Japanese Pottery Mark

Discussion in 'Pottery, Glass, and Porcelain' started by catmein, May 26, 2022.

  1. catmein

    catmein New Member

    C6525372-30D9-4700-8D60-862EA852806E.jpeg Does anyone know what this mark is? Type of this plate. Thanks.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2022
  2. Ce BCA

    Ce BCA Well-Known Member

    The mark appears to be Hiragana - ノラ才コ - most likely a name, but I can't reference it. Is it fairly recent art pottery?
    916Bulldogs123 likes this.
  3. LauraGarnet02

    LauraGarnet02 Well-Known Member

    Oh I've seen this mark numerous times. Back in the olden days on the eBay Pottery Board and I'm sure it's been identified here on Antiquers several times also.

    It seems like it is called the Spider Lily Mark, but I can't remember positively.

    Could you show a picture of the entire piece please?
  4. Francisco G Kempton

    Francisco G Kempton Well-Known Member

    That looks like the Fukagawa mark, the 19th century one. Fukagawa are very prestigious, and important part of japanese porcelain history.
    LauraGarnet02 likes this.
  5. Francisco G Kempton

    Francisco G Kempton Well-Known Member

  6. LauraGarnet02

    LauraGarnet02 Well-Known Member

    The orchid mark! I thought of the wrong flower.
    Francisco G Kempton likes this.
  7. Ce BCA

    Ce BCA Well-Known Member

    That's interesting, other than the mark you posted I can't find any other reference to Fukagawa using the katakana script this way. The script if going right to left is typically ko-o-ra-n missing the 'sha' but pretty close. There plenty of other Fukagawa marks with the orchid mark but they us a different script, regular kanji. So this form looks like it is pretty scarce.

    I did find this:

    Screenshot 2022-05-27 093344.png

    It is also formatted the other way around.

    Also found this:


    There may be a bit more to discover about the history of this mark since it seems quite unusual.

    Edit: I seem to be having trouble uploading files currently, it keeps failing with no error message (yes image is right size/format). Hence the four thumbnail copies at the bottom.

    Attached Files:

    Francisco G Kempton likes this.
  8. Francisco G Kempton

    Francisco G Kempton Well-Known Member

    Well, I do not have any where near your skill in Japanese linguistics, I found your post very informative and interesting and educational. So the Katakana is like a basic form of the Kanji, used in the way we might use symbols in advertising for example or water hydrant, Fire door, Exit, Entry, Litter, etc.. I am guessing it is more a semiotic representation of kanji. I might very well have interpreted all that incorrectly.

    The only way I guessed it was fukagawa was because I love fukagawa and have a few vases and bowls and one in particular is from the 19th century and has the red orchid which i was told is from the 19th century and know to see.

    download (33).png

    However the Orchid has been used at various times by fukagawa in the 20th century and late 20th century, but was usually always in blue. However i think they might have even more recently used the red version, but the red version is meant to be exclusive to the 19th century, that may have changed.

    The OP's backmark is not coloured and is impressed and i am not too familiar with that backmark, but the orchid is usually a good sign that it is possibly 19th century. Mt Fuji is the later version more commonly.

    I think you are possibly more correct in the dating, I copied this image from Gothenborg here.... and they do say the date is tentative.

    download (32).png

    Attached Files:

  9. Ce BCA

    Ce BCA Well-Known Member

    Katakana is primarily used to phonetically spell out foreign words, so modern Western words are usually in katakana, also names etc. Each character has a sound associated with it.

    This is why the mark is also unusual, why would a Japanese company use the phonetic form for their mark? It doesn't really help for export, but would make sense for the home market as Japanese speakers would be able to pronounce the word from the Katakana. So possibly such pieces were made for the home market.
    Francisco G Kempton likes this.
  10. Francisco G Kempton

    Francisco G Kempton Well-Known Member

    That explains it perfectly for me. Also fukagawa, at least the modern fukagawa is a very touristry attraction and so is it possible that perhaps fukagawa did this to help the japanese sales people translate to western people the product or to be familiar with the product name from a western perspective i.e a foreign person asking for fukagawa or Koransha.
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