to find what the marks on the bottom of my set means, and at best I could only make a wild guess.

Maybe this is telling me it is a common set, and not worthy of listing anywhere. The only similar single set of a cup, saucer and plate that I found was on an auction site. It was a similar design, but with a very different mark on the bottom, and was listed as c.1910 and rare. I have no idea how accurate this might be.

The tea set I have was originally given to my parents as a wedding present in the early 1940s, and it was always carefully displayed in a china cabinet.

I remember it very vividly indeed. When I was young, I recall having to help with the regular task of “cleaning the cabinet”, when every piece of china and glass came out to be washed, dried and carefully returned to the cabinet, and as
a youngster, moving this set was a little nerve-racking to say the least.

And guess what, the set was never used. Well, sadly my parents died, my Mum first, which left the “cleaning the cabinet” task to me. After my Dad died a few years later, I ended up with this set. I never had the heart to part with it, funny how we hold onto things … which are basically just that .. “things”, and I have kept the tea set for over 40 years.

I wonder what my parents would say about the fact that I still have it. It rarely sees daylight other than when I have a sort out, when I take it out and look at it .. then pack it away again. It has a couple of broken pieces (probably a result of the “cleaning the cabinet” activities), but when I depart there will be no one to care about it and it will most likely be thrown out.

Yes, this sounds sad, but it’s a fact, it will go. Hence, I am trying to find out what the marks represent on the bottom of the pieces, and if it is a collectable item in any way shape or form, perhaps I can look towards finding someone who would like it and take care of it.

I have no idea whether it was a new or used item in the 1940s. I am pretty certain it is porcelain, it’s quite thin and very lightweight, with a Geisha scene. I notice on the site that many people have sets with a Japanese lady’s head on the bottom when you hold it to the light, but mine does not have that.

Attached are some photographs of the mark, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that a knowledgeable person somewhere can enlighten me somewhat.

Thankyou so much.



Hi Brenda

Thanks for your submission.

You didn't manage to include any photos of your Japanese pottery mark, so it's difficult to help.

However, I have put together a quick guide to the most common type of Japanese pottery marks that I have come across.

So hopefully this can act as a quick starting point to any research on Japanese pottery marks on teas sets and other forms of Japanese ceramic wares.



Click here to post comments

Return to Antique China and Fine China Collectibles.