What Are Some Authentic Japanese Porcelain Marks?

Some authentic Japanese porcelain marks include the crossed imperial Chinese and Japanese flags, for the A A Vantine & Company in the 1910-20s; the characters "NICHI" and "HON" that spell out Nippon, for the Aerozon company sometime after 1940; and the mark "Arita," for porcelain that was produced in Arita during the 1600s.

Ashley A Vantine started a company in Yokohama, Japan, in 1865 that manufactured goods for Western export. Most of the remaining porcelain manufactured by the company dates back to the 1910s through the 1940s. The primary mark the company used was the crossed imperial Chinese and Japanese flags, and in between the flags was the Turkish crescent moon and star. The mark represented the company's business connection with the three countries. Though the mark itself is the same, there are a few minor alterations to the mark that experts can use to determine the tentative decade when the porcelain was manufactured.

Another mark, the character for "Aoki," marks the Arita porcelain by Aoki Brothers Company. The company was founded in the late 1800s and continued to manufacture porcelain bowls through the 1950s. The marking is sometimes red and other times blue, to match the color scheme of the porcelain plate or bowl.