How many times when you were a child did you hear, "Don't touch that!" or "Be extra careful when you dust that!" or this one, "Don't run through the house. Certain things could fall and you will be in a lot of trouble if they do!"
http://www.antique-marks.com It is a fantastic guide to antique pottery marks, porcelain marks and china marks.
An example of a china mark is this one: Nippon China. Nippon era began in 1891 when the Japanese porcelain was clearly marked "Nippon" due to the McKinley Tariff Act. This act required that all porcelain be marked with the country of origin. ("Nippon" literally translates to "Japan".) This porcelain was made specifically to be exported to the west with designs and patterns that suited Americans tastes. At that time, Japan had a thriving porcelain industry using methods used in Europe and the United States.
Do you ever question, "Is there a difference between things made in China and made in Japan?” Answer is Yes! Just about everything used to be made in Japan? TVs, VCRs, Microwaves, etc. However, in recent years many of these companies have shifted their production centers to China to save money. So even though the company itself is Japanese, many components or even whole units are made in China.
So what kind of china and porcelain do you collect? Other than the Nippon listed above, here are a few other types of collectibles that are in my home:
Two of my favorite figurines are of this Colonial Man & Woman, coyly flirting with each other. On the man's base is the signature of Carlo Mollica. It took me a while to research the name, but when I found it, the information said the figurines were made by one of the oldest and most collectible of ceramics factories in Italy.
The male figurine bears the symbol of Carlo Mollica (C. Mollica). The Mollica factory began in 1880 in Naples. It moved to Milan in 1942. Between 1950 and 1970 the factory reached its zenith of popularity under the leadership of Carlo Mollica. During this period Mollica produced artwork equal to the finest made throughout Italy. The factory produced a wide range of products from classical Capodimonte to Lenci-like Art Nouveau. Mollica ceased operation in 1978. Walter Del Pellegrino, author of Italian Pottery Marks from Cantagalli to Fornasetti, 1850-1950.
Most of all, enjoy your collections. They say a lot about you and your home. Always surround you and your family with as much beauty as you can.