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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 5769
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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S. Sorry I've been slammed with holiday. But I'm in the

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Hello Robert S. Sorry I've been slammed with holiday. But I'm in the chest. Here is a Nippon Set there are 9 cups, 11 plates one salt and pepper set and the little serving platter thingy. Tell me what ya can. Thank you Robert.


I wanted to let you know that someone has seen your question. I will forward this to the expert that you
requested to let her know a question has been posted for her.
I will opt out of this, so she can address this as soon as she signs in.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Robert S. Please (you wrote her lol) thank you for moving this on.

I've been called worse things! Just don't call me late for dinner, right?

Beautiful Nippon china! I'll have an answer on this for you as soon as I can.

Hope you had a great holiday. I ate too much as usual. Heavy losses at the Battle of the Bulge.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
By better, lol miss. So now think about this you put yourself on a fluid diet just to stretch that tummy back out. Ditching ice cream for nothing! Hey look, did u see this up?

That looks great up on the wall! The woodpeckers, the mat and the wall color are all one and the same family.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I think so to. When the drapes are open it holds a slight tint of orange to it which brings out the copper in the shag rug I bought at the auction it's nice 7x5 hand made, different shades of greens, looks metallic. I'm happy with it. People like it. First word out of most is "Oh Wow", I take it as a compliment.

Yes, definitely "Oh wow!" My 'sentimentals' entirely!

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Smooth talker.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
How's the appraisal coming along? Did u forget about the Nippon.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
How are you doing Robert? I. Hoping to hear you and your family is safe. I've been watching the news and hearing of the fires, not sure how close to you but am praying for your family and the other families that are and have been affected by these fires. Pop up a thumb if all is safe.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Are you back slaving at the computer?

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for being concerned, luckily we missed all the fires, but I have friends who stayed in the hotel that burnt to the ground. All okay.

No fires here, but there were fires all around us and smoke for months and months. No significant rain since July. That is, until the last couple of days when we've now gone to the other extreme. Six inches and counting.

I'll be back at my desk tomorrow morning as ever. Will have a full answer on the Nippon, thanks for being so patient as always!

Have a great night.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Good to know you and your families are safe. I prayed for rain to stop the fires. Prayers answered. ��

Hi Cindy,

I'm back!

This is a very pretty tea set! And a lovely example of the skills and artistry of the Noritake decorators which is what this mark tells us it is, but it was also made before the tradename "Noritake" was born (or at least the piece with that "Nippon" mark was).

The company that eventually became "Noritake" was founded in 1875 by Baron Ichizaemon Morimura VI -a mouthful of a name, I know, but a masterful businessman who came all the way round the world to sell fine china in New York and Paris, and not only overcame the language barrier selling to the "round eyes", but many other industrial and technical hurdles too, and with his brother's help, ended up creating some of the finest porcelain tableware in the world at the time (and since then, frankly) and this set is no exception. It's the Morimura brothers at their very best.

It's also quite early dating to 1891 - 1905 when the Morimura brothers called themselves Nippon Toki Kaisha Ltd. So your set is well over 100 years old and therefore officially an antique (if you take the strict definition of "antique" as being an age of 100 years or more).

We know it must be pre-1905 because that was the year when the company began using the "Noritake" brand and also the wording "Made in Japan" instead of "Nippon" which is how the country of Japan liked to style itself at the time.

The mark in the middle is the "Komaru" symbol, one of the company's earliest logos. It's a stylized version of the Japanese character

困 "Komaru",

meaning "Overcoming Difficulties or Stress" referring to problems the Morimura brothers faced exporting their china to the West, overcoming the enormous barriers of language, culture, geography and industrial production. Komaru also means "Becoming Stressed" which was no doubt their secret subtext, too!

Whether this is true or not, it makes a good story, however the more prosaic explanation is that the symbol also happens to be the historic family crest of the Morimura clan.

Here's a helpful graphic of the various marks and how the Komaru symbol evolved.

I love the fact that your service contains a salt & pepper set, too. Just perfect for those cucumber sandwiches or egg sandwiches that would have been popular at "high tea" in those days. The Victorians believed that "egg without salt was like a kiss without a mustache".

Despite all this history and artistry, I'm sad to say these Art Nouveau era tea sets by Noritake are completely unappreciated by collectors because no-one knows the full story of them anymore, and the extraordinary technical skill required to make & decorate the porcelain with that raised paste gold enamel (all hand done by painters squatting on the ground, here's a Japanese decorating studio in 1904) nor does anyone entertain with fine china like they used to, so values for these sets are a joke compared to what they should be in terms of what it would cost to make the same today, that's assuming of course you could even find the skills to do so, which is highly doubtful.

Having said that, this particular pattern is quite a famous one and there is still a steady demand for it on the secondary market. The pattern is mostly known as "Christmas Ball" but also called "White and Gold" and "Rose and Tulip."

If you saw your set for sale in an antique store, it would have a full retail value of around $550. This is also the replacement value for insurance purposes.

Expect to get 30% - 40% of this if you were to sell at auction or on line (eBay etc).

I do hope this helps!

Please let me know if you'd like me to explain or expand on any of the above, I would be glad to.

Best wishes,


PS. Thanks so much for doing the rain dance, it worked! You can stop now; my bucket rain gauge says 10" at the latest look! It certainly has dampened out all the embers thankfully, but not before destroying nearly 2000 homes in Sevier Co, TN and killing more people than they will probably ever determine, since all that's left of each home is a pile of ash turned to paste in the rain. Very sad.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The story is great that's my favorite part of these looksies. I pd 45$. For all. I have Nippon vases. 4 I believe coming your way.
As far as the rain meter, lol. I do have a rain stick and yes my grandfather was a Native American in the most part. It's a real stick! Haha but I countess on God he's much more reliable.
Their soles are in heaven, and they are safe. The loved ones here will miss and morn their loss and the lord will remind, dust to dust ashes to ashes. They have been blessed Robert. My heart hurts for the families and friends. But God did fine details when he created us. He gave us all the beauty and all the forest animals to keep our lives fulfilled with his beauty and glory. Such a scary and deadly thing they had to endure. It's just a very sad and heartbreaking time for us here to know the pain that must be clouding TN. On a lighter note we got an inch of snow last night. The good stuff for packing. Skiing and ⛄️ snowball fights, face washing in the snow. I miss my son. lol last year at Christmas he thought he was gonna be funny! I'm shopping now so Nippon when I get home. Thank you Robert.

Goodness! He looks so like you! What a lovely photo of the two of you. Thanks so much for sending. I have a son in England about the same age. 28. I miss him dreadfully, but he has a successful job in London as an architect so I don't feel too badly for him.

Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 5769
Experience: Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
Robert S. and 2 other Antiques Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I miss josh lots, he's my only child and he's in Texas, I'm here in Michigan. His new wife's mom last year was my turn for Christmas and she asked if I would mind if I would wait til next year cause she wanted all 5 of her kids together for their first married Christmas and he had to call last year to tell me she wants to swap holidays so she could have everyone home. So he did. This is my Christmas and god help that woman and my son if he wasn't coming. I would have called her mother and gave her a thought or to but josh told her no. He's coming home this year. Good boy Robert or maybe I'm not so nice twice. I love to go to London, France Paris to eat cheese! Lol.

Home for Christmas! What a wonderful thing to look forward to. Lucky you and he won't be spoiled at all, right?. Heavens, I pity his missus as the third wheel all holiday.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
She will learn a lot like you don't leave the mother of the grooms name off the invite when u put your parents on it. She said how did u like the invites. I told her they were done in very poor taste. Well Robert they were. Lol

Oops. That was a bit of a mistake. Those sorts of things have consequences for years.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Yup!! Big mistake then to not put anything out that I was doing the rehearsal dinner didn't help. Oh course I say nothing for the 100,000.00 wedding til I arrived for the wedding. She kept saying oh I will send you some pics so u can see what the wedding is going to be. Well Robert her mom has crap for taste. Who serves mashed potatoes in a Martin glass with a line for food for 250 ppl. Broken glasses everywhere. Dropping them in line while you try to carry 3 little plates and a martini glass full of cold potatoes. Yes the hurt runs deep. He's my only child. I had no input. I got a ribbon wrapped around a carnation while her mother carries a small bouquet down the isle. No im not bitter, but she will get hers. Karma!!