This is a china shoe made in Occupied Japan between the post WWII years 1946 through 1952. The manufacturer H Kato was a well-known producer of US imports
The shoe measures 2 7/8″ long, 1 1/8″high and 1″ wide. It is in very good condition with no cracks, chips or crazing. There is some minor paint fading.
Marks from Occupied Japan routinely do not carry the maker’s name, so this is an unusual mark. The shoe is an acquisition of the Lillian P Wood Memorial Collection, purchased at auction in December 2007 for $12.60.
Estimated collector’s value is $15.00.
Information from The Collector’s Guide to Made in Japan Ceramics by Carol Bess White, published by Schroeder Publishing Co, 1996. Also from personal records.
Post-WWII Japan made a great deal of ceramics as it was one of the industries encouraged as it was considered safe and non-military. It has a “MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN” stamp on the sole in red ink. This stamp was required on all imports from post WW II Japan from 9.2.45 to 4.28.52.
It was less expensive to copy an existing shoe rather than design originals, and the practice was accepted and pervasive. Note these two shoes are similar. They are each a copy of a single shoe maufactured by two Japanese companies. The shoes are approximately the sizes shown in the photograph. The right shoe measures 1 7/8″ long, 1 1/4″ high and 15/16″ wide. The left shoe has slightly different dimensions: length is 1 15/16″, height is 1 1/2″ and width is 1 1/16.” Obviously, they are nearly the exact size.
But there are many clear contrasts. The right shoe has more delicate features – a better quality of ceramic material, a nicely detailed rose, and the pink flower is painted and shaded nicely. The gold has been applied with a steady hand, and totally rings the rim. The left shoe is made with less care. The white ceramic has stained and cannot be cleaned. The pink rose is inferior in quality, though the blue flower and leaves are nearly alike. The gold has rubbed off on half of the rim.
They each have a “MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN” stamp on the sole in black ink; they are obviously two different imprints. This type of stamp was required on all imports from Japan during post-WWII, dating from 9.2.45 to 4.28.52. All Occupied Japan collectibles have the distinct advantage of accurate dating. These shoes are between 55 to 62 years old. There are no chips, cracks or crazing on either of these shoes.
Occupied Japan collectibles are sought after, since there are a finite number of items, and will only become more valuable. However currently these are not expensive shoes. Estimated collector value of the right shoe is $6 to $12 and of the left shoe, $4 to $8.
Information about the shoes was found in the books, Collectible Glass Shoes by Earlene Wheatley, published by Schroeder Publishing, 2001 and and The Collector’s Guide to Made in Japan Ceramics by Carol Bess White, published by Schroeder Publishing Co, 1996.
This is a small earthenware shoe measuring 2 1/2″ long, 15/16″ wide, and 1 3/8″ tall at the heel. Although it looks like a porcelain product, all occupied Japan novelty pieces were made from a very white earthenware even if the piece looks translucent. The duties on earthenware were less than on porcelain and this allowed costs to remain lower. This particular earthenware is white-bodied, sturdy and smooth in texture, but not vitreous, fine or as hard as porcelain. To test for earthenware, an old Customs Agent trick, one can place the tip of a ball-point pen to an unglazed area. The ink will lightly dot the earthenware.
Hand-painted, including orange flowers, 3 blue dotted circles and a gold dotted flower and toe marks on the vamp (or upper.) The edge is outlined with gold which is excellent condition. The shoe is in excellent condition with no glaze flakes or flaws, no crazing, cracks or chips.
The shoe has some discpolring on the sole, as to be expected with an earthenware piece that is 50 years old. It has a “MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN” stamp on the sole in red ink. This stamp was required on all imports from post WW II Japan from 9.2.45 to 4.28.52.
This is a new purchase for the collection, purchased at auction for $2.75 in December of 2007. Estimated value has yet to be determined.
Information from private records and The Collector’s Guide to Made in Japan Ceramics by Carol Bess White, published by Schroeder Publishing Co, 1996.