DESIGN PIRATING between potteries must have been common in Japan during the heyday of export figurines prior to the Second World War. Consider these two examples. The female figurine is a knock-off of the Kent Art Ware “standing female with bowl”. She lacks the definition and finish of the KAW original, she’s shorter and she is holding a water vessel, not a bowl.
On the other hand, the horse is much more than a “look-alike”; it is a virtual copy of the KAW raring horse though there are differences. The legs of the horse and facial features are thicker, chunkier, not nearly as crisp or refined as the KAW figurine.
Whatever the history may be for both these figurines, each is stamped with this unknown maker’s mark from the 1920’s to 1940.
In November of 2011 what I believe was a knock-off of the Kent Art Ware female head with cold painted gold accents appeared on eBay. The suspect head was approximately 6.75 inches tall as opposed to the standard 10.5 inch height. Most importantly, there was no maker’s marked. If it was a KAW piece as the Seller maintained, it is the first one I have ever seen in the smaller size and the first not clearly marked.