Cloisonne

Cloisonné enameling refers to a very specific type of metal decoration. The enameling is created by welding silver or gold wires according to a set pattern to form compartments on the surface of a metal object. The spaces in-between the pattern are filled with colored glass paste. Once the entire object has been decorated and filled, it is fired in a kiln. This melts the glass paste creating the typical enameled pattern on top of the object. The metal wires are still retained in the form of raised borders in-between the pattern. The technique was very popular in France and it was traditionally used to create unique jewelry and small decorative items. However, during the Byzantine Empire, the technique spread from the Mediterranean over to Persia and from there to China. Both the Persians and the Chinese modified and adapted the basic pattern to create unique local techniques which make it very easy to identify. Chinese cloisonné is very popular at present and the same technique is used to create beautiful pieces.

Cloisonné came to China in the early fourteenth to the late fifteenth century. The process became very popular with court artisans and the earliest recorded piece is from the Ming Xuande Emperor's reign in 1426. According to researchers, the Yuan Dynasty of China was established in Yunan by the Mongol king Kublai Khan. The Yunan province was the first to produce unique pieces as it was under the Mongol rule. It is supposed that Islamic artisans taught the locals the tricks of the trade. Palace artisans quickly adapted the technique on to large utensils resulting in intricate patterns that were considered ideal for the luxurious Chinese Imperial quarters. Due to the Islamic influences, most of the pieces were in green, blue and gold and subtle Islamic tweaks could be seen. However, early Chinese cloisonné was so delicate that very few imperial pieces have survived to date. Most of these pieces are now stored with the Palace Museum

FINE QUALITY JAPANESE MEIJI PERIOD KI KU SORBUS WISTERIA CLOISONNE KORO c1900
FINE QUALITY JAPANESE MEIJI PERIOD KI KU SORBUS WISTERIA CLOISONNE KORO c1900 $54.83 (3 Bids)
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Antique Japanese Oriental Archaic Chinese Champleve Enamel Brass Vase Cloisonne
Antique Japanese Oriental Archaic Chinese Champleve Enamel Brass Vase Cloisonne $69.00
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Antique Cloisonne 4 pc Cigarette Case Set
Antique Cloisonne 4 pc Cigarette Case Set $65.00
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ANTIQUE 1890 1912 BRONZE AND CLOISONNE CHINESE IMPERIAL DRAGON VASE
ANTIQUE 1890 1912 BRONZE AND CLOISONNE CHINESE IMPERIAL DRAGON VASE $69.00
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Large Beautiful Vintage Chinese Cloisonne Woman Geishia 13 Tall Excellent Cond
Large Beautiful Vintage Chinese Cloisonne Woman Geishia 13 Tall Excellent Cond $345.00
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Japanese Pigeon Blood Cloisonne Vase 1075 Tall 1910 1940 Possibly Ando or Sato
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Seabed By BUNZAEMON silver Ginbari CLOISONNE fading vase Enamel MEIJI 1900
Seabed By BUNZAEMON silver Ginbari CLOISONNE fading vase Enamel MEIJI 1900 $1,495.00
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2 Antique Chinese Ching Tai lan Cloisonne Enamel Vase Turquoise Blue
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Rare Japanese Cloisonne Meiji Tray W Dragon Motif Japan
Rare Japanese Cloisonne Meiji Tray W Dragon Motif Japan $51.00 (6 Bids)
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Chinese Cloisonn Enameled Jade and Hardstone Plant
Chinese Cloisonn Enameled Jade and Hardstone Plant $54.99 (1 Bid)
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Old Antique Vintage Chinese Cloisonne Red Flowers and Vegetation Container Box
Old Antique Vintage Chinese Cloisonne Red Flowers and Vegetation Container Box $54.99
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Large Chinese Cloisonne box blue with flowers
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Signed Japan SATO Pigeons Blood Red Cloisonne 8 1 2 Vase BAMBOO
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Beautiful 20th Century Chinese Garlic Head Bottle Shaped Cloisonne Floral Vase
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Gorgeous Chinese Mid Qing dynasty QiangLong period cloisonne bowl
Gorgeous Chinese Mid Qing dynasty QiangLong period cloisonne bowl $99.00
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ANTIQUE INTRICATE CLOISONNE WOMAN ORIENTAL WITH FAN SCULPTURE
ANTIQUE INTRICATE CLOISONNE WOMAN ORIENTAL WITH FAN SCULPTURE $51.00 (2 Bids)
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Japanese Chinese Antique Cloisonne Double Dragon Cobalt Blue Vase SIGNED
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classic cloisonne dragon
classic cloisonne dragon $150.00
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Antique 20s Chinese CLoisonne Vase Stamped China
Antique 20s Chinese CLoisonne Vase Stamped China $130.00
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B3190 Vintage or Antique Japanese Cloisonne Lidded Triket Box
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PAIR OF JAPANESE CLOISONNE VASES WITH EGYPTIAN SCENES MEIJI PERIOD
PAIR OF JAPANESE CLOISONNE VASES WITH EGYPTIAN SCENES MEIJI PERIOD $132.90
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Japanese Cloisonne Vase Brass
Japanese Cloisonne Vase Brass $89.99
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As time passed, the enamelware became very popular. By the late Yuan Dynasty, this type of enamelware became very popular with locals and in the royal court. The emperors KangXi and QianLong were fascinated with the beauty of cloisonné and they encouraged their artisans to work with the material. The procedure was refined and perfected resulting in wonderful new styles and patterns. By the late Quig Dynasty, the style had percolated down to the lower classes and cloisonné artisans started to make commercial pieces that could be purchased by the Chinese middle class. Artists like Lao Tian Li, Bao Hua Sheng, De Xing Cheng, Jing Yuan Tang etc switched over from elaborate imperial styles to functional everyday patterns that could be used in every household.

Very soon, by the early 19th Century, cheaper pieces were impressing Western merchants and from there, they were quickly exported to the Western world. The Western World was so impressed by the simpler pieces that demand for the artwork doubled. Initially, the traders used to purchase enamelware in bulk but they quickly started giving artisans individual contracts and the artwork improved considerably. Over the next decade, demand for high quality Chinese cloisonne increased by leaps and bounds.