The Noritake Christmas Ball #175 China Pattern
Noritake Christmas Ball #175,
One of the most beautiful china sets ever created is the Noritake Christmas Ball #175, china pattern that was made in Japan from 1906 to 1991. This fabulous well-made china pattern has heavy gilt gold decoration that really makes this a stunning set of fine china dishes to set a holiday or celebration table with. The set has a white back ground with a yellow border and heavy applied 24k gold enameling in an elegant scrolling pattern with flowers in a ball or bulb form. The early productions are marked in green “NO.175 HAND PAINTED NORITAKE JAPAN” this would date them from 1906 to 1940; and others are marked in gold from the “Occupied Japan” period after World War Two, 1947 to around 1953 and others in the gold markings without “Occupied Japan” are later in the 1950s to the 1990s. The Noritake Factory was closed during World War Two and no china or porcelain for public usage was produced during that time; and amazingly the Noritake Factory survived the bombing of Japan during the war.
Noritake 175 Christmas Ball
An Amazing number of Serving Pieces
There is an amazing amount of different serving pieces in the vintage Noritake Christmas Ball pattern. There an about fifty different styles and sizes of porcelain serving pieces in this famous Christmas Ball pattern. In the photo below are three examples of some of the many serving dishs. The first one is a dish with the single center handle is just over 8 inches wide. Next we have the round bowl is just over 9.75 inches wide from handle to handle. Finally we have the long dish/tray which is just over 13 inches long from handle to handle. It is truly amazing the number and variety of styling in this pattern.
Three Noritake Christmas Ball Serving Pieces
Nippon - Noritake China Company
Since 1904, the Nippon - Noritake China Company has been creating beautiful and high quality China pieces and sets in many wonderful designs. Their wonderful china and porcelain products have brought elegance to dining tables around the world. The Christmas Ball pattern shows the superior artistry and craftsmanship of this company and how the hand painting attention to detail is uncompromising. This company has shown commitment to quality to create the most remarkable dinnerware that can stand the test of time. In the early history of this pattern you will find the name Nippon on the china and porcelain pieces of this pattern, this later became the Noritake China and Porcelain Company.
A Gorgeous Set of Demitasse Tea Cups
Noritake Grew out of a Remarkable Trading Company
The Noritake Company of Japan not only had it root in the Nippon China Company but also grew out of a remarkable trading company that was originally established by the Morimura Brothers in New York City in the year1876. This trading and import company imported fine chinaware from Japan, and other gift items. In 1904 Nippon China Company the company that precedes the coming and development of the Noritake Company was established in the village of Noritake, a peaceful suburb of Nagoya Japan with the help of the Morimura Brothers in New York City. I guess now one can see where they got the company's final and lasting name, from the town the factory was founded in back in 1904 with the help of the Morimura Brothers.
Setting up a New Year Eve Party for Four.
Noritake 175 Gravy Boat with Attached Plate
Hand Painted Cup and Saucer by Noritake
In the photo below are a beautiful #175 "Christmas Ball" cup and saucer by Noritake. As you can see the condition is excellent, with no cracks, chips, scratches, crazing, or cut marks. No loss of gold anywhere. The owner kept this cup and saucer in a quilted protector case and felt they were too elegant to use. The set could not be more pristine it is museum quality! The bottoms of this set are appropriately back-stamped with the newer gold mark no. 175 HAND Painted Noritake Japan and in Japanese characters as well as English. No. 175 was produced from 1906 - 1992.
"Christmas Ball" Cup and Saucer by Noritake
The Christmas Ball Pattern was Hand Painted.
The earliest dinnerware plates like the Christmas Ball pattern of the Nippon Company were mostly hand-painted, often with liberal applications of 24k gold. By the early 1920s, the Noritake China Company introduced a more assembly line technique that allowed for mass production of high quality, and very affordable dinnerware for the consumers in the United State and overseas. With the tragic start of World War Two the company was forced to shut down the factory by the Japanese military, and mothballed the machinery, and luckily the many forms and molds of the different china patterns were saved as well within the faults of the plant. The employees were sent to ammunition plants to work for the duration of the war. Amazingly the plant survived the bombing raids and full production started once again after the war. In the ensuing years the Noritake Porcelain and China Company continued to perfect and improve its line of china and fine dinnerware.
