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Otagiri Collectibles

Otagiri (also known as Otagiri Mercantile Co.) was a distributor of porcelain, stoneware, and giftware in the San Francisco area for more than 46 years. Otagiri products were made in Japan by Japanese artisans.  The items were handcrafted and handpainted.  The company distributed animal-themed kitchen and tableware which is greatly prized by collectors. In addition, the company distributed music boxes to Gibson Greetings, and San Francisco Music Box Company.

The animal tablesets include such items as cookie jars, tea pots, cups, mugs,  spoon rests, salt and pepper shakers, trivets, soap dishes, cream and sugar sets, napkin holders, pencil holders, toothbrush holders, and soap dispensers. Cats, geese, frogs, black and white cows, brown cows, roosters/chickens, ducks, pigs, and penguins are just a few of the animals represented in the collections.
  
Unfortunately, in 1994 Enesco purchased Otagiri and discontinued the line. As time has passed it has become more and more difficult to find items in some of the animal lines.  Such a shame! The animals are very life like and in spite of the age, most of the items are still in exceptionally good condition.

One of the favorite collections sought by collectors is the Blue Cat collection.  The blue cat is a rich blue and is sprinkled with darker blue flowers with green leaves.  The cute kitty wears a pink-orange ribbon around the neck. It is still possible to find the teapot, cookie jar, cream and sugar, salt and pepper, and cups; however, avability varies a lot.  The only source is auctions and estate sales.  

I have been a collector of Otagiri items for many years and have a wide variety of critters and music boxes. The music boxes are delightful! There are many themes for the music boxes as well as animal themes.  Best of all: the melodies still play beautifully.



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Reader Comments  (6)

Main Street VintageValues
Main Street VintageValues | December 8th 2011 at 1323365153

Otagiri made some wonderful mugs, too, with terrific detail underglaze and much textural innovation. I love their items! They did a series of teapots with handle-less mugs in the late 1960s - early 1970s, and every girl heading to college longed for one for her dorm room!
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Jean Chastain   | December 8th 2011 at 1323371116 - in reply to VintageValues

I love the mugs too. I can't resist the Bob Harrison kitty cats! I have several teapots but they are mainly animal-themed. I do have a handleless mug and teapot set, but I don't know who made it. It is very oriental with a bird that looks somewhat like a bird of paradise.
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PG   | July 12th 2015 at 1436722173

I am looking for an Otagiri "Bob Harrison" white cat liquid soap dispenser with winter or Christmas decoration on it. I have one that has broken and would love to replace it. Any help?
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Jean Chastain   | July 12th 2015 at 1436753630 - in reply to PG

Send me an email and I will put the information in my customer request file. I will let you know when or if I find.
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Jean Chastain   | July 12th 2015 at 1436753630 - in reply to PG

Send me an email and I will put the information in my customer request file. I will let you know when or if I find one.
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PG   | September 29th 2015 at 1443560448 - in reply to Jean Chastain

Wow I just saw this, sorry for the immense delay in responding. I have more
info about what I am trying to find: Otagiri "Bob Harrison" signed lotion or soap porcelain dispenser, cat shown is white w/blue eyes surrounded with Holly Berry leaves. Thank you very much for filing this request!

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