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

Noble Chinese Cloisonne Vase
Noble Chinese Cloisonne Vase $120.00
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Lovely pair Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Vases 19th century
Lovely pair Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Vases 19th century $1,700.00
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Chinese Cloisonne Vase Pair w Butterfly Flower 8 Inch
Chinese Cloisonne Vase Pair w Butterfly  Flower 8 Inch $240.00
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Old Marked China Red Cloisonne Enamel Dynasty Flower Vase Bottle Pot Bowl Pair
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LOVELY VINTAGE CLOISONNE LARGE BOWL ON STAND FLOWERS BUTTERFLY
LOVELY VINTAGE CLOISONNE LARGE BOWL ON STAND FLOWERS BUTTERFLY $60.00
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13Chinese Cloisonne Gilt Bird On Plum blossom Club Vase Bottle Bowl Pair Statue
13Chinese Cloisonne Gilt Bird On Plum blossom Club Vase Bottle Bowl Pair Statue $1,599.00
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Vintage Chinese Blue of Jingtai Enamel Ware Cloisonn Brush Low Bowl
Vintage Chinese Blue of Jingtai Enamel Ware Cloisonn Brush Low Bowl $200.00
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9 Old Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Ruyi Floral Bottle Vase Pair Qianlong Marked Q
9 Old Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Ruyi Floral Bottle Vase Pair Qianlong Marked Q $390.00
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Monumental Palace Size Antique Chinese Cloisonne Vase circa 1900 Free Shipping
Monumental Palace Size Antique Chinese Cloisonne Vase circa 1900 Free Shipping $399.00
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Antique 19th Century Chinese Cloisonne Vase Flower Enamel Art circa 1870
Antique 19th Century Chinese Cloisonne Vase Flower Enamel Art circa 1870 $75.00
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Cloisonne Ming Dynasty Floral Patterned Vase RF84
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Fine Quality Mid 20th Chinese Enameled Bronze Vases Beijing Cloisonne Rare
Fine Quality Mid 20th Chinese Enameled Bronze Vases Beijing Cloisonne Rare $228.00
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Meiji Japanese Silver Wire Cloisonne Vase
Meiji Japanese Silver Wire Cloisonne Vase $1,800.00
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ANTIQUE CHINESE CLOISONNE PAIR VASES ABSTRACT FLORAL 8 UNUSUAL
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LARGE ANTIQUE CHINESE CLOISONNE VASE FRENCH FLEA MARKET FIND
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Antique Pair of Large Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Vases on Wooden Stands
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Lovely Quality 1940 1960 PROC Bronze Cloisonne Dragon VAse Chinese Good Quality
Lovely Quality 1940 1960 PROC Bronze Cloisonne Dragon VAse Chinese Good Quality $98.00
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Superb Antique chinese cloisonne vase 9 ca 1930s Y8 W6 A9 E9
Superb Antique chinese cloisonne vase 9 ca 1930s Y8 W6 A9 E9 $50.34
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Exquisite LARGE Pair Cloisonne Chinese Vases Enamel Vintage Mark Floral Signed
Exquisite LARGE Pair Cloisonne Chinese Vases Enamel Vintage Mark Floral Signed $500.00
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18China Royal Old Bronze Cloisonne Dragon kylin Beast Bird Zun Pot Vase pair
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VINTAGE PAIR CHINESE CLOISONNE VASES
VINTAGE PAIR CHINESE CLOISONNE VASES $200.00
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11 Dynasty Qianlong Period Purple Bronze Cloisonne Enamel Flower Vase Bottle
11 Dynasty Qianlong Period Purple Bronze Cloisonne Enamel Flower Vase Bottle $559.00
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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.