Noname Antiques » 21 Most Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines Worth Money

21 Most Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines Worth Money

After the Second World War, the Allies occupied Japan and ran it between 1945 and 1952. It was mostly a US occupation, and one of the fledgling industries that survived was pottery. Tons of ceramics were exported, and they had ‘Made in Occupied Japan’ stamps under them.

Back then, the figurines were only worth a few cents, but today, some collectibles send for hundreds of dollars. Unfortunately, you can’t always tell which pieces are authentic and which ones are fakes, so let’s check out some of the most valuable Occupied Japan figurines.

Most rare Occupied Japan Figurines Worth Money

1. Colonial Couple Occupied Japan Figurines

Colonial Couple Occupied Japan Figurines
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

If you’re an expert in historical periods, you can look at a sculpture or painting and tell what era it’s from just by looking at the clothes. But for the novice, this colonial couple could be from any age or time. But the bottom of the statues confirms they’re from occupied Japan.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945 – 1952
  • Value: $265

With this kind of figurine, the value varies depending on the quality and authenticity of the piece. And paired figurines always fetch higher prices. This couple is in an intimate pose – he seems to be caressing her hair or maybe whispering in her ear. It’s quite a detailed figurine.

 

2. Martine Lady Head Occupied Japan Figurine

Martine Lady Head Occupied Japan Figurine
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

This piece is part of the Glamour Girls collection of Occupied Japan figurines. They were initially mass-produced so that average people impoverished by the war could still enjoy pretty things. But the wealthy developed an eye for them too, and they spread around a lot.

  • Brand: Thames, Japan
  • Year: 1940s
  • Value: $264

Each of the girls had a name and style. Martine has a pale green dress and hat, with a flower in her hair. The figurines could be used decoratively, or functionally as vases, powder boxes, or cigarette cases. They were painted by hand, and this one has 24k gilt gold embellishment.

 

3. Vintage Porcelain Fancy Lady & GE Occupied Japan Figurines

Vintage Porcelain Fancy Lady & GE Occupied Japan Figurines
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

Porcelain is heavy and dense, but it can also be rather fragile. So Occupied Japan figurines would sometimes have a thick base to keep it balanced and stop it tipping. This pair of figurines follow that style, with the two models standing on sturdy disc-shaped pedestals.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945 – 1952
  • Value: $300

Because this piece is a matching pair, it gets a good price. (You can’t simply split the couple and sell them for $150 each!) The statues have vivid hand-painted colors and a gorgeous glaze that has survived the years. The painter was extremely detailed in the clothing style.

 

4. Charlotte Lustred Full Girl Occupied Japan Figurine

Charlotte Lustred Full Girl Occupied Japan Figurine
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

Most post-war ceramics were toys and trinkets. But if it served a functional purpose, that could place it higher on the hierarchy of collectibles. Some of the most valuable Occupied Japan figurines are lamps, candlestick holders, or highly stylized vases such as this one.

  • Brand: Inarco
  • Year: 1940s
  • Value: $181

Charlotte is a cute full-body vase figurine in a pretty white dress with pink flowers. Her white hat has pink flowers too. The figurine includes a bouquet of 50 artificial flowers made from crystals, rhinestones, and beads. The statue and flowers are all made and crafted by hand.

 

5. Vintage Bisque Occupied Japan Figurines

Vintage Bisque Occupied Japan Figurines
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

As with many Occupied Japan figurines, pairs sell better. This set is a 10″ couple in highly detailed outfits. The statues are fairly heavy – roughly a pound each. And they have pedestals beneath them to balance their weight and lower their center of gravity. This reduces tipping.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $125

These pieces are used and have a little surface damage – specifically on her hat and her right pinky. But weirdly, these flaws might add to the value of the piece since they prove it’s authentic. The colorful clothes and their intricate textures are carefully carved and painted.

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6. Rare Vintage Occupied Japan Figurines

Rare Vintage Occupied Japan Figurines
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

Sometimes, you may have smaller individual figurines of unknown provenance and value. You can raise the price of these items by selling them as a collection, especially if some of the pieces can be verified as Occupied Japan figurines. This set has nearly 15 Japanese ceramics.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $100

You’d have to decide for yourself whether it’s worth the haul since only two of these pieces are figurines. The rest are unglazed mud men, covered jars (with lids), and vases. You could re-sell them separately though – covered dishes that still have their tops fetch good rates.

 

7. Rare Hand Painted Kitty Occupied Japan Figurine

Rare Hand Painted Kitty Occupied Japan Figurine
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

Cats rule the web, and they play a big role in the tchotchke space as well. So this kitty figurine is sure to be a hit. It’s a cat-shaped vase loaded with artificial baubles and flowers. Some of those bits look pretty modern, but it’s the same beading as 1920s flapper fashion.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1940s
  • Value: $199

The cat is a powdery black with a white face, and the flowers include vintage stylings such as Swarovski crystals and filigree settings. The figurine is 5” high and 6 ¾ inches from tip to tail. Those fake flowers can be replaced with fresh ones if you want this as a functional vase.

 

8. Art Deco Clown Band Occupied Japan Figurines

Art Deco Clown Band Occupied Japan Figurines
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

This band of clown figurines is each stamped at the bottom with those precious red words: Made in Occupied Japan. One of the clowns has a faded stamp, but its style is visually identical to the other three, so you can be sure it’s an equally authentic clown statuette.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $88

The clowns may not necessarily be part of a set, but since they’re each playing a different musical instrument, you can sell them as a band to raise their joint purchase price. Two of the clowns are yellow, one is red, and one is white. They have cone hats and ruffled collars.

 

9. Greer Lady Head Vintage Occupied Japan Figurine

Greer Lady Head Vintage Occupied Japan Figurine
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

Lady Head vases were a useful item because these were war years, so nobody was going to go outside and pick fresh petals. With these affordable statuettes, you could bring some color, light, and hope into your home. You could also store lipsticks and face powders in these.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1940s
  • Value: $189

This particular lady head wears a turban rather than a hat. That may seem like a sneaky workaround, but the artists took just as must care rendering the folds and seams on the turban. And the rose at Greer’s neckline is impressively realistic in its curled petal detail.

 

10. Vintage Man and Lady Occupied Japan Figurines

Vintage Man and Lady Occupied Japan Figurines
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

On many of the Occupied Japan figurines we’ve looked at so far, the stamp was in red ink. But this set has a black stamp, and the clothing is from a different era. They’re not as fussy as some of the other fashion depictions, but the bright colors are vivid and visually appealing.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $65

This pair is smaller, but to balance the weight and stop the figurines from toppling while they’re on display, both statuettes are placed on disc-like pedestals. The artist focused on the rumpled folds of her dress. The figurines are positioned at an angle to create movement.

 

11. Victorian Dancers Occupied Japan Figurines

Victorian Dancers Occupied Japan Figurines
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

A trick you can try when you’re collecting for profit is to form your own little army of Occupied Japan figurines. Even if you only get a single piece at every sale, you can combine them into a set if you buy pieces that have similar features. This set of 11 is all the same size.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $15o
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The pieces aren’t as intricately painted as some of the previous ones, but color and texture are emphasized. Some of the figurines pose as couples on shared pedestals. One figurine even has a dog. They sometimes have one foot forward to create an illusion of movement.

 

12. Bella Lady Head Occupied Japan Figurine

Bella Lady Head Occupied Japan Figurine
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

Everyone looks good in black – even lady head figurines! Bella is elegant in her dark dress and hat that are elegantly contrasted against her milky white skin. The gold trim on her face, eyebrows, earrings, and necklace are 24k while the flowers are mounted and hand-painted.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1940s
  • Value: $274

These lady heads aren’t just valued for their dainty appearance and visual value. They make good collectibles because of their condition too. Those baubles and beads were never meant to last, so for the previous owners to retain every single rhinestone adds to the cash price.

 

13. Morceaux Collection Occupied Japan Figurines

Morceaux Collection Occupied Japan Figurines
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

It’s not just human figures that were carved during this period. Remember, Japan was trying to revive its economy, so artists and craftsmen would make cheap, functional items and sell them for a few cents to feed themselves. This collection expresses that fact in its odd mixture.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $100

This selection contains 11 pieces. Three are couples sharing a pedestal, while a fourth pair stand on separate pedestals. The collection also has two teacups with their saucers intact and two miniature face mugs. Some of the figurines are even playing musical instruments.

 

14. Boy Elf Riding Bug Occupied Japan Figurine

Boy Elf Riding Bug Occupied Japan Figurine
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

The description on this figurine is sure to make you smile – the previous owner can’t be sure whether that’s a beetle or a lobster! But it’s still a quirky idea that a little boy would ride either one! It gives the piece a fantasy element – maybe he’s Tom Thumb or a little sprite!

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $49.99

This figurine was probably made as a kids’ toy rather than a decorative piece, so the artist prioritized color and action over design and detail. The hues used ensure the piece stays attractive even as they fade because the resulting patina maintains the value of the piece.

 

15. Vintage Set Occupied Japan Figurine Collection

Vintage Set Occupied Japan Figurine Collection
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

This selection of Occupied Japan figurines is a good one for beginners. The pieces themselves are low cost – just $5 to $15 each. But you can use them as a benchmark to expand your collection and compare them with bigger, more expensive figurines.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $50

The coolest thing about this collection is its variety. Even if you don’t resell them you’ll enjoy seeing the mixture on display. You’ve got a boy with a tennis racket, a man with a bucket, a ballerina in a lacy tutu, and even a mouse. The largest figurine here is about 4 inches tall.

 

16. Vintage Dancing Woman Occupied Japan Figurine

Vintage Dancing Woman Occupied Japan Figurine
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

Here’s something to keep in mind – many figurines were made at home. They were part of a cottage industry, so the quality depended on the skill of the artists and the resources in the household. It’s why some pieces look so professional but others seem like kiddie crafts.

  • Brand: Moriyama
  • Year: 1930s
  • Value: $150

This dancing girl figurine is described as Art Nouveau or Art Deco, and it’s plain white. But to make up for the absence of color, the sculptor paid a lot of attention to the drape of her dress and the curve of her body as she dances. She even has high heels on! The back is flat.

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17. Vintage Occupied Japan Figurines Playing Instruments

Vintage Occupied Japan Figurines Playing Instruments
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

Some collectors are interested in pieces that have historical value, especially the ones dressed in historical period outfits. Other buyers do want value, but they’re more attracted to pretty and interesting pieces. So figurines with musical instruments can be an attention-grabber.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $42.49

Musical figurines are also less intimidating so you’ll feel less antsy about people picking them off the mantle and playing with them. This set of five musicians are dressed in hand-painted pastels and are all playing traditional musical instruments. They’re all a little under 5 inches.

 

18. Moriyama Occupied Japan Figurine Set

Moriyama Occupied Japan Figurine Set
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

Here’s another Moriyama – or rather, two. The pair of figurines do have color on them – they’re both dressed in a reddish-pink. The tones aren’t as vivid as some of the other pieces, but because the maker’s mark is on the bottom, this authenticity raises their joint value.

  • Brand: Moriyama
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $110

The figurines are marked 1020 at the bottom in embossed numbers, which also helps with traceability and verification. Each figure stands on a separate pedestal, but because their clothes are the same color, they work well as a couple. The emphasis is on the fabric folds.

 

19. Tall Man and Woman Occupied Japan Figurines

Tall Man and Woman Occupied Japan Figurines
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

With this tall pair of Occupied Japan figurines, your eye will be pulled towards their feet. This is because other artworks have plain white pedestals, or sometimes the disc is brown or black. But this pair stands on white pedestals decorated with gilded flower designs and vines.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $147

The male figurine is in bold red-and-yellow military wear, complete with a Napoleon hat and a sword. He has a beauty spot too, so he might be French. His lady has a bold blue bodice over a pale-colored skirt. Every layer, frill, and fold is lovingly carved with golden trim.

 

20. Large Collection Occupied Japan Figurines

Large Collection Occupied Japan Figurines
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

Mint green is a common color on this set of Occupied Japan figurines, so they seem to fit together. It’s a cluttered collection though, with everything from a seated boy to a whispering couple. And the figurines seem to come from mixed nationalities and historic eras as well.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $145

This can be a useful haul for a commercial collector. You can sell them as subsets to express different styles, or you could look for other pieces to pair with some of these. Each figurine has a separate pedestal, and they range in size from the tiny Dutch girl to the tall blonde lady.

 

21. Girl and Boys Vintage Occupied Japan Figurines

Girl and Boys Vintage Occupied Japan Figurines
Image Credit: Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines

Maybe you prefer child models to adult ones – they’re a lot more personable. The downside is kids will want to play with them – that was probably their original purpose! This set of three kids is delightfully thought out, and each of the children has a beloved pet with them.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1945-1952
  • Value: $74.50

The children probably live on a farm and are helping out the family. The little girl has a dove and a dog while the two little boys have a dog and a pig. One has an apron and a milk jug for his chores, while the other is playing the accordion to amuse his friends (and skip the work!).

 

Do you have any Occupied Japan figurines in the attic? Show us photos in the comments!

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