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

Old Marked Japanese Wireless Cloisonne Ginbarii Vase 4 Koi Fish Ando Meiji Type
Old Marked Japanese Wireless Cloisonne Ginbarii Vase 4 Koi Fish Ando Meiji Type $1,525.00 (55 Bids)
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LARGE VINTAGE CLOISONNE LIDDED VASES URNS MULTICOLORED FLOWERS MINT CONDITION
LARGE VINTAGE CLOISONNE LIDDED VASES URNS MULTICOLORED FLOWERS MINT CONDITION $85.50
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Antique Early Chinese Cloisonne Fine Wire Work Turquoise 9 Vase China A+
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LG ANTIQUE CHINESE EXPORT STERLING SILVER CLOISONNE ENAMEL PEACOCK BIRD
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CLOISONNE VASES
CLOISONNE VASES $98.00
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Antique Huge Cloisonn Silver Wire Orchid 12 Vase As Is
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Antique Chinese Cloisonne Female Beauty Figure Statue 14 H Cloisonne Figure
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Japanese Cloisonne Vase Decorated With Wysteria Meiji
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Pair Chinese Cloisonn Vases Qing Dynasty
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Pair Antique Chinese Cloisonn vases 10 H Cloisonne Vases with Dragon Motif
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Chinese Famille Jaune Cloisonne Vase
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Pair of Early 20th Century Antique Chinese Cloisonne Jars from Vintage Estate
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RARE CHINESE STERLING CLOISONN ENAMEL COVERD JAR JADE CARNELIAN 28 OZT
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Vintage Chinese Cloisonne footed cigarette box
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19th 20thc Chinese enamel round repousse cloisonne enamel box dog finial
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Rare Antique Chinese Highly Decorated Square Cloisonn Vase
Rare Antique Chinese Highly Decorated Square Cloisonn Vase $89.00 (13 Bids)
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Antique Pair of Japanese Cloisonne Meiji era 3 Clawed Dragon Vases
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antique Japanese Champleve Enamel Cloisonne Bronze vases figural handles signed
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Mirror Pair Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Garlic Neck Vase Qing Republic
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Antique Japanese Enamel Cloisonne Copper Dragen Hoho Bird Vase
Antique Japanese Enamel Cloisonne Copper Dragen Hoho Bird Vase $290.00
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Antique Chinese Cloisonne Jar Container With Stand
Antique Chinese Cloisonne Jar Container With Stand $69.00
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Antique 20s Chinese CLoisonne Vase Stamped China
Antique 20s Chinese CLoisonne Vase Stamped China $53.00
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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.