help identifying tea set

huncherSeptember 29, 2009

I have a tea set from my Mother-in-law. I don't really care for it and I have no clue if it is worth anything or just a souvenir. Thanks for your help.

Hopefully this link will take you to the photos:

Here is a link that might be useful: Tea set photos

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I can't get a good photo of the back, but it looks like a green vase with the word "T.A.WARE" and under that is "Japan"

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 12:06AM
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I'm sure it's worth something....
Your pictures zoom by so fast I can't get a good look.....and I really wish you had a better picture of the back stamp and the rest of the set.
I think it's very pretty.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 12:35AM
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I am trying to scan the back, but how do you get the photo into this message???

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 10:22AM
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I have no idea how much it's worth. I've never seen that pattern before, but if you ever want to sell it, please let me know. What is it about pinecones that make some people (like me!) swoon? Have you tried searching over on

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 10:44AM
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I scanned the back of the set, but can't figure out how to get the picture into this message like the other people did, so here is the link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Tea set photos

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 10:46AM
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I can't find that mark on line....
But because of many things I think it was made for the export market, and likely about 1960 to the present.
It's very hard to tell all that is it 5 cups and saucers? How many snack plates? It appears to be a partial service for 6.
I think ti's very nice! Would be fun to use in the winter for mid morning coffee...or even tea of hot chocolate.
I am afraid there's not much of a market for tea sets right least not byw hat I see on eBay....
I would save it....your tastes may grow into it.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 6:28PM
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Looks like a wisteria pattern. That's the leaf and flower pattern of a Japanese wisteria.

Aside from that. I am clueless.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 7:50PM
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The mark certainly suggests it was either for export, or for sales to foreign market stationed in Japan. Did any of your relatives do a stint there on active duty with the military?

It looks to be a nice quality, and I am not at all familiar with the maker, either. The only thing I can add to the comments are that it's not unusual to find tea sets actually sold in the country of Japan to have a setting for five. It doesn't mean that it's less than a complete set (like for six or eight).

When my mother would go marketing or buy china, it was pretty common for the vendors to throw in a freebie to bring the number up to five. I have several sets of china meant to be sets of five. It was an auspicious number.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 10:55AM
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I don't know anything about orientals tea sets, except to say that I think it's lovely, but with reference to calliope -- don't the Japanese consider the number 4 to be bad luck, therefore anything above that 5, 6, etc. to be a better thing? When your mother received "thrown in gifts" that was a very good thing and possibly a sales incentive.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 10:05PM
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She could not buy four of anything at the little markets, we lived in a rural farming village at that time. Since we had four in the family it was a pretty routine occurrence to have the fifth unit thrown in, until she understood why they were doing it. Not wanting to take advantage of vendors, she stopped trying to buy four fruits, four cups.

That's what I said, the number which the vendors felt comfortable selling had to do with good luck/bad luck. Having a 'set' of six or eight or twelve, is a Western idea. Just saying if you find a set with an odd number instead of an even number, it doesn't necessarily mean one piece is missing.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 11:07AM
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I must be older than everybody on this forum...
or else I just don't know stuff...
or else both.

My Uncle John sent his mother (my Granny) & his sisters (my aunts) sets from Japan right after WWII, & they looked very similar to this.

Might this set be of the same vintage?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 4:37PM
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Might be....but to me the style looks newer..
And depending on how much after WW II, the set would have to be marked "made in Occupied Japan"

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 6:35PM
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Linda, if it was sold to a military family in Japan, it wasn't exported, it was sold in country and had no need to be marked to fulfill export mark laws. The fact it was marked in English and not Japanese could have meant it was manufactured to be sold for a foreign market in Japan. There are huge markets of 'souvenir' goods produced to be sold in such ways in countries where troops are stationed, and they eventually find their way into this country, but would circumvent the usual export routines.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 1:43AM
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lindac you think it has the look of a teas et that came back from Japan with a military man after WW II?
I thing it looks much more modern and like it was meant to appeal to the US market.
It's very different from Satsuma or Giesh ware. To my eye it looks like it was made for the American or European market, and later then 1950.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 10:44AM
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