JOHN MCPHEE EVALUATES READERS’ PRECIOUS OBJECTS.
THIS TEA SET has been in my family for two generations that I know of. This image shows just part of the collection, which includes six cups and saucers, plates, teapot, milk jug and sugar bowl with lid. We can see it’s made in Japan, can you tell us anything else? Karen Fraser, SANDY BAY, TASMANIA Your tea set was made in Japan, imitating the Satsuma style, most probably after World War II. Satsuma ceramics were originally made in the Satsuma district of Japan, now known as Kyushu. Originating in the 17th century, the ware became very popular with collectors, which ensured its production in many other districts. Highly decorated and gilded eggshell porcelain appealed to Western taste, and tea sets such as yours were exported throughout the world. They were also popular as souvenirs for visitors to Japan. Needless to say, the delicate porcelain meant that these sets were not very practical. Numerous examples can be found in antique and vintage shops around the world. John is an art historian who worked in museums for 30 years and was curator of Australian Decorative Arts at the National Gallery of Australia.