Otagiri

オタギリ (Otagiri)

Otagiri is a name many collectors recognize.  The company name is Otagiri Mercantile Company, Inc. or OMC.  The company was a wholesaler from Japan and  an importer and a distributor of porcelain, stoneware, and giftware in the San Francisco area from 1958 to 1994.  The products were made in Japan and were sold to high end department stores and gift shops. Otagiri products were handcrafted and handpainted. The polynesian themed ceramics they made for bars and restaurants like the Kon-Tiki and the Kahiki in the 1960’s are popular among collectors.

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Most Otagiri products are marked with a yellow and gold sticker printed with the initials ‘OMC’ and ‘Japan’.

The company hired talented artisans to design its products. Among the artists  are a few you may recognize: Kurt R. Kress, Bob Harrison, Angela Ackerman, Wendy Morgan, Curtis-Swan, Tracy Flickinger, Tom Taylor, Linda Pickens, Mary Hughes, and Mary Ann Baker.   OMC products were designed for Gibson Greetings and San Francisco Music Box, as well as many others. In September, 1994 Enesco’s Worldwide Giftware Group paid $3.5 millon for the business assets and inventories, as well as its trademarks.

Sources:

http://www.pastwares.com/otagiri-collectibles.html

http://www.porcelain-collecting.com/otagiri/

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