We are offering this exquisitely painted Morimura porcelain cylinder vase, created during the second decade of the 20th century. This vase has the Morimura Brothers green wreath mark, which was in use from 1911 until possibly as late as 1921. The mark features an "M" (standing for "Morimura") in the center of a wreath, crowned by the legend, "Hand painted" with the word, “NIPPON”, below.
This beautiful and highly unusual cylindrical vase measures 10-13/8” in height, and stands on 3 squared, plinth-like feet that curve outwards at the base (please see our photos). This very old Morimura beauty also features an elaborate collar, with three, sharply arched ‘handles’ that have round, stylized cuffs hanging from the base of each handle. A master artist painted this gorgeous polychrome vase: the front has been hand-painted with a lush bouquet of bearded iris and foliage against a soft gray background. The rear of the vase features an elegant iris bud with foliage. This masterfully rendered painting is highlighted with the restrained but effective use of gilt decoration. The collar of the vase features a repeating art nouveau dragonfly and floral pattern rendered in richly hued enamels, with a border of gold enamel dots.
This piece is in excellent condition, given that it is at least 100 years old. Please note that the feet, handles and rim have been gilded in a stylized manner intended to make the vase look very old. Thus, when you view the feet and handles in our photographs, you are not seeing gold loss, but are instead seeing the result of a technique used to make the vase look ancient. If the feet and handles were truly this worn, then the body of the vase would also be in very bad shape. However, the painting on the body and the enamel work on the collar are pristine!
From the late 19th century and throughout its early 20th century history, the Morimura factory was renowned for its production of porcelain exports of the highest quality and artistry. Please examine our photos on this website and the additional photos on our Facebook page - you will agree that this is a collectible piece of exceptional quality and artistry.
In 1876, Ichizaemon Morimura VI and his brother Toyo founded Morimura Gumi, a Tokyo trading company dedicated to exporting traditional Japanese products. Ichizaemon had an extremely progressive outlook and was intent upon modernizing Japan’s manufacturing processes, as well as its outlook on trade and exports. That same year, brother Toyo sailed from Yokohama for America, and established a Manhattan retail store "Hinode Shokai," in partnership with other Japanese businessmen. Shortly thereafter, a Morimura Bros. retail store opened in New York.
From the inception of his business, Ichizaemon Morimura sought to adapt quality Japanese art and skilled craft to the needs, designs and market appeal of the American consumer. Morimura did not produce products during this initial period (1884 – 1890), but instead exported the creations of other Japanese producers and artists to the United States. Finally, in 1891, the firm began potting and exporting hand painted Nippon porcelain, and continued in this endeavor for the next 30 years. (See, Noritake Collectibles, by Lou Ann Donahue).
We should note that early Morimura imports predating – like other early Japanese imports - would not have been marked. The term "Nippon" came into use in 1890, when the import/export provisions of the McKinley Tariff Act became law. This law stopped the import of any products that did not have their country of origin "plainly marked...in legible English words." Thus, from 1890 on, anything that came into the United States from another country had to be marked with its country of origin in understandable, written English. Nippon basically means "made in Japan." The "Nippon" mark adequately complied with the McKinley Tariff Act of 1891 for the next thirty years, until 1921, when Customs officials decreed that any piece imported from Japan should be marked "Japan" and not marked "Nippon." This change is crucial for porcelain collectors, because any piece marked “Japan” was made and imported after 1921.
Shipping for this gorgeous antique Nippon Morimura cylinder vase with a lovely bearded iris design is $30.00 to the 48 contiguous United States. Please contact us for a shipping quote outside the lower 48 United States @ email@example.com