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.
Chinese 20th century cloisonne bowl, of circular form, with curved sides, decorated with a central dragon and flaming pearl, in tones of red, blue, yellow and green on a black ground, raised on a circular foot, diameter 20.5 cm
An antique Chinese cloisonne bowl, Qing Dynasty, 19th century, the brass bowl centred with a roundel of two deity figures including an ascetic, and a broad border of lotus blooms and leaves, the exterior with similar flora, auspicious Buddhist objects and
Japanese cloisonne charger on stand on a red ground with copper wire inlay, depicting two blue birds on cherry blossom branches amongst other flowers, surrounded by a blue foliate geometric border, the underside decorated in copper wire with continuous cur
A Chinese gilt bronze and cloisonne enamel figure of an elephant, on a turquoise background, the elephant stands erect on four legs, on a double detachable based tray, upon his saddle, rests a detachable gourd-shaped enamelled vase, with scroll handles, 58
A very large Chinese cloisonne enamel dragon charger, 19th century, decorated with vibrant 'Doucai' enamels to the interior of the plate and depicting the auspicious nine dragons. A principle Imperial five-clawed yellow dragon is surrounded by another eigh
A Chinese covered enamel and cloisonne bowl, late Qing Dynasty, late 19th to early 20th century, beautifully decorated with a circular roundel depicting birds in flight over flowering peony, with similarly decorated smaller plaques to the cover and base, u
A pair of Chinese cloisonne chargers, Qing Dynasty, later 19th century, in hues of teal, navy, aqua and green, each depicting a dramatically posed bird of prey with white egrets amidst iris, paulownia blooms and willow, bordered with alternate hemispherica
A Chinese cloisonne bowl with stand, people's Republic era, second half 20th century, the low form bowl in deep green decorated inside and out with writhing red and yellow dragons chasing a flaming pearl below a border of blue, red and light green lingzhi
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