The Noritake of today grew out of a trading company that was originally established by the Morimura Brothers (import company) in New York in 1876. In 1904, the forerunner of the Noritake Company was established in the village of Noritake, a small suburb near Nagoya, Japan. It took until 1914, however, to create the first porcelain dinnerware plate that was suitable for export.
The Phoenix in Japan (known as HOWO) appears to be a combination of pheasant and peacock. It is a rare bird that only makes its appearance on earth when spectacular events or a new age of peace and splendor is about to begin. The phoenix is normally shown with its wings spread out as it attacks a serpent with its claws. Borders on the porcelain vary but often contain stylized mountains and clouds known as the Noritake pattern.
This lovely Noritake gravy boat w/attached underplate, circa 1920's, is covered with images of the Howo, or Phoenix bird, floral blossoms, scrolls of foliage and geometric designs in hues of shaded blue transfer on a white porcelain blank. The Underplate measures 9" in length and 6" win width. It is stamped in blue "Noritake - 'Komaru Symbol' within a circle - Made In Japan". The Komaru Symbol also called the tree crest mark means to overcome difficulties. There are no cracks, chips or repairs. Lovely piece.