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Ucagco Ceramics Japam (United China and Glass Company) red and silver foil label, circa 1946 - 1956
Ugagco Cards and Dice cup backstamp, minus its original Ucagco metallic foil paper sticker

United China and Glass Company (UCAGCO) was an importer of dinnerware, tableware, glassware, and cabinet china ware with offices in New Orleans and New York. Beginning immediately after the end of World War Two and continuing well into the 1950s, Ucagco imported and distributed gift wares from Japan.

According to Jan-Erik Nilsson of the Gotheborg site on Asian ceramics, the company was founded in 1850 under the name Abe Mayer & Co. and distributed china and glass throughout the southeastern United States as well as in Central and South America. By the 1930s, the name was changed to United China and Glass Company and trade was expanded to other nations, a move that was curtailed when World War Two broke out. Immediately after the cessation of hostilities between the United States and Japan, the Ucagco agent in Japan, S.A. Stolaroff, who was also a talented ceramics designer, signed the very first American contract that allowed renewed imports from Japan. Stolaroff worked with a number of different Japanese potteries to design the gift wares, statuary figurines, and table wares that bore the Ucagco name. Ucagco was sold to Sammons Enterprises in 1956, with Stolaroff taking his place as the company's president. Stolaroff retired in 1962.

Because Ucagco worked with a number of pottery companies in Japan, there is no one Ucagco backstamp; in fact, not all Ucagco pieces are back-stamped "Japan" or "Made in Japan" at all. Those which were not stamped did come with a red and silver foil sticker indicating the Ucagco name and Japan as the country of origin. These stickers were sometimes deliberately removed and sometimes came off when the cups and saucers were washed. Only sets that were collected as cabinet cups will still bear their Ucacgo stickers.

In addition to the metallic foil paper sticker, Ucagco pieces are backstamped with an iron-red set of letters and numbers. These are product codes that may refer to the factory where they were made, their shapes and decoration patters, and/or their dates of manufacture. No known company log of these codes or public catalogue listing these codes has been found to date, so the information the backstamps were intended to convey cannot be decoded at this time. However, in my experience, aach piece of the same shape and pattern that i have found does contain a consistent coded backstamp, so we could consider the alpha-numeric codes to be SKU numbers of a sort, even though we cannot "read" them.

Pages in category "Ucagco"

The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total.


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