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Dear Chatelaine's Antiques,
I have this pot and cups. I don't know if they're Japanese or Chinese, and
I can't seem to find out anything about them. The pot measures 3¼ inches
tall with a glass strainer inside. The cups measure 2 1/8 inches tall and
3 inches in diameter. There are markings on the bottom of the cups.
China and Japan have always exported similarly shaped porcelain vases,
bowls, chargers and small boxes to Europe and the United States. But you
can spot the differences if you compare periods and glazes. For example,
the Chinese artisans aimed for perfection in all aspects of their
ceramics. They paid particular attention to the glaze, potting, and decoration.
On the other hand, the Japanese admired imperfections. It's not unusual to
find tea ceremony objects with glazes that drip past the foot. You might
also find uneven potting or discoloration from a misfire in the kiln.
Your teapot is inspired by Asian design — it's very similar to the
Japanese porcelain, Satsuma ware, that's usually a pale cream-color with a
crackle glaze. However, I think it's likely that it was made in America during the 20th century. It's worth about $125.