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The patterns are Oyster, Blue Fin, and a green lustre together. Gold Lusterware is often very beautiful, and is likewise very valuable.
The real pink luster, however, is easily distinguish- able. The time and circumstances of its reinvention or introduction into England are a matter of doubt. Some of the pieces, notably the pitchers, resemble similar pieces of copper and silver luster in treatment, while others are quite different.
In the relief pieces the silver was put on with a brush around the raised pattern. Violet or purple luster is very similar to the pink, except that a slight variation in the process gave it a purple or violet colour.
Very few pieces are to be found in the shops, but there are a number of good pieces in private collections in this country. Raised bands and relief figures are also found, and occasionally a combination with silver luster. The luster was fixed and the resist mixture burned off in a second firing, leaving a clean out pattern in white or cream. These pieces have become very collectible in their own right.
This includes the rosespotted and Sunderland luster. Perhaps the most interesting, though not the most artistic, form of decoration on pink luster is pictorial in character. Bowls, tea sets, pepper pots, mugs, goblets, and very rarely coffee pots are to be found in copper luster. Silver luster is perhaps the most satisfactory to collect.
But the backstamps can be identical to those on the older pieces. Later a porcelain base was sometimes used. On account of the costliness of the gold, the luster was frequently used on only a portion of the piece, the rest being left white or partly decorated in colour.
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Fine examples of resist work are very valuable. Next in value, in the copper luster, come plain jugs, simple and in good form, and beautifully lustered inside and out, also pitchers of various sizes, more or less decorated.
Where the pattern was in silver the piece was first given a white glaze and the pattern was drawn very skillfully with a brush. In the best pieces it shows the real light gold colour, though occasionally it shades off to a copper tone, and hence is sometimes confused with the copper luster. It is less durable than the copper and silver luster, possibly because the gold was used sparingly and was spread on thin. Some of the silver luster is marked, but most of it is not.
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Many of the same warnings for lusterware fakes apply to Noritake and Nippon products in general. It was an English product that our forefathers used, and though inferior to the earlier ware in many ways, it is interesting, and practically the only kind collected to-day. Jugs and pitchers of different sizes, honey cups, ciderjugs, goblets, and mugs are among the pieces to be found. Others were modelled on the body in fluted and pearl patterns, and the whole dipped in the platinum solution, producing brilliant high lights on the relief.
Foliage, fruit, and birds were the commonest patterns, though a variety of others were used. To be sure, it is very rare, but actual comparison of the gold and copper luster will at once show the difference. Figures of Faith, Hope, and Charity were popular, as well as sentimental sailor ditties, political and religious verses, etc. Shop by price, color, locally and more. The tea sets and pitchers are the easiest to find.