Table of Contents December 2012
- On the Hotel McAlpin
- Our Visit with the Cameros
- Reports from the Eye of the Storm
- President's Message
- Deco Japan: Shaping Art & Cultuer 1920-1945
- The Benefits of Membership
- And The Winner Is
- A Teas Set with a History
- News Flash
- Edouard Halouze, Father of Susie Skier
- Noritake Matchmaker
- Boukville, New York Antique Festival
- Ashtrays or Just another Dish
- Letter to the editorS
- Back Cover
Edouard Halouze, Father of Susie Skier
by Judi Camero
While hunting for Noritake at an antique show in Baltimore area, I happened upon a pochoir greeting card depicting a lady that I immediately recognized as “Susie Skier”, as we Noritake collectors know her. She clearly was our “Susie Skier” from the oval tray that we collectors admire. Later, Phil found the artist's signature on the card, Edouard Halouze. As it turns out Edouard Halouze did a series of deco pochoir greeting cards in France 1926, fifteen of which may be seen in the Library of Congress. However, this is getting ahead.
The first date I have for Halouze is 1895 from a German reference book of artists; the date followed his name, then another date 1958, followed by a list of his artistic accomplishments. No other information was given about his life. On researching Edouard Halouze on the internet, I found very little information, essentially the same paragraph as can be found on Wikipedia in various forms along with examples of his works for sale. Once in a while, there would be added bit of information that led to his art connections. Bit by bit, information and more examples of his work began showing the progress of his artistic life.
I believe Halouze was a gifted artist, whose gifts were expressed in his painting, illustrations, commercial art, graphic design and fashion design. His works covered decades of artistic style changes from World War I through World War II.
The reference of his work that I found was 1915-1919 for the publication, Fantasio. In addition, from 1917 through 1937, he produced work for Le Rire (Laughter). There were many references to Halouze's frequent work for Gazette du Bon Ton. I believe that Halouze began to work for the publication, Gazette du Bon Ton prior to 1920. In 1912, Lucien Vogel created Gazette du Bon Ton, which was very popular among women and continued to be published until 1925. In Gazette, Vogel mixed prose from new writers with beautiful pochoir illustrations. Vogel showcased some of the major dress and milliner designers of the time and brought them together with a group of artists. His plan was that an artist would illustrate a design from one of the top designers and create an original design by the artist himself to be published side by side in the Gazette. One can imagine how eagerly women interested in fashion would have looked forward to each publication. The illustrators that did these beautiful pochiors included George Barbier, Georges Lepape, Edouard Garcia Benito, Umberto Brunelleschi, Valentine (Gross) Hugo, Robert Bonfils, Pierre Brissaud, Robert Dammy, Erte, Edouard Halouze, Martha Romme, Alberto Fabius Lorenzi, Charles Martin, Andre Marto Thayaht, Bernard Boutet de Monvel, Jose Zinoviev, and Jose de Zamora. This is an amazing gathering of artists. (A couple of their names I recognized for their work that inspired designs on Noritake pieces. I would like to think that these artists were familiar with each other’s work for the Gazette and that the environment must have been rich in artistic vibrancy and creativity among them.) In 1920, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris held an exhibition called “Fashion as Seen by Painters”. Edouard Halouze participated in this exhibition and is cited for it in almost every reference about him I found. For this reason I suspect he began working for the Gazette du Bon Ton before 1920 where he would have become very well known. In 1922 and 1923, Halouze was also doing artistic work for the publication, Frou Frou. In 1925, Halouze developed a cubist style in fashion, costume and program design for the French music hall for which he became well known. Some of the greeting cards I have seen have an angular style that I believe fall into the cubist style. I know that he produced a series of pochoir greeting cards in 1926. All fifteen at the Library of Congress are dated on the cards with his name and some are stamped made in France. Others that I have seen for sale on the internet do not have dates displayed and may also have been made at that time.
Edouard Halouze is known for his illustrations of books. Possibly among these is PAN. Annuaire de Luxe a Paris. This book was a collaboration of the printer's firm, Devambez, under the editorship of Edouard Chimot and the famous artist designer Paul Poiret in 1928. This publication was created to advertise exclusive Paris fashion with 116 pages of illustrations including some pochoirs. There was not enough information on this book to determine which artists were involved in all the illustrations. Devambez produced a series of 70 other books between 1906 and 1932 employing leading French artists. Of these, four were illustrated by Edouard Halouze: De la Valse au Tango, (1920); Voyage Sentimental en France et en Italie, (1920 and 1921); Almanach du Masque d'Or (1921 and 1922) which included 16 pochoirs of Paris high society; and Traite d'Enluminure d'Art au Pochoir (1925).
