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( Article orginally published May 1952 )
Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of collectors are avid buyers of what many of them proudly call "Norah-take." All they need do is say it "Norah-tah-key" and they'll be right as rain. Noritake china was first made in 1904, at Nagoya, Japan, by the Nippon Toki Kaisha. The ware is marked NORITAKE and, if it entered the United States as a direct import, bears the country of origin mark, either "Japan," "Made in Japan," or "Nippon." But this ware is exported from Japan to every country on the face of the globe and, when exported to countries not having country of origin regulations, there is no such additional marking except at the discretion of the manufacturer. Any unmarked pieces now in collections may well have been purchased in antiques and gift shops in Mexico, and Central and South America. The factory where Noritake is made is by far the largest pottery in the entire Orient. There are over 4,000 employees.
The body of Noritake is hard, white and translucent; a porcelain from the region - the far East - where the art of its making was born. Noritake has been imported by various U.S. wholesalers since 1904. The patterns offered are delightful and the ware, of course, was available in open stock dinner sets. "Is Noritaki antique?" is a question that should answer itself from these documented data. The first Noritake was hand painted. Now the artists' designs are transferred in full color by a high fidelity process of decalcomania. Listing of the hundreds of patterns of Noritake must be the task of other enthusiasts. Here are the facts to start you on your way!