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Geisha Girl Creamer



Volume 8  Issue 11

Geisha Girl porcelain production began in the late 19th century. Western curiosity of Japan was satisfied by the hundreds, if not thousands of Japanese potters producing quality, handpainted porcelain. It consisted of common dining and kitchen utentils such as cups and saucers, plates, platters, toothpick holders, and chocolate pot sets. They always feature kimono clad ladies in scenes from pre-modern Japan. Children and/or men sometimes were included. The background scenes depicted temple buildings and/or pagodas with cranes, butterflies, or ducks. Japanese mountain ranges with flora and fauna were included: bamboo, chrysanthemums, peonies, wisteria, irises, cherry and plum blossoms, and pine and maple. Geisha Girl porcelain was handpainted over stenciled outlines. Be careful to note that very few were decorated with decals. Those that were did not come out of Japan, but from Czechoslovakian attempts to profit from the market. These were marked with broad, pseudo-Oriental characters. Geisha Girl porcelain was an offshoot of the Kutani red and gold wares that portrayed Japanese people in the gardens of Japan. The Kutani tradition was continued by some craftsmen, but the majority were using the stencil method of the Geisha Girl porcelain. There are well over 200 different patterns, but they all had the common thread of figures of geishas. Each piece has a border of a particular color. The earliest was various shades of red, "terracotta, "Tokio", and "Japanese", as well as maroon, cobalt blue, pale green or nile green. Pine green, blue-green, and turquoise was introduced in the late 1910's. In the late 1920's and 1930's a pale cobalt blue was introduced. In the Occupied japan era of the 1940's, there was black. Other colors whose dates are not known are: yellow, tan, gold, and brown. Geisha Girl porcelain was distributed in many ways; Oriental shops, department stores, novelty shops, five and dime, and specialty shops. It was also used for advertising and given away as premiums and used as a promotional. Two of the better known department stores that sold Geisha Girl Porcelain was R. H. Macy and Co., of New York and Montgomery Ward and Co. Geisha Girl Porcelain used for advertising is rare and is considered a valuable addition to one's collection. The bulk of Geisha Girl porcelain was produced in the pre-World War II era. Porcelain production was almost at a standstill during the War or none at all due to the kilns being destroyed. However, some of the popular pieces were produced shortly after. During the Occupied Japan era (1945-1952), production of the hand-painted, Kutani-style Geisha ware began. Pieces with black or red borders have been found. However, the quality was mediocre, with sparse enameling, and lack of gold was found. This was thought to be due to the rush to get items to market. This was also about the time that the production of Geisha Girl lithophane pieces are thought to have appeared. The lithophane pieces are not Geisha Girl porcelain unless the outside surface is described as above. Production of Geisha Girl Porcelain continued until the 1960's. However, the point of origin was Hong Kong. It can be determined to be from the 1960's by the whiteness of the porcelain, lack of background washes and gold enameling, and overall sparseness of detail. Production of new Nippon-marked pieces emerged in 1996. The 1990's pieces were just the opposite of the 1960's; overly ornate. Reproductions of Geisha Girl Porcelain are popping up at various antique and flea markets. A careful examination should be made for the size and shape of the markings of the Noritake mark that was used during the Nippon era. Learn what the original marks looked like so you can discern the difference. For some examples of Geisha Girl Porcelain: Geisha Girl Porcelain Examples Geisha Girl Cups & Glasses RESOURCES: Shroeder's Antiques Price Guide - Eighteenth Edition Garage Sale & Flea Market Annual-Third Edition Collector's Encyclopedia of Geisha Girl Porcelain-by Elyce Litts Kovel's


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