The vast majority of Nippon wares produced during the Nippon era were manufactured by the company that would later become the modern day Noritake Company. There are a total of 359 back stamps known to date. Joan Van Patten has collected a vast number of Nippon back stamps in her book entitled Van Patten's ABC's of Collecting Nippon Porcelain, published in 2005.
The most common Back Stamps are:
M-in-wreath, hand-painted ("M" stands for importer, Morimura Bros.); found in green, blue, magenta & gold. Mark used since 1911.published in 2005.
Maple leaf Nippon; found in green, blue & magenta. Mark dates back to 1891.
Rising Sun Nippon. Quite common, but not used as much as the M-in-wreath & Maple Leaf. Mark used since 1911.
Back Stamps by Category:
Many of the lesser known back stamps were used by companies whose histories are unknown. While these lesser companies produced fine wares on occasion, it is generally felt that the best examples of Nippon-era hand painted porcelain will carry a back stamp used by the Noritake Company during the Nippon era. The exception to this is Coralene which to the best of our knowledge was never produced by the Noritake Company. [A word of caution: the offshore (mainly China) companies producing "fake Nippon" have perfected the M-in-wreath back stamp. You can no longer tell if it's a fake by looking at the back stamp. See REPRODUCTIONS.
Back stamps are an interesting subject to Club members and you will find discussion of this subject in INCC publications and at our annual CONVENTION.
We thank you again for your interest & look forward to your joining our friendly family of Nippon enthusiasts!