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I. Background

1) Two major developments—that there has been a radical change from past practice in how the Society’s newsletter is produced and that it has become increasingly difficult to find Society members who are willing and able to serve as officers—led the NCS Executive Committee (hereafter ExCom) to consider whether these developments might bear on NCS policy as expressed in the current NCS Constitution and By Laws. In due course, it was found that changes should probably be made and an effort was undertaken to draft them so that, again in due course, they could be discussed and voted upon by the membership.

2) In the course of these efforts by the ExCom, a few other small, technical problems in the current NCS Constitution and By Laws were noticed and new wordings were developed to deal with them.

3) Also, it was noticed that the current NCS Constitution has wording pertaining to the changing or amending of the NCS Constitution and By Laws that constrained the ExCom in certain, we think unintended, ways that were unfortunate but essentially inescapable. In light of this, thought was given to how to word those sections more appropriately.

II. An overview of the proposed changes

1) Here, only the general thrust of the proposed changes is mentioned. Other relevant details, including the exact wording of the changes, are in the two sections (below); each begins with the phrase “Proposed wording changes.”

2) The ExCom will ask the membership to adopt Constitution changes that will alter (a) the composition of the ExCom and (b) the number of consecutive terms that officers can serve (if elected by the membership). Also (c), very minor changes are proposed for the wording, in the Bylaws, of the duties of some officers.

3) The ExCom will ask the membership to adopt Constitution changes that will clarify when and how the Constitution and Bylaws may be amended.

III. Proposed wording changes in the NCS Constitution

1) There are no proposed changes to the following 4 sections (out of 7 in total) of the NCS Constitution: Articles I, II, III, and V.

2) Article IV has 3 sections pertaining to (i) Officers, (ii) the Executive Committee and (iii) the Convention Committee. Changes are proposed only for the section here labeled “ii” (it is not so labeled in the Constitution itself). To see what this section currently says, please consult your copy of 2012 NCS Membership Directory. The proposed revised version is below (indented). All new wording is in italics but note also that some existing topics in that section have been relocated within this revised version of the section.

The Executive Committee shall be composed of the four (4) officers plus the following advisory, non voting members: the Managing Editor of Noritake News when he or she is a member of the NCS, the immediate Past President, the emeritus founding editor of Noritake News, and a webmaster when he or she is a member of the NCS. The webmaster and the Managing Editor of Noritake News shall be appointed by majority vote of the officers, except in the case where one or both are representatives of an independent entity from whom the Society is procuring either service. Decisions of the Executive Committee shall be made by majority vote of the four officers.

3) Article VI has 3 sections pertaining to the society (i) newsletter, (ii) website and (iii) the making of amendments. Section (iii), which is not so labeled in the Constitution itself, has two parts labeled A and B. Changes are proposed only for what is here labeled section (iii). To see what the section on making amendments currently says, please consult your copy of the 2012 NCS Membership Directory. he proposed revised version is below (indented). All new wording is in italics.

A. This Constitution may be suspended, amended or repealed by (1) a majority vote of those attending the Annual Meeting, or (2) by a majority vote of members who return mail ballots by a clearly indicated deadline or (3) as provided in paragraph C below.

B. The Society Bylaws may be suspended, amended or repealed by (1) a majority vote of those members attending the Annual Meeting, (2) by a majority vote of members who return mail ballots by a clearly indicated deadline or (3) as provided in paragraph C below.

Note: no changes are proposed for the “Paragraph C” mentioned and referred to above.

4) Article VII has 2 sections, one pertaining to “Officers’ Terms” and one pertaining to “Elections.” There are no proposed changes to the section on “Elections.” To see what the section on “Elections” currently says, please consult your copy of the 2012 NCS Membership Directory. The proposed revised version of the section on “Officers’ Terms” is below (indented). All new wording is in italics.

The Officers shall be elected in odd numbered years. Newly elected officers will take office two months following the end of the Convention at which the election was held. The President is limited to two (2) consecutive terms of two (2) years. The Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer may serve any number of consecutive terms so long as they agree to run for the office and are elected by a majority of those casting votes.

IV. Proposed wording changes in the NCS By Laws

1) No substantial changes to any of the sections of the NCS Bylaws are proposed, but several minor typographical and grammatical changes are recommended. They are listed below (indented with new materials in italics):

Section 1, item 3: Appoints, as needed, a temporary officer…
Section 2, item 4: …and, when necessary, sends ballots…
Section 3, item 1: Reads or circulates written copies of the minutes…
Section 5, wording of heading: Duties of the Founding Newsletter Editor
Section 5, item 1: Advises…those currently producing the Society newsletter, as appropriate,

Deco Japan: Shaping Art & Culture 1920-1945

by Tim Trapani

When Janet & I first heard about this traveling exhibit we knew we had to see it. The Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota Florida was hosting the show, so we made plans for a weekend getaway in Sarasota.

The Ringling Museum of Art & mansion are wonderful & well worth the trip, but the highlight of our weekend was the Deco Japan exhibit. Robert & Mary Levenson of Clearwater, Florida have a world class collection of art deco objects from Japan from which the exhibit was drawn. With nearly 200 items on exhibit, fine arts, crafts, and mass produced commercial art are all represented. The exhibit includes ceramics, furniture, jewelry, glass, lacquer, metalwork, textiles, paintings, woodblock prints, & some spectacular graphic designs on paper. Pieces of Noritake & Goldcastle were shown.

This, the first exhibit of Japanese Art Deco in the US, showed the unique Japanese interpretation of art deco. The blending of Japanese history & shapes with the Western art deco produced some truly unusual objects. The moga or modern girl was the symbol of the era. She represented the duality of a comtempory chic woman with a woman in geisha garb with a drink in one hand & a cigarette in the other.

This exhibit will be traveling in the US for at least two years so check you local museums as you will not want to miss it. N

The Marilyn Derrin Auction

The Marilyn Derrin auction was held on Friday June 1st and Saturday June 2nd of 2012 at the auction house of A. H. Wilkens Auction & Appraisals in Toronto, Ontario. From all accounts, it was a exciting, fast moving and highly energized auction. The staff at A. H. Wilken's were both helpful and friendly, making the experience not only pleasant but a unique event.

For many of the NCS members, as well as friends and family who attended it was an emotional and intense time. Watching Marilyn's thirty plus year collection, of which she was passionate about, being broken up and sold off was difficult at best. Of those I spoke to they found solace in the fact that many of the items were purchased by friends and members of the NCS. These items will now not only be prized as a fine pieces of deco Noritake porcelain, but also be highly prized and well cared for as once being part of Marilyn's collection. I know that is how I will think of the pieces I obtained and I am proud to be among the many who own a piece of Marilyn's collection.

The general consensus is Marilyn's collection was treated with kindness and respect by the Wilken's auction house, for which we are all grateful. I can only hope my collection will receive the same treatment after I am gone.

There is a greater ramification of a Noritake event like this. It will make the world of professional appraisers and auction houses sit up and take notice. There may be more interest generated in Noritake fancy ware collecting ( one can only hope ). It will certainly give more creditability to those of us that love our Art-Deco Noritake.

The very nice people at A. H. Wilken's kindly gave me permission to reprint their Blog and pictures from their website. The Blog in many ways reenforces my point but also expresses the excitement and high prices generated at the auction. It is as follows.

The A. H. Wilkens Blog (reprinted with permission from A.H. Wilkens)

TORONTO – June 4th, 2012 – Art Deco Noritake porcelain auction from the collection of Marilyn Derrin hit the auction block this past Friday and Saturday, June 1st and 2nd at A.H. Wilkens Auctions & Appraisals in Toronto, Canada. The collections primary focus was on Art Deco Noritake porcelain, and also included Nippon and Made In Japan export wares. This was the largest collection of its kind to come to the marketplace.

As expected, the auction set the standards for new values in the marketplace. The pieces rarely seen on the market soared past any price guide expectations. The exceptional but more common pieces held their value and the lesser examples hit peaks and valleys in their final pricing. “We were very pleased with the final prices, especially considering the majority of buyers hailed from The United States and Japan. This truly means that the internet dictates an auction, not a location” stated Andrea Zeifman, auctioneer and Vice President with A.H. Wilkens. Overall the auction showed that the market is still strong for Noritake porcelain.

Art Deco Noritake was produced from 1915 through to the 1920s with inspirations from the Western marketplace and culture. Most influential were the magazine ads by Homer Conant of the masqueraded ladies with their miniature pin cushions, Spanish ladies and the French inspired Pierot and Harlequins. Noritake primarily produced dresser pieces such as powder jars and perfumes, vases and smoking paraphernalia. Most desirable are the jars, lamps and flat powder puffs.

The Marilyn Derrin collection was acquired over a thirty year period through auctions, trades and antique shows. We no longer find pieces of this caliber in today’s marketplace, nearly all of them are held in museums in Japan or private collections.

The most sought after lot in the auction was 1105; The Maiden Dresser Jar which realized $14,040.00 (with 17% premium) and the Girl In The Red Dress, lot 1158 which sold for $6,435.00. Other noteworthy lots included the French inspired night light of a Girl In A Pink Blossom Dress which realized $9,945.00 and the other night light of Polly Peachum, selling for a record $6,435.00.

The ever sought after flat powder jars sold between $200 and $900 depending on their collect ability and the rare larger dresser jars of seated ladies and oversized highly ornate skirts realized auction results of up to $4,446.00. The flapper lady tall jar of rare decoration, lot 1079, sold for $6,142.50.

NCS Member Impressions

I ask several of our members who attended the auction and participated online to describe their experience for the rest of us who could not be there. They are as follows.

Judy and Phil Camero at Marilyn Derrin auction

We arrived on Thursday night and had our first opportunity to view Marilyn's collection as it was displayed at A. H. Wilkens. We entered from the street and went up stairs to the reception area which was openly connected to the auction display room. The professional staff there had beautifully arranged the collection in glass cases around the two long sides and the back of the auction room. Where the reception area joined the start of the auction area, there were two large tables with both Noritake and some MIJ arranged covering the tables. Nearby on the left wall were Nippon plaques . Looking down the room on the left were just one amazing display of Noritake after another in multiple level cases. As you progressed to the back, there were cases with glass, upper levels only, filled with beautiful Noritake. As you worked your way back up through the room on the right side, cases contained multiple level's of Noritake, unusual MIJ ,and finally wonderful Nippon pieces. The staff graciously allowed those of us viewing to inspect closely any pieces we asked to see. The staff lady assisting us brought out each piece we requested one at a time on a soft pale pink velvet pad. It was a great opportunity to see and hold pieces that we had ever seen only in books in our many years of collecting. We were very glad we had come in person to the auction and felt privileged to see it all together.

The next day, Friday, proved very rainy, creating commuter problems in Toronto. We arrived early for the auction, giving us time to view the intact collection one more time and visit with our fellow collectors and NCS friends before the auction. It was great to see some from the convention and some who we had missed in the past two conventions. I believe everyone felt excitement and anticipation. Once the auction started, it moved very fast, starting with the on line bids that had come in ahead of time. Our auctioneers were first a young woman and later a gentleman. Our lady auctioneer was terrific. Although she worked quickly, you could tell easily when the bids were coming from the Internet, phone, or room. She made it clear what bid she had and what bid she was requesting next, When the bidding was complete she would say "fair warning" calling out the final bid for one last chance and then rapped the podium saying "sold", and it was done. Thus the whole first session seemed to pass rapidly. We did get very short breaks when the auctioneers switched. We felt intensely focused. Occasionally the intensity would be lightened by the passing of the auction house's calico cat passing among peoples' legs. In the end there was more brief visiting and hugs. Marilyn's daughter Kim invited us all to breakfast the next morning at their hotel before the second session of the auction.

The following morning we gathered at breakfast with Kim and her husband Sal who were wonderful hosts. It was terrific having the whole group together; we went on to the auction after wards in great spirits. The second session began at 11:00 AM. We arrived early enough for another last look at the cases and returned to our seats from the previous day. Again the auction went swiftly, actually a little faster, as many of the Noritake pieces on the second day were in lots. The result was that there were numerous lots that passed. Very few items had passed the day before. All the bidding both days had started either with Internet early bids or at half the estimated value listed in the catalog. The bidding did not go below those values. At first we were dismayed to see beautiful things passing, but realized that many collectors were longtime collectors like ourselves who were probably bidding only on pieces that were different from what were already in collections. There were some Noritake pieces that we would have been tempted to bid on if they had not been in lots. The Nippon portion of the auction was just as interesting to follow as was the Noritake portion. There were many gorgeous pieces. One that I found very interesting was a Nippon basket with Egyptian motif that had a brown ceramic body instead of white or bone. There had been a beautiful lady figurine the first day of pink ceramic. These are the only two I have ever seen that were not white or bone china in fancy ware from the Noritake factory. All in all, it was another exciting day. At the end people waited until they could formally check out. Those traveling with their Noritake began packing it up. Others of us made arrangements to ship through A.H. Wilkens. There was time to do a little more visiting during this transition. We thanked the auction staff for their help over the three days; and found that they were very sorry to see the beautiful display come to an end. The lady auctioneer bought one of the lots during the auction of a design she had come to admire. So now she shares a bit of Noritake with the rest of us.

That evening to celebrate, Brian and Yvonne Hurst hosted everyone at their favorite Greek restaurant, one they had enjoyed for more than two decades, assisted by Ken Steadman. Ken had been warmly assisting all of us every day that we were present in Toronto in many ways. It was a joyous evening with lots of laughter, kidding, and toasts; the food was amazing and graciously served. In the end we were making plans for next years' convention to be together again!

Toronto was a wonderful experience; and we are grateful to the many people who in many ways made it wonderful.

Cover Art from Past Noritake News

A subscription to the Noritake News, published four times each year, is included with each household membership. Each edition is filled with well-written, informative articles and pictures of beautiful Art Deco and collectible Noritake, many of which have been contributed by NCS members. It is an indispensable tool for both the novice and the experienced collector.

Below are a few cover pictures from past issues of the Noritake News: