Porcelain & Inventive Objects of Art from Japan

Vintage objects on this page are personal memorabilia and estate finds

Kokeshi dolls for perfume and lipstick

Kokeshi doll vanity set for your purse or bureau: a tube of lipstick and a perfume canister that retains a rich perfume scent from its original contents. The outer canisters have remarkable craftsmanship, making them mini sculptures of art from a country of artisans. Read story on my blog.

teacup with Koi art, made in Japan
teacup and saucer with Koi art, made in Japan

translucent porcelain with classic popular Japanese Koi or carp fish design that symbolizes courage and strength in the Japanese culture due to the ability of Koi to swim up a waterfall.

framed Geisha kimono print of Japanese textile art painting using traditional Washi technique

Textile art using traditional Washi technique

Kimono art collage technique using Chiyogami/Yuzen papers

Framed prints were purchased by a friend on a trip to Japan

Artist: woodblock stamped signature

Description: Geisha girl juggling balls in an outdoor setting with flowers

Live art, 9 by 10 inches

framed Geisha kimono print of Japanese textile art painting using traditional Washi technique

textile art using traditional Washi technique

Description: Geisha girl holding ball in an outdoor setting with bamboo

The same fabric on both kimonos indicates a matching set of prints

Set depicts either sisters or possibly two stages in the life of a girl, one younger; one older

Live art, 9 by 10 inches

lamp with cherry blossom design on a frosted globe base

Frosted globe with cherry blossoms and bird design on antique brass lamp.

Kokeshi doll from Ichinoseki Japan

Circa 1960-1970; 4" tall

Brochure with the Japanese translation

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Oriental doll with three wigs in original box

Oriental doll with three wigs

Doll heads made from crushed oyster shell paste; set glass eyes

The three wigs denote the three stages in the life of a Japanese girl/woman

Box latched with cord and copper-like medallion

Sold

vintage poodle wall pocket by Lefton Made in Japan

Poodle wall pocket, signed, © Geo. Z. Lefton, with red label, Lefton's Exclusives Japan

Imported from Japan by George Zolton Lefton, 1946 to 1953

Gilding and spaghetti trim: holes in back to attach to wall

Bride and croom cake topper, made in Japan

Bride and groom, cake topper

1940s, Parian Immobile

The dashing groom in his bow tie and top hat and the bride with a garland of flowers and a pretty bouquet. Hand painted.

Sold

Dutch boy and girl figurines, made in japan

Doll Figurines, Made in Japan

Stone bisque Dutch boy and girl

Hand painted, 6" tall

All-Bisque Immobile Girl and Puppy

Little girl and her puppy

Adorable! All-bisque, immobile, 7/8” tall

Circa 1940: Japan and 9 incised on back

Sold

Collectibles, Made in Japan

At the height of the Victorian Age and the turn of the 19th Century, Japan produced copy-cats of popular collectibles such as Goebel Hummel figurines and fine porcelain from Germany, France, Italy, and England.

As well, for the welcoming market in the U.S., Japan designed and manufactured goods that not only exceeded their inexpensive copy-cat counterparts but achieved a highly collectible status due to their excellence in design and quality, i.e., Lefton, Nippon, etc. This page showcases the artistry and inventiveness of the people of Japan.

Banjo Betty by Akiyama, a Hummel copycat

Banjo Betty by Akiyama, Japan, imported in the early 50s

A copycat of the "Joyful" Hummel #53, identified by the smudged trademark on the bottom side.

Reference: Hummel Copycats; Author, Lawrence L. Wonsch, pg. 43; 1987

Father's Helper Figurine AH2-26-8

NAPCO Father’s Helper AH2 26-8 Scotty Dog

Figurine of boy polishing boots for dad

In the Hummel style

Porcelain, Wall Pocket or Vase

Hand Painted

Made in Japan by Takito

Sold
Wall pocket with parrots art and branches of blossoms

Plaster, Wall Pocket or Vase

Cut-out hanger on back

Art: parrot on branch of blossoms

Harvest Time Girl, Japan

Signed “J Morie” porcelain figurine after the bronze “Harvest Time Girl.”

Hand painted in subtle pastels; lavish gilding on edging and throughout the surface of the figure. The grapes, pomegranates, and roses, as well as other details, are beautifully sculpted and painted: 12 1/2" tall.

Head vase of girl in blond hair with banana curls

Blonde head vase with banana curls

Window-pane dress with peter-pan collar and pillbox hat: 6" tall

Trademark shamrock circled with wreath

Sold

Napco Head Vase

NAPCO Head Vase

Sold / Sold

Half Doll for Pin Cushion, Lady in Bonnet with Fan

Height, 3 3/4" tall

Four holes in waistline for latching doll to pin cushion

NAPCO Head vase of girl in bonnet and sash

Blonde Bonnet Head Vase with ribbon Sash and Sculpted Flowers

NAPCO 1959 c38128; 6" tall

National Potteries Co. NAPCO 1959 c38128

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NAPCO head vase of lady in black dress and hat and pearl earrings

NAPCO Stylish Head Vase, 1958 C3343A

Height, 4 ½" tall; sandy-blonde hair

Red lipstick and nail polish; black dress and hat; pearl necklace and earrings

Sold

Lefton head vase, made in Japan

Lefton 2667 Brunette Head Vase

Measures, 5" x 5"

Rose brooch at collar; brunette hair, green, ruffled hat brim

Label: Lefton’s US Pat Off Reg Exclusives Japan 2667

Sold

porcelain figurine by Andrea by Sadek of boy and dachshund on cushion

Vintage figurine, Andrea by Sadek

Child and pet dachshund on green cushion with gilding.

porcelain figurine of child and dog on lawn

Vintage figurine, Andrea by Sadek

Child and his pet dog, a black and white English dog. Gilding on figurine. Background of grass and tree with flower.

Josef copycat figurine by Arnart of a pink lady in bonnet and dress, wearing white gloves; porcelain figurine

Incised. Cherchez La Femm; stamped "7616"

Pink dress and bonnet, trimmed with applied roses with gold accents; white gloves

Josef copycat figurine by Arnart: 4 3/4" tall

Sold

Toby character creamer

Character Toby Mug, creamer

Toby Character Mug/Creamer

Character Toby Mug, creamer

Toby Character Mug/Creamer

Character Toby Mug, creamer

Height, 2 3/8"

Inarco Plaque or Plate, Made in Japan, 	        Blue-Green Mood Indigo

Inarco plaque or wall plate

Blue-Green Fruit

Mood Indigo, Made in Japan

Sold

Hand-painted saucer from Occupied Japan

Hand-painted saucer

Made in Occupied Japan

Souvenir tea cup from Disney world

Souvenir cup from Disney World

Made in Japan

Porcelain swan planter

Porcelain swan planter

Chopper Hopper container with lid

A Chopper Hopper for Him

Sold

Two baby chicks by Lefton

Sold

Relpo baby planter of pink, yarn doll

Relpo Baby Planter

Alphabet themed children's planter

Inarco planter in the shape of baby booites and baby chicks

Inarco Planter

Ceramic, baby booties with Chicks

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Noritake Hand-Painted Bowl

Footed Noritake Bowl with scalloped edge, 7 3/4 wide and 3 1/4" deep

Hand-painted with chrysanthemum/peony spray and gilding

Mark: green Noritake back stamp of a wreath encasing the letter“ M ”

Morimura Brothers, 1911-1921 Made in Japan Hand Painted

Japanese Ewer with bluebirds and bamboo decoration and gilding

Japanese Ewer with bluebirds and bamboo, gilding

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Porcelain bottle or jug, 14" tall

Hand-painted; artist's signature; three glazes

Artwork: cranes, the national bird of Japan

Sake bup with embossed crane and button flowers art

Sake Cup with Embossed Flying Crane and Button Flowers Art

Glazed sake jug

Antique, Glazed Sake Jug

Earthenware, thought to be from the Meiji-Period, circa 1900; possible uses were sake tokkuri: antique rice wine jug

Off-white, background glaze, decorated with kanji in dark brown: 7 1/2" tall; base diameter of 3"

Nippon footed bowl

Nippon footed bowl

Mark: Nippon

Width, 9 1/2"; height, 2"

Netsuke

Netsuke

Netsuke Merchant with calabash, resting on mushiro

Edo era; 19th century

Width, 2 ¾” wide; height, 1 3/8"

Sold
Chinese or Japanese Carving with scrimshaw on sail

Chinese or Japanese Carving; backside

Scrimshaw on sail

Artist signature on base

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Elegant Lady figurine, playing a lute or mandolin

Height, 6"

Porcelain art with guilding: hand-painted roses; blue dress with cape

Mark: greem stamp, Made in Occupied Japan

Japanese sterling brooch

Japanese sterling brooch

Porcelain wall pocket with birds and pussy willows

Wall pocket, decorated with birds and branches with blossoms

Green circle trademark: sunburst imprint with “Hand Painted Made in Japan”

Irridescent, blue vase with pussy willows

Blue, iridescent vase with pussy willows

Painted and enameled flowers

Nobility with mandolin or lute

Nobility with mandolin or lute

Hand painted with gilding

Stamped “ Occupied” Japan in green

Balerina figurine with gilding and applied netting

Beautiful, porcelain ballet dancer

Gilding and applied netting: height, 3"

Boy and Shovel: red mark Made in Japan

Wearing a blue romper with shoulder straps and top

Blonde hair and blue eyes

Post Card from Japan of a teen couple, him in his student's uniform and she in her fancy komona

Post Card, mailed From Tokyo to New York

Teen couple, the boy wearing a student's uniform and the girl in a fancy komona

Carte Postale Tokio Japan

Addressed to: Mr. K. Kudoh in New York City

(165 Broadway, New York City U.S.A.) See back

Morimura Brothers bisque doll hed

Morimura Brothers bisque, socket head doll, 1920s

Mark: 1 MB (logo) Japan 3

High quality bisque: fine painting, red accents on inside eyelids and in nostrils; painted lower lashes

Delicate tint on cheeks

Blue paperweight eyes -sleep eyes

Open mouth, teeth, chin dimple

With long face: Described as Morimura's special head by Denise Van Patten (doll book)

Sold

Cupid playing a mandolin or lute

Ardalt porcelain, Lenwile, Japan

No. 6495c; 4 -inches tall

This copy-cat figurine has the trademark blue wings of the Kewpie

Sold

All-Bisque Kewpies/Cupids, Made in Japan

Porcelain "Kewpie's" with blue wings

Incised Made in Japan

Height, 3 3/4"; circa 1940

Sold

Nippon porcelain doll

Nippon Porcelain, Hula Doll

Jointed at shoulders

Intaglio, Googly eyes

Attached hula fringe and silk flowers

Nippon Bather Character Doll, Boy

Nippon, all-bisque, Boy Bather, Character Doll

Mark: Nippon; height, 4 3/4"

Googly eyes, knit eye brows

Spread fingers on hands: jointed arms

Molded and painted hair and swim suit

REFERENCE: Warman's Companion, Dawn Herlocher, pg. 23

Sold

Nippon Bather Character Doll, Girl

All-Bisque Dolly Nippon Girl Character Doll

Height, 4 3/4";

Googly eye; strung, jointed arms

Knit eyebrows; molded and painted hair

Molded and painted suit with pink ribbon trim and bow

Incised Nippon on back

REFERENCE: Warman's Companion, Dawn Herlocher, pg. 23

Sold

All bisque Googly with brown hair

All Bisque Googly, Doll

Jointed at shoulders; 5 1/2" long

Angel celluloid, Made in Japan

Angel Celluloid Doll, Made in Japan

Trademark cross inside a circle

Jointed at shoulders and hips, 3 ½” tall

Molded and painted features

Bedtime prayers

Vintage Ceramic Angels by L&M Inc., Japan

Gilding details: bedtime story or bedtime prayers

Flapper, Betty-Boop style doll; 
celluloid doll with Googly Eyes

Flapper, Betty-Boop style celluloid doll

Mark: Japan and trademark star in a circle

Height, 6 1/2" jointed at shoulders

Altar or choir boy doll

Choir Boy or Altar Boy

One-piece body with hinged arms that move up and down with the book

Composition body and legs with painted shoes

Sold

Accordian player immobile

Immobile, Man with accordion

Yona Christmas Wall Plaque

Yona Christmas Wall Plaque

Gilding on Merry Christmas gifts

Wall hanging (hole in back for hanging on wall)

Three darling, angel bell ornaments

Hand painted with gilding

Little clangers in the bells jingle with music to wish a Merry Christmas!

Cobalt blue, ceramic candle stick

Cobalt blue, ceramic candle stick

Applied white decoration with gilding

Dimensions: 4 1/8 inches by 3 1/4 inches

Salt and Pepper Shaker, Made in Japan

Kokeshi Salt & Pepper Shakers

Sold

Pierrot salt and pepper shaker

Pierrot salt shaker

Mark, Japan

Sold

cermaic immorible of boy holding horse, Made in Japan

Immobile Ceramic, 3 ¼" tall

Boy holding toy horse

Stamped "Japan" in red on bottom

Chenille chicks for children's Easter baskets

Made in Japan: lot of 48

Sold

Navy sailor doll, made in Japan

US Navy Sailor doll

Celluloid head; cloth body, stuffed with excelsior

Missing its celluloid feet and hands

Molded and painted features

Height, 4 1/2" tall; dating from the 40's

all-bisque baby doll, 4-inches long

All-Bisque, Baby Doll

Mark: Made in Japan

Jointed, 4" long

Mohair tufts, tied with ribbons

Painted features

Circa 1890-1920

All bisque tall, 2-inches tall

Two-Inch, all-Bisque dolls

Mark: Made in Japan

The dolls have painted features: four have silver painted hair and one has gold painted hair; each has a red bow painted on the left side of their hair

all-bisque, jointed doll with gray hair

All-bisque, Doll house doll

Jointed arms and legs

Molded and painted gray hair and red strap shoes with socks, edged in blue
Muslin dress, fitted to the body

Sold

six inch Japanese doll

6" Japanese Doll

Mfg. mark on back of head, written in Japanese

Bisque head on composition body

Nipon socket head baby doll

Nippon Socket-Head Baby Doll

Five-piece, composition body; sleep eyes

Open mouth; top teeth

Painted brows and eyelashes

Mippon baby doll

Nippon baby doll, 20"

Mark: Nippon 1120

Bisque socket head

Open mouth, two teeth

Painted upper and lower lashes and brow

Brown sleep eyes

Molded and painted hair

Bent legs for sitting; straight wrists and ankles

Dimples in back shoulders

Celluloid Bathers Dolls

Mark: Japan

Hand Painted; 7" tall

Frozen Charlotte with Googly Eyes

Frozen Charlotte with sideways facing Googly-eyes

All bisque, 3" tall

Mark: Made in Japan

Hand-painted features - molded hair

Jointed at the shoulders with pins

All-bisque doll; jointed

Stone bisque; painted facial features and red strap-shoes and socks, topped in blue

Mohair wig

black all-bisque baby doll, jointed at arms and legs

All-bisque doll, 6"

Mark: Made in Japan

Jointed at arms and legs

Hand-painted

Mohair pigtails with ribbons

Made in Japan

After the U.S. McKinley Tariff Act of 1891, an identifying mark from the country of origin was required on porcelain imports.

On imports from Japan, Nippon, the Japanese word for Japan, was stamped between 1891 and 1921.

After 1921, the mark Japan or Made in Japan was added.

Bisque Ceramic Figurine with incised mark, Japan

Bisque or ceramic figurine

Incised Japan on back; 3 1/4" tall

Nippon baby doll, made in Japan, with a bisque head and a jointed, composition body

Nippon baby doll with a bisque, socket head and a 5-piece jointed, composition body: incised mark, Nippon.