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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    8

    Beautiful Chinese Bowl Donated to Habitat - Please Help Me Identify Markings

    Can anyone help me identify the markings on this beautiful bowl? It was donated to Habitat for Humanity's Home Store in Naples, FL. We get many donations from grown children who come to clear out their parents belongings after they have passed away. Lots of antique dealers come to buy items from our store and then they go sell them in their own store for a huge mark up. I am trying to identify the maker/origin/value of this bowl just in case it's worth something more than $20. I would like Habitat to make the profit instead of another dealer. My daughter's Chinese teacher told me that it says "Empire Japan" on the bottom. It also says "made BY Tong Teng" or "made IN Tong Teng". I google map'd Tong Teng and nothing came up. Can anyone explain what Empire Japan means and why it would be written in Chinese? Any help would be much appreciated.
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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    754
    Thanks for your post, I have asked an expert to take a look!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2011
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    42
    Nice plate.
    The signature says 'Dai Nippon', 'Takifuji Manjiro (made)' The 'Dai Nippon' in a sense means Japanese Empire if one had to translate it, it more commonly refers to a general feeling in Japan around the Meiji period, 1868 - 1912. Japan had just emerged from about 300 years of isolation and was just regaining it's feet on the world stage. It is possible the piece is from a little after 1912 but more likely it is from the middle of that range.

    'Takifuji Manjiro' is the maker in my reading. I would need to do some more research to make sure of that but it appears to be a name of a potter or a potter with a workshop that goes by that name.
    I am not sure of the exact pronunciation of the name. There are many possibilities. Your friend is using the Chinese readings, readings that won't be used by Japanese. It is a very common mistake to follow the logic that since Chinese characters were 'imported' from China to Japan that the Chinese readings are somehow 'more' correct. The reality is the characters were imported over 1,300 years ago and the readings are completely Japanese for the characters used in Japan.

    How much is it worth.
    With some more research I could narrow this range but just looking at it, not knowing the dimensions, I would say the following.
    If you want to see it run out the door = 20$ - 50$.
    If you want to enjoy it for a while in your store = 60$ - 100$
    If you like it and want to give it a price closer to what a dealer would = 110$ - 200$


    The repair on the bottom.
    The staples are loved by some, not so by others. I wouldn't listen to people who say that since it has been repaired by staples it should go for the bottom of my ranges above. Stapling is a time consuming repair process and only done for more valuable pieces or pieces that have high sentimental value.

    I hope that helps.
    Last edited by David Pike; 03-08-2012 at 04:15 AM.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2012
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    8
    Oh my goodness, how do you know all that?! What an amazing wealth of knowledge to share. I'm very grateful for your reply and yes, I think we will enjoy it in the store for a little while. One of our volunteers had slapped a $20 price tag on it and put it out for sale. I thought to myself, who would spend the time to staple it back together if it wasn't worth anything, let me do some research. I looked all over the internet before stumbling upon Worthpoint.com. I can see why people get addicted to this kind of antique hunting. I'm sure our volunteers will be interested to read more about this bowl! Thank you so much!

  5. #5
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    Mar 2012
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    Just finding out more info on Takifuji - you're right, he is the maker. This information below is from the website Japan Marks -Kinran.

    "Takifuji Manjiro is also listed as a principal partner under the business name Dai Nippon Ceramic Company. One of his partners was Makuzu Kozan.

    Takifuji Manjiro was a noted artist and businessman. In February 1888, he started a company called the Takifuji Glazing Station located in Minami Sotobori-cho for glazing and firing ceramics. He exported his wares for the foreign trade and his business grew rapidly due to the foreign demand and local potters who wanted to contract his services. Takifuji also made and sold his own wares that were marked with his signature, Takifuji zo. His company became a major manufacturer and exporter during the Meiji era. (Reference - Kyoto University Economic Review - Yasuo Mishima and
    General View of Commerce & Industry in the Empire of Japan)..

    *Note: In General View, the name shown is Takido. The kanji characters are the same for the names Takido (Takito) and Takifuji. This is a mis-print or mis-translation and the correct name should be TAKIFUJI Manjiro and I have corrected the name in the above list from Takido to Takifuji.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2012
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    8
    The question still remains that someone(s) manufactured Kinran coralene wares in Japan. I am noting here particular information regarding a company named YAMANAKA and its partnership of artists who were the manufacturers of Kinran wares but I am unable to confirm at this time whether their "Kinran wares" is the same Kinran coralene wares of U.S. Patent 912171 and Japan Patent 16137.In "General View of Commerce & Industry in the Empire of Japan" published by The Bureau of Commerce and Industry, Department of Agriculture and Commerce, Japan, Tokyo, 1893, page 244, there is noted for a business named YAMANAKA located in Aichi-ken that their manufacturing articles were KINRAN wares.
    Principal Business Name - YAMANAKA
    Located in Aichi-ken
    Principal Person(s) or Owner(s) Business Place Dealing Articles Mfg. Articles
    Takifuji* Manjiro Chay-cho, Nagoya Porcelain and Earthen wares KINRAN wares
    Kito Yahei Nakaichiba-cho, Nagoya " "
    Saji Shiunzo Nakaichiba-cho, Nagoya " "
    Matsukawa Yoshichi Nabeya-cho, Nagoya " "
    Kawachi Tokubei Aioi-cho, Nagoya " "
    Kato Senemon Akatsuka-cho, Nagoya " "
    Kato Kaneshichi " " "
    Inabe Yosuke Nabeya-cho, Nagoya " "

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