Nippon Company were mostly Hand-Painted
The Chemical Composition of China
To understand fine chine you need to know that the chemical composition of china is a combination of clay, quartz, kaolin, feldspar, and a number of other minor but very important materials, and many are kept a secret. Once the cleanest and best materials are measured, mixed and properly prepared, the mixture is shaped and molded into the desired items and then go through a number of extremely high temperature firings for long periods of time. The number and the intensity of the firings are determined by the nature of the china that was being created. With the China Ball Pattern the china becomes very white and translucent at the end of these time consuming and delicate process.
Christmas Ball Cream and Sugar
Lifetime Stemware by Homer Laughlin & Noritake Christmas Ball #175
China and Porcelain are the Same Product.
A lot of folk’s do not understand the use of the terms china and porcelain. In reality they are the same product. The term china is name after the country of it origin, and porcelain comes from the Roman word porcella that means seashell. So the Romans were implying an item which is white, smooth, and lustrous. The term porcelain is preferred in Europe. They like to use the word porcelain, and have many factories that make fine porcelain in Germany and Great Britain. The folks in North America like to use china after the name of the country it was created. America once had many factories that made china, but most Americans buy their china from Asia now. At one time Japan was the leading seller of china in the United States. It is still one of the top sellers of china in North America.
Nortake a Suburb in Nagoya Japan
Heavy 24k Gold Enameling in a Scrolling Pattern
China is known for its Strength and Durably
China is at the top of the list in America of ceramic products because of its durability, beauty, and delicate nature. The extreme art and skill taken to produce it also impresses the consumer. Although it appears delicate China is known to have remarkable strength, great durably and an amazing resistance to breakage, this is all due to its composition and the high firing temperatures and the many processes that create it.
Round Covered Butter Dish Noritake # 175
Bone China, and Ivory china
Bone china is made with calcified bone it is used as a refractory material and the firing temperature is usually much lower that regular porcelain china. Bone china starts the same way as porcelain china but includes an extra ingredient which is bone ash. Bone ash is a fine white powdery substance and the by-product of incinerated animal bone. The bone ash adds remarkable translucency to the body of the dinnerware, and makes the dish much stronger by making it softer. Bone china is usually delicate and much thinner and the glaze is smoother than porcelain china. The glaze unfortunately, is not as durable as porcelain china since it is softer and more yielding. Bone ash gives the body of the plate a unique pearl like milky white color. So by making the china dinnerware less brittle and more soft, the bone ash makes it more durable and resilient and less likely to break if dropped or mishandled. Ivory bone china and ivory china are the same as bone china with the only difference is an ivory coloring is added to the mixture before firing.
Christmas Ball Mayonnaise Server
Marked with the Green Noritake Stamp.
Noritake - NIPPON Pattern #175 / 16034
Here is another photo of the mayonnaise server made by Noritake - NIPPON pattern #175 / 16034 / It has three pieces the mayonnaise server with an under plate and a very nice ladle. This is a very nice piece,there are no chips, cracks, hairlines or repairs on any piece. The gold filigree and trim is near mint. The Mayonnaise Bowl measures 5 1/4 inches in diameter and stands 3 1/4 inches high without the under plate. This one is marked with the green Noritake #16034 stamp. The Under Plate measures just about 6 1/8 inches in diameter. Together, the two pieces stand 3 1/2 inches high. Under Plate has no back stamp. The Ladle measures just about 5 1/4 inches long. The opening of the Ladle measures 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Marked with the green Noritake #43061 stamp. This set could be used to serve a variety of different things, such as salad dressing, and would be a wonderful addition to any Noritake Christmas Ball #175 collection.
Noritake 175 Marked in Green Dates them from 1906 to 1940
Noritake 175 Marked in Gold Dates them from 1946 to the 1990s
Six Christmas Ball Salad or Dessert Plates
Noritake 16034/175 Christmas Ball Salad Plate
A Beautiful Made in Japan Noritake Christmas Ball Demitasse Set
Lyn on February 19, 2019:
I have inherited a large set of christmas ball from my grandmother. It has the gold stamp no. 175 and the ball and noritake and the Japanese word. This all indicates that it was made after 1946. She passed not long after1946. The tea/coffee cups are painted on the inside. Someone from replacements told me this indicates the china was made before WW lI.What is the story?
Glenn Waters (author) on March 09, 2018:
"Hand Painted" Nippon in blue is very rare, and on the very early patterns, so I would assume yours are from 1906 ... Noritake 175 marked in green dates them from 1906 to 1940 ... Noritake 175 marked in gold dates them from 1946 to the 1990s ...
Thank you for your comment,
Harriette on March 08, 2018:
My dishes are the exact same dishes as the Noritake Christmas Gold Ball but the stamp on the bottom is light blue and all it say is, "Hand Painted" Nippon. Can you date them for me?
Thank you very much I enjoyed your article.
Glenn Waters (author) on October 01, 2017:
Hi Digger, could be very valuable depending on the condition of the set, if it is MINT or shows signs of usage. The best way to price your collection is to check out what a set like yours is selling for on eBay ... :)
Digger on September 30, 2017:
I have almost completely all of this set it was my great grandmas I would love to know the value
Beth on September 10, 2017:
I have a full set with most of the serving pieces in mint condition. It has the Green stamp. Do you know what stamps were used when? I know some were green and some were gold but I don't know the time line of the production.
Glenn Waters (author) on November 21, 2015:
Hello DiTo, if you have an eBay account you probably will have more interested and well-funded buyers, but most would want you to ship the china to them. I bought most of my collection on eBay, and most sellers do a great job packing, be sure to get insurance on your orders, and charge enough for packing job, and your time doing an expert packing job. You could break the set up into sections, and sell each side piece separately, you might make more money this way in the long run. Another idea is to find a good respectable antique store to sell your china on consignment. But make sure you trust the store, and know the people have a good reputation. Some folks sell on Craigslist, so that might be another option. Good luck, and thank you for your question ... Glenn :)
DiTo on November 21, 2015:
Glenn, This is a fabulous article
I inherited a full set of 8 with many side pieces. I would like to sell it but am not sure where is best to list. I live in NJ and am thinking it is best to list for local pickup.
Glenn Waters (author) on October 31, 2015:
Hello Taranwanderer, yes they are more for special occasions. The pattern first came out for bridal parties and weddings, but folks loved them so much for holiday china especially for Christmas, the name was changed to Christmas Ball very early in the production around 1910, it still was very popular for bridal teas, and wedding rehearsal dinners up to 1960s however :) They have to be hand-washed because of the delicate gold 24k trim, not for dishwashers, and they do display lovely in vintage china hutches.
Sossity on October 27, 2015:
Thank you. They are flawless.
Glenn Waters (author) on October 27, 2015:
The early productions are marked in green would date them from 1906 to 1940, which means they are much older, and if they are in mint condition they could be priced higher since they are truly antique pieces. The china marked in gold can be from the “Occupied Japan” period after World War Two, 1947 to around 1953 and others in the gold markings without “Occupied Japan” are later in the 1950s to the 1990s. Some collectors like the “Occupied Japan” because they are also rare. But as a rule price the china according to the condition. If the trim, and gold is really good, and has a new MINT look they can be sold for a better price than used and worn china.
Thank you for your comment,
Sossity on October 26, 2015:
Glenn, thank you for your informative piece on this beautiful pattern. I plan on listing a service for twelve and want to be very honest in my listing. Some of my pieces have the green back stamp and others the gold. Is there a difference in quality and should there be a difference in price? Is it necessary to identify the marks in my listing?
Appreciate your help.
Glenn Waters (author) on July 14, 2015:
I would try to sell the set on EBay, a complete set should sell quickly with the Holidays coming up in a few months. :)
Thank you for your comment,
Jeff from California, USA on July 13, 2015:
Glenn, thanks for a very informative page. A friend has asked me to help him sell a complete set of Noritake #175 that he purchased back in 1956. Do you have any suggestions for selling a set?
Glenn Waters (author) on May 27, 2015:
That is a very good find, and will look great when serving your guest. The thing I love about this pattern is all the many different pieces that have been created in this beautiful design.
Betty Smith on May 23, 2015:
I just bought a two-handled dish with 4 compartments in this pattern.