Cloisonne is an enamelling technique in which the pattern is formed by wires soldered to the surface of the object to be decorated, which is usually made from copper, forming cells or cloisons, each of which holds a single colour of enamel paste which is then fired, and ground and polished. The champleve technique also uses an enamelling technique, but the cells are formed by carving into the surface ot the object, or in the casting. The cloisonne technique has been in use since the 12th century BC in the west, but the technique did not reach China until the 13th or 14th century. It became popular in China in the 18th century. Initially bronze or brass bodies were used, and in the 19th century copper, at which time the quality of th eitems produced began to decline. Chinese cloisonné is the best known enamel cloisonné, though the Japanese produced large quantities from the mid-19th century, of very high technical quality. In the west the cloisonne technique was revived in the mid 19th century following imports from China, and its use continued in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods.
A Japanese cloisonne vase, Meiji to Taisho period, early 20th century, with maker's mark of Ando. the gently flaring long beaker vase decorated with wired tuberose in subtle white to pale green hues with hints of emerald and royal blue on a deep inky g
A twin cloisonne enamel snuff bottle, of flat circular shape, Qing dynasty, with symbols of longevity on a green ground with brass wires, a spotted deer & crane. Provenance: private South African collection. Height 6 cm
A Chinese jade tree in a cloisonne pot, 20th century, modelled naturalistically with flourishing white jade petals, vibrant hard stone stamen and large green jade leaves, in a cloisonne pot, approximately 50 cm high, Provenance: purchased from the jade gal
A large Chinese cloisonne 'Dragon' handles, Qianlong four-character embossed mark, baring a Christie's label, 54 cm high. Provenance: Western Australia private collection, acquired from a local estate in the 1990s, Hampshire private collection
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