by Lynn Welker
Issue No. 123 - July 1983

In answer to several inquiries about Cambridge's Japonica Line, this article will attempt to answer questions about this line. The decoration, Japonica, is styled after several oriental blossoms, originating in Japan, such as the quince and camellia. Japonica Urn These are grouped together and so-named, Japonica. This decoration was produced in the late 30's and consists of white enamel blossoms on white branches. Two different types of flowers can be found, the smaller of the two flowers being most generally found. White enamel rims decorated the top and bottom of most pieces. Japonica logo A white enamel signature can be found on these pieces, however, some pieces are unsigned. The signature consists of a circle with the C in a triangle in the center, the word JAPONICA, placed around the triangle and 2 dots at the bottom, all done in white enamel like the decoration. See illustration at right.

Japonica was produced primarily on Carmen and some Royal Blue. Amethyst and Forest Green are seen less often than the first two colors. There is a good possibility that it was produced on Amber as well. Most pieces of Japonica have a satin finish on one side, such as inside a vase or underneath the base of a candlestick or the exterior of a bowl. However, some pieces such as the globe vase have been seen with both sides satinized. This line was fairly limited and expensive when it was new. Caution should be taken when purchasing Japonica as some pieces have tan colored flowers which were apparently burnt in the firing process of the enamel. These pieces would definitely be considered seconds and less expensive than perfect pieces, but still worthy, as Japonica is quite rare.

The photos shown below from catalog reprints show most pieces produced in Japonica. One vase, 13" tall is round with a shoulder and oval top. This piece can be seen in the NCC museum. Most often seen in Japonica are vases, however, some covered urns, bowls and candlesticks were made. One plate is known and a luncheon set in the No. 3400 Line has been reported. Please let us know of other shapes seen in Japonica so they may be reported in the Crystal Ball.

Any piece of Japonica would be a fine addition to any collection. Happy collecting and may it bring you Japonica.

Items made with Japonica
Items made with Japonica