How to identify noritake patterns

Updated February 21, 2017

The Noritake Company is a Japanese company internationally known for its brightly coloured china and tea services. Noritake was founded in 1876, and began exporting china to the United States and other parts of the world during the early 20th century. Most Noritake patterns are well documented and can be identified through books and online databases. For older, more rare patterns that are not as thoroughly documented, you may need to make a trip to a local library or antiques dealer.

Gently turn your item over to determine any identification markings. Modern pieces of Noritake will include the pattern name written in English on the bottom of the piece in the centre.

Write down any information your piece contains. Pieces that do not contain a pattern name may have a four-digit number.

With your information written down, visit the Noritake website directory. The website directory provides a listing of patterns that can be located by name or number. For instance, if the bottom of your piece says "8476," then a glance at the Noritake Pattern List indicates that your pattern is "Madera Blue."

Once you have located your pattern, write down any information the directory provides, such as the pattern name and manufacture date.

Make a trip to a local antiques dealer. Noritake has been popularly sold in the United States for nearly 100 years, and an antiques dealer may be able to guess when a particular Noritake piece was made. Once you have an estimated manufacture date, you will be able to do further research on the period of manufacture dates in order to locate your exact pattern.

Visit your local library to further your knowledge on the subject of Noritake patterns. Some great books on the subject include "Noritake: Jewel of the Orient" by Dale Frederiksen and "Collector's Encyclopedia of Early Noritake" by Aimee Alden.

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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.