Mention of Halouze continuing work for Le Rire in 1937 and also in 1937 for the publication Marianne puts him in France at the time. There is no more record of his work until 1940. In 1941 Halouze's book, Costumes of South America was published by French and European Publication, Inc. at 610 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY. This beautiful book consists of forty lithographs of traditional dress of both men and women from South American Countries: Ecuador, Panama, Patagonia, Peru, Chile, Columbia, Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela, Dutch Guiana, and Brazil with additional plates of fabric design, headwear, ornaments, jewelry, and shoes. Each page is a separate artwork with hand painting over the original lithograph. The pages are assembled so that they can be removed separately and are held together with hard back front and back covers and tied with ribbons on the sides. The background around the figures on the pages appear as soft quick watercolor depictions of the environment where the people lived. It may be that Halouze was in South America at some time between 1937 and 1941. During that time France was overrun by Germany. Paris was not liberated until 1944.
A copy of Costumes of South America can be viewed at the Library of Congress by request in the Spanish Reading Room. Twenty-three of the lithographs can be seen on eBay for sale, item #380380183814. The photos on eBay do not do them justice. In reality the colors and art work are richer and the handwork invites a desire to touch the pictures (YOU DON’T DO THAT!). The figures are not only beautiful, but also have dignity.
In 1942 Halouze was in New York City creating original scenic designs for the stage at the 46th Street Theater. The show was “New Properties 1943” performed from September 15, 1942 until October 11, 1942. After this there was no further reference to Halouze’s life.
In the process of searching the internet, we were fortunate to find an original Halouze pochoir for sale in a design that was familiar from our Noritake collection. This lovely pochoir depicts an Asian temple scene in red and gilt on a black background. Many of you will also be familiar with the scene as it relates to designs on a variety of Noritake ceramic pieces, sometimes with white or red backgrounds instead of black. This temple scene is a very different style than the skier on the greeting card; and these are very different from the style used in the lithographs of the costumes from South America. All of these are yet quite different in style from Halouzes’s earlier works closer to World War I. The exposure to Edouard Halouze’s art that spread over the decades has left me an appreciation of this skilled and versatile artist who excelled in a variety of styles and artistic expression through extraordinarily changing times. Halouze has been another window into the dramatic cultural changes experienced by Western culture between the two World Wars. N
Table of Contents NN September 2012
- Meito on My Mind
- Our Member from the South Pacific
- Japan Porcelain Society Meets
- Charles Catteau and Boch Freres Keraimis of Belgium
- President's Message
- Letters to the editorS
- This was Then
Meito on my Mind
Highlights of a talk at the May 2012 NCS Orlando Convention
by Sally Stefferud
by Sally Stefferud
Did you immediately recognize the bowl and candlesticks on the front cover as not being Noritake? If you did, then you have a discerning eye -- that set is Meito, not Noritake. The two Japanese companies made porcelains that were sometimes so similar it's difficult to tell them apart. To further test your ability to discriminate Meito from Noritake, take the quiz below.
Once you've completed the quiz, send in your answers by November 10, 2012. Mail them to Sally Stefferud, 315 E. Medlock Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85012, U.S.A., or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The answers and winner will be announced in the December issue and the winner will receive a nice piece of Meito in the mail. You can copy the completed form below or use any other format. Just make sure it is clear what your answer is for each of the 15 numbered items. In case of more than one entry with the highest score, we will assign a number to each, put them in a hat, and draw the winner. Remember - you can't win if you don't play, so send your answers in soon.
Quiz: Match the numbered photos on the next page to the numbered items below, and mark if you think the item was made by Meito, Noritake, or if you think it was neither (mark "other").
|Item #||Item Description||Meito?||Noritake?||Other?|
|1||Teapot, cream w/ silhouette trees|
|2||Vase, blue scenic w/ tree|
|3||Teapot, white & blue w/ deco floral|
|4||Bowl, oval, red roof cartoon cottage|
|5||Bowl, oval, deco willow scene, teal border|
|6||Muffineer set, orange w/ blue-green trees|
|7||Bowl, red w/ brown geometric panels|
|8||Covered dish, silver & blue|
|9||Condiment set, green w/ floral|
|10||Bowl, tan w/ butterflies|
|11||Sandwich plate, silver zigzag design|
|12||Bowl, 1 handle, zigzag design on brown|
|13||Bowl, oval, purple w/ butterflies|
|14||Bowl, round, purple w/ butterflies|
|15||Cream & sugar, deco floral & stripes|
Orlando convention attendees took a more extensive quiz, with 38 items. Gerri Seitz and David Spain tied for high score, with both getting 23 correct. A tie-breaker question failed to resolve the deadlock, but Gerri won a coin flip and she took a Meito perfume home as a prize.
History: After taking the quiz you will likely agree that telling Meito from Noritake is sometimes hard. This isn't surprising since the company that made Meito was founded by an engineer who worked for Noritake. In 1908 Kotero Asukai left Noritake, along with some coworkers, to found what was initially called Imperial Seito, but was soon changed to Nagoya Seito Sho Ltd. This company marked much of its porcelain with the name Meito. Photo 1 is of a postcard of the Nagoya Seito Sho factory at Nagoya and you can see the Meito backstamp in the upper right hand corner. "Meito" means "fine sword," which is a reference to a sacred sword at the Atsuta shrine in Nagoya. For western marketing, Nagoya Seito Sho had a New York office, a 1919 ad for which is shown in Photo 2.
Sumitomo Steel Corporation acquired Nagoya Seito Sho in 1943 and the name was changed to Narumi Seito Sho. In 2006 it separated from Sumitomo Steel and is now partnered with a Chinese investment firm. Narumi Seito Sho (Narumi China Corp.) is still in business and is the second largest supplier of tableware in Japan. Some Narumi china was marketed under the well-known Mikasa label. Mikasa is not a manufacturer, but rather a distributor like Morimura Brothers.
Backstamps: The Meito name is one of several found on backstamps by Nagoya and Narumi Seito Sho. Photo 3 (color page) shows the two marks you'll find most commonly with the Meito name, but some versions omit "hand painted" or "made in." As you see in Photo 4, most of the Nagoya/Narumi Seito Sho fancyware marks have a crown -- their most predominant icon. There are some marks from the "Nippon" era, others that use the name Nagoya Seito Sho, which may be abbreviated as NS, and a few oddities like Okwan China, Jonroth Studio, N&Co., and others.
Figurals: It appears the Meito company did not make many figural pieces. The toucan in Photo 5 is a stacking salt and pepper, with the bird shaker sitting on an open salt. The man in Photo 6 is a figurine that is marked with a Nagoya Seito Sho foil sticker. The lady in Photo 7 is also a figurine and has a Meito label saying "Luxe China," a backstamp used for bone china.
Design: One thing that strikes many people about Meito designs is the frequent use of a strong orange color, particularly in combination with yellow, like on the front cover. The associated motifs are often quite spare with few colors, usually green, black, and brown as in the top row of Photo 8. However, compare these to the lower row, which are Noritake items, and you'll see that these colors weren't uncommon in designs of either company. This color-set is familiar in art deco ceramics; other designers like Clarice Cliff often made pieces with similar combinations.
Like Noritake, Meito made items with lady designs, and four Meito lady plates are shown in Photo 9. The Meito ladies are much simpler than Noritake ladies, with less details to the clothes and figures. I think Meito artists had a wonderful flair for color and design, but, as you can see in photo 10, they weren't as good at painting faces as their Noritake counterparts.
Meito designers seemed to really like silhouette designs (Photo 11, color page 2), which were quite popular in the art deco era. They often put in bright highlights, like the orange building windows on the vase and the snack set. Noritake also did silhouette motifs, but not as commonly as Meito.
Sometimes Meito and Noritake designers interpreted the same basic concept quite differently. Photo 12 shows contrasting results from what seems to have been a request for a design showing a lady being poled along in a gondola. But, sometimes it came out quite similar, such as the plates in photo 13, where the task was apparently to design a scene with a lady in silhouette sitting on a piece of furniture with a tall object in the background. Despite significant differences in detail, the overall feel of these two plates is remarkably similar.
Both Meito and Noritake made versions of the Frank Lloyd Wright Cabaret pattern (Photo 14), to which Noritake apparently did not have an exclusive right. There are several interpretations of this pattern and the original Noritake one is more similar to the Meito version than to the reproduction made later for Tiffany. However, the Noritake and Meito versions can easily be told apart because the Meito pieces have red edging while the Noritake pieces have no edging.
Molds: Some pieces by Meito and Noritake use similar molds, and some, like the pieces in Photo 15, have exactly the same mold. Those are my pieces and I've carefully compared size and shape, and concluded they are identical. I've heard two stories to explain the use of identical molds by Meito and Noritake. The first says that when Asukai left Noritake he took some molds with him - it's not clear if that was with permission or if he did it on the sly. The second story says that the Meito factory bought undecorated whiteware from Noritake to decorate in their own factory, like Picard and others also did. There is no way to know if either story has any actual basis in fact.
Some Meito items have no equivalents in Noritake fancyware, like the cruets in photos 16 and 17. Photo 18 is a perfume and has a ceramic dauber - it is rarely found. The fourth type of Meito stoppered item is only 4" tall, and I believe they are perfumes. Three are shown in Photo 19.
Quality: Some Noritake collectors believe other Japanese porcelain companies made inferior products, but lines such as Meito, Goldcastle, and Trico made art deco era fancyware of striking design and good quality workmanship. What they didn't do was produce the high volume and variety that made Noritake so famous, and most had a large variation in quality. Their production of many poorly designed and produced items obscures the fact that they also produced good stuff.
In my opinion, Meito pieces in general fall only slightly below Noritake in design and craftsmanship, and many pieces are equally good. There are many similarities, as well as distinct differences between the two companies in their overall approach to art deco design. Noritake art deco designs, while falling well within the genre, tend to use many colors and are often relatively detailed and lush, harking back to art nouveau origins. Meito designers favored a greater use of a few bold, primary colors, a sparer use of line and detail, and larger amounts of undecorated space - all major characteristics of the art deco style. Meito - it's Noritake's bolder sister!
You can download one of the articles from the September 2012 Noritake News in PDF format by clicking here
Letters to the EditorS
by Noritake News Editors
from Noritake News, Vol XXIV, #2, June 2012
In the eBay report in the March NN, David refers to a "genuine Noritake honey spoon." What is that? I have 3 types of ladles, but I don't think any of them qualifies as a honey spoon. Most of the honey pots I've seen have no spoon and those that do usually have the standard ladle which doesn't fit the notch right. I would appreciate it if you could tell me what a "genuine" Noritake honey spoon is or, better yet, how to recognize one. ~Sally
[Ed. note: The reply below is David, the March issue editor and author of the article mentioned by Sally. Readers are encouraged to send in additional ideas and comments about this matter.]
I made the comment I did because, in my experience, "genuine" (more on that in a moment) Noritake honey spoons are rare. Indeed, I think they are more valudable than most if not all of the honey house sets (lid, spoon, and honey holder) they originally were part of (see photo, above). I am virtually certain all honey house sets came with a spoon originally but they are now rare for one simple reason: they were easily broken because the spoon handles (see photo, below) are fairly thin relative to their length.
Remember, even after a relatively short time, honey can become quite sticky when left in a serving dish such as the honey house shown in this photo. Consequently, even ordinary pressure of the sort needed to scoop up some honey or even to pull the spoon out of the honey can easily break the spoon. Whenever I have seen the type of honey house shown here, the spoons with them (if any! usually there isn't one) have either benn just like the one shown here or, as Sally indicates, obviously an incorrect spoon (generally they are so large the roof will not sit appropriately on the walls of the house when the spoon is in place).
The spoon shown here has 3 features that, if present in a spoon you see with a honey house, will reinforce your sense that it is the correct type (I emphasize the word "type" because later in this reply to Sally's question, I offer a few additional comments pertaining to whether a genuine spoon is also the correct one for a given set). (1) The bottom of the bowl of the spoon will be have a backstamp, usually with the words "Made in Japan" but sometimes "Japan." So far, by the way, I have not seen a genuine Noritake honey house spoon with a full Noritake backstamp even though there is room for one. The colo and other details of the mark will conform to other Noritake "J" and "MIJ" backstamps. (2) The bottom of the bowl of the spoon also will be unglazed and the backstamp will be on this unglazed area.
(3) The underside of the top portion of the handle also is unglazed. The unglazed portion in this example runs from a point near the upper bee wing of the bee on the top of the house (given the way the spoon is displayed for this photo) to almost the very end of the handle. If you put the spoon into the honey house so that the bowl rests in the center of the bottom, the unglazed part of the handle will begin at a point where the handle would rest in the shallow notch in the rim of the bottom part of the honey house if there were enough honey in the bowl to keep the spoon from sliding all the way to the back part of the bottom half of the honey house. I do not use honey to keep the spoon in place in my honey house. Instead, I use a small dab of "museum wax" to hold the spoon in place.
When given the chance to buy or sell a honey house set with a spoon, colletors and dealers need to take note of a fourth feature of the spoon -- a feature that, by itself, has no bearing on whether it is a "genuine" honey house spoon (that is determined with a reference to the three features discussed above). This fourth feature is the way the spoon is decorated. As it happens, I have 3 honey houses with genuine spoons. The top and ends of all three handles are decorated differently and so are the houses. The top of the handle shown here, including the handle tip, has gold detailing. This matches well the gold bees on the house and "feels" right with the other colors in the set.
Does this mean that the detailing on the spoon handle should match the way bees are decorated? Well, one of my other honey houses has gold bees, too, but the spoon tip on that one is black, not gold. Even so, I think it is the right spoon for the set because black matches well some prominent details of the shingles on the house it came with (and also the black detailing on the bees, though the bees on the house shown have this detailing as well).
So, how does such "reasoning" work with the third spoon? The top and tip of that handle is tan luster and, consistent with the "it isn't always the bees" theory, the bees on that honey house are mostly white with a few little black details that show those bumps are indeed supposed to be bees. The tan luster of that spoon does, however, match exactly the overall background color of the house the spoon came with. Although the sample size is small, I am convinced by these examples that the rule seems to be that a genuine spoon will also be the correct spoon for a given set if, in some fairly obvious way, it matches are fits with the decoration of the honey house as a whole.
One final thought for this reply: the honey house shown is but one of the several types of honey pots and houses produced by Noritake during the 1920s and 1930s. Are the spoons in other honey pots the same as these? The short answer is "no." Sheldon Harmeling and Judi Camero have long been hoping to do a comprehensive survey of the types of Noritake ladles and spoons. Hopefully they will soon finish their research on this subject so their article can be presented in these pages in the not too distant future.
Our road trip from Phoenix to Orlando was swift and boring, interrupted only by that heart-stopping moment when I rounded the aisle in a small, down-at-the-mouth antique mall just east of Baton Rouge. There, on an open shelf in scantily stocked booth, was MY seated lady! Like me, she was slightly flawed with age -- hers being chip on the inside lip flange, and her "lesser" status as only Goldcastle, not Noritake. The second heart-stopper was when I looked at the price --$40. Of course I asked for and got a 10% discount. My delight in this acquisition got a big boost, when the same Goldcastle (Chikusa) seated lady went for $500 in Marilyn's Toronto auction the following weekend. It is these moments that keep me haunting thos antique stores. ~Sally
[Ed. Note: The reply below is by Fred, the June issue editor.]
THank you for the letter and the photo. She is wonderful and a great find. She may be a bit aged and tattered but well worth taking home where I am sure she will be well taken care of. There is nothing like the rush of finding an unexpected and beautiful item amidst the dusty ruble of an antique store. It is stories like these that keep us all wandering the aisles of many antique stores. Keep up the good hunting. N
Things that make you go Hmmmmm
Passing in and out of the front doors of the Embassy Suites hotel while we were in Orlando, and being the type of person I am, I noticed a small sign to the right of the first set of sliding doors. The sign stated "Soliciting, Distribution, or Loitering on the premises by Non-Employees is strictly forbidden." This, I surmised, implied that only Employees of the Embassy Suites were allowed to Solicit, Distribute, and Loiter on hotel property. No wonder they were such a happy staff!
Links to Previous Sample Article from Noritake News
A subscription to the Noritake News, published four times each year, is included with each household membership. Each edition is filled with well-written, informative articles and pictures of beautiful Art Deco and collectible Noritake, many of which have been conributed by NCS members. It is an indispensable tool for both the novice and the experienced collector.
Below are a few cover pictures from past issues of the Noritake News: