RARE hand-painted and gilded cup and saucer made in Occupied Japan 1947-52. This exquisite demitasse set is thin, translucent, pure white porcelain. It is fully marked on the saucer 'MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN' with 'Hand painted' in a semi-circle above. (Mark #121 Archambault p. 201.) Both the footed cup and the saucer are hand painted with a bouquet of flowers featuring a pink peony in full blossom with two buds and a spray of forget-me-nots. A single rose leaf is thrown in for good measure. Brush strokes are clearly visible through a magnifying glass and there is no transfer printing or outlining. Edges and contours are finely gilded.
THE STORY of this flower portrait is 'the courage of true love'. In the Japanese language of flowers - Hanakotoba (花言葉) - each flower has its own meaning. Peony (牡丹 Botan) is bravery and courage. Forget-me-not (勿忘草 Wasurenagusa) is true love. And if we consider that the centre stamens resemble the lotus more than the peony we have the hint of a sad story: Lotus (蓮華 Renge) is 'far from the loved one' / purity / chastity. A wonderful message indeed.
CONDITION is excellent. No issues or repairs. Gentle wear on rim gilding. No paint loss. Appears to have been a display piece for past 70 years. Saucer measures 4.75"D. Cup 3"W x 2.1"H. (Shown in pictures #7,8,9 with 2" MIOJ Tobys sold separately.) This is a quality piece made by one of the top manufacturers and worthy of your MIOJ collection.
MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN (MIOJ) 1947-52: Ceramics from Occupied Japan are assumed to have started arriving in USA around 1947. The Japanese Trade Guide for 1949 states that tableware accounted for over 90% of all the chinaware and porcelain exported between September 1947 and April 1948. (Archambault p.110)
MARKS: In 1949 the US Treasury Department (TD) clarified its rules on markings:
"Made in Occupied Japan", "Made in Japan", "Japan", or "Occupied Japan" are acceptable markings to indicate the name of the country of origin under the marking provisions of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, of articles manufactured or produced in Japan. TD 52162(2) Abstracts of unpublished decisions. Bureau letter to collector of customs, Los Angeles, California, February 18, 1949. (363.22) (White p.211)
OCCUPIED JAPAN (OJ) 1945-1952: World War II ended when Japan surrendered to the Allies on August 14, 1945. The subsequent Allied occupation of Japan was led by US General Douglas MacArthur with support from the British Commonwealth. This marked the only time in Japan's history that it was occupied by a foreign power. It transformed the country into a parliamentary democracy and ended with the San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951 and effective from April 28, 1952.
Carole Bess White, 'Collector's Guide to Made in Japan Ceramics', Collector Books 1994.
Gene Florence, 'Occupied Japan Collectibles', Collector Books 2001.
Marian Klamkin, 'Made in Occupied Japan: A Collector's Guide', Crown Publishers 1976.
Florence Archambault, 'Occupied Japan for Collectors', Schiffer Publishing 1992.
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