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

PAIR OF RARE CHINESE LARGE VINTAGE CLOISONNE ENAMEL FLORAL VASES
PAIR OF RARE CHINESE LARGE VINTAGE CLOISONNE ENAMEL FLORAL VASES $950.00
Time Remaining: 1d 19h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $950.00
Buy It Now

Antique Chinese Cloisonne Vase Lao Tianli Mark Bat
Antique Chinese Cloisonne Vase Lao Tianli Mark Bat $2,150.00
Time Remaining: 9d 17h 44m
Buy It Now for only: $2,150.00
Buy It Now

STUNNING VINTAGE CHINESE CLOISONNE LADY FIGURINE 10 TALL AMAZING DETAIL
STUNNING VINTAGE CHINESE CLOISONNE LADY FIGURINE 10 TALL AMAZING DETAIL $249.00
Time Remaining: 29d 23h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $249.00
Buy It Now

ANTIQUE CHINESE OLD 19TH CENTURY CLOISONNE TABLE LAMP AND OLD JADE TOP
ANTIQUE CHINESE OLD 19TH CENTURY CLOISONNE TABLE LAMP AND OLD JADE TOP $1,120.00
Time Remaining: 29d 17h 21m
Buy It Now for only: $1,120.00
Buy It Now

Antique Chinese Enamel Cloisonne Box Dragon
Antique Chinese Enamel Cloisonne Box Dragon $399.00
Time Remaining: 4d 22h 14m
Buy It Now for only: $399.00
Buy It Now

Vintage Cloisonne Vase Blue on Brass
Vintage Cloisonne Vase Blue on Brass $59.99
Time Remaining: 12d 17h 50m
Buy It Now for only: $59.99
Buy It Now

Vintage Japanese Cloisonne Brass Floral Lamp with Shade
Vintage Japanese Cloisonne Brass Floral Lamp with Shade $65.00
Time Remaining: 17h 12m
Bid now

VERY NICE OLD CHINESE CLOISONNE ON BRONZE STIRRUP
VERY NICE OLD CHINESE CLOISONNE ON BRONZE STIRRUP $59.00
Time Remaining: 6d 13h 21m
Buy It Now for only: $59.00
Buy It Now

Superb Antique c1900 Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Cache Pot Vase
Superb Antique c1900 Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Cache Pot Vase $99.98
Time Remaining: 12h 7m
Bid now

Chinese Antique Enamel Ruyi Cloisonne Scepter Marked Very Nice
Chinese Antique Enamel Ruyi Cloisonne Scepter Marked Very Nice $399.00
Time Remaining: 6d 15h 18m
Buy It Now for only: $399.00
Buy It Now

VINTAGE PAIR OF CLOISONNE VASES 9 TALL WITH BUTTERFLYS
VINTAGE PAIR OF CLOISONNE VASES 9 TALL WITH BUTTERFLYS $189.00
Time Remaining: 29d 22h 58m
Buy It Now for only: $189.00
Buy It Now

Matched Pair of Japanese Akasuke Ginbari Cloisonne Rose Blossoms
Matched Pair of Japanese Akasuke Ginbari Cloisonne Rose Blossoms $99.00
Time Remaining: 24d 7h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $99.00
Buy It Now

Chinese Cloisonne Elephant w Unusual Animals Blue Ground Figurine
Chinese Cloisonne Elephant w Unusual Animals Blue Ground Figurine $60.00
Time Remaining: 1d 10h 31m
Bid now

Gorgeous Lavender Antique Cloisonne Bowl Marked on Bottom
Gorgeous Lavender Antique Cloisonne Bowl Marked on Bottom $249.95
Time Remaining: 3d 10h 39m
Bid now

Chinese Bronze Champleve Cloisonne Vase UNUSUAL
Chinese Bronze Champleve Cloisonne Vase UNUSUAL $195.00
Time Remaining: 24d 16h 30m
Buy It Now for only: $195.00
Buy It Now

VINTAGE CLOISONNE FLOWERED GINGER JAR W LID AND STAND BEAUTIFUL MINT CONDITION
VINTAGE CLOISONNE FLOWERED GINGER JAR W LID AND STAND BEAUTIFUL MINT CONDITION $50.00
Time Remaining: 29d 17h 35m
Buy It Now for only: $50.00
Buy It Now

Qing Dynasty Chinese Gilt Copper Cloisonne Enamel 75 Dish Chrysanthemum White
Qing Dynasty Chinese Gilt Copper Cloisonne Enamel 75 Dish Chrysanthemum White $250.00
Time Remaining: 29d 9h 12m
Buy It Now for only: $250.00
Buy It Now

Vintage Chinese Cloisonn Vase Enamel
Vintage Chinese Cloisonn Vase Enamel $59.00
Time Remaining: 9d 12h 44m
Buy It Now for only: $