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 fine Ando cloisonne vase, Showa period, mid 20th century, an elegant ovoid vase with a small slender neck, decorated with wired white and deep rose cymbidium orchids and foliage upon a soft olive green ground, with a white metal rim and base; with wired
A cloisonne vase, squat ovoid shape with tall trumpet neck, raised on a domed circular foot, decorated with various birds and blossoms on a blue ground, the neck decorated with swags of flowers on a darker blue ground. Height 23 cm
A cloisonne vase, of ovoid shape with trumpet neck and raised on a spreading circular foot, decorated with six panels enclosing birds and stylised foliate designs on an ochre ground, the neck decorated with flowering tendrils on a green ground. Small dent
A Chinese cloisonne baluster shaped vase and a rectangular lidded box, Republic period, the wood lined box with bats enamelled around the lid, on a turquoise base with ball shaped feet, the vase with an all over design in copper wiring, box 18 cm long, vas
A pair of ginbari cloisonne enamel vases by the Ando workshop, Taisho period, early 20th century, each of globular form, decorated with birds amongst blossoming prunus in colours on the bright red ground, silvered mounts, the base with 'Ando' mark, (2), 15
A cloisonne enamel vase, by Hayashi Kodenji, Meiji period, of rounded square section, decorated in silver and gilt wire and polychrome enamels, with a bird perched on a maple tree with flowering plants at the base and on the reverse, between blue ground fl
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