This example is a fake oyster plate. Though this individual piece does not bear any obvious mark, when these fake plates in this design first began entering the U.S. in the past decade they were originally marked with a false Nippon 'M in Wreath' mark. The plate is very decorative, with alternating floral and mountain landscape decorations and lots of gold. It is made to bee flashy and catch the eye.
The foot rim on back has two wire hooks embedded in it so the plate can be hung on the wall. This is the biggest and most useful immediate clue that the item is not authentic. An antique or vintage oyster plate would never have had such a feature, as they were never originally made for decorative purposes. Oyster plates were meant to be used at the table, for serving oysters.
Fake 'Nippon' marked items have been around for over 20 years and they remain the source of much consternation among dealers and collectors. The manufacturers for a time were able to create an almost perfect copy of the green 'M in wreath' mark of the Noritake company. Though the oyster plate in this example is not marked with that spurious mark, others are, and so we are including an image of the typical false Nippon mark a buyer might see. U.S. Customs has now halted the importation of fakes bearing counterfeit marks that belong to the Noritake company, which means fake and reproduction items that were previously marked with Noritake marks now must either be marked in some other manner or enter the country wearing only a paper label, which is easily removed.
This design is also not 'hand painted', though commonly it will be identified as such when sold as 'old' to the unwary. Even the equally fake 'Nippon' mark that can occasionally be found on the base of these items suggests they were hand painted, but this is untrue. The decoration is instead common, uniform and applied in a factory by machines. These items sell for wholesale prices of just a few dollars, so the prices one sometimes sees when they are being represented as old and authentic in listings on-line can be a bit breathtaking.
The center of the plate has an area to hold seafood sauce. Since there is some question as to whether or not the glaze on this item would be entirely lead-free, being a mass market 'decorative' fake recently imported from China, it might be a good idea to never actually employ this plate at the table, for food service. Hanging it on the wall, only, would be best. Not ever buying it at all would be even better.
This plate measures 9 inches in diameter.
Item ID: 2007RP000138
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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