Noritake was founded in Japan in 1904 as the Nippon Toki Nabushiki Kaisha, Ltd. company by the Morimura brothers. The brothers wanted to bring traditional Japanese art and craftsmanship to the West, and fine tableware and ceramics would become a popular staple for the fledgling company. The Azalea pattern, one of Noritake's most beautiful and sought after patterns, is hand-painted in soft hues of pinks, grays, and greens that lend a strong botanic feel while the understated white background and gold trim add sleek sophistication. The pattern has a history of its own and made Noritake a household name in America. Azalea's rise to fame in this country can be attributed to its success as a promotional item offered by the Larkin company.
The set of 6 cups & Saucers ( cups are stamped, saucers are not) is stamped with the green backstamp, circa 1921-1924, "Noritake", over "M" within a wreath. "Hand Painted - Made in Japan - (Japanese characters) & 19322". The saucers measure 5 1/2" across; the cups measure 3 3/4" across and 2" in height. There are no cracks, chips or repairs; some minor wear on the gold edge.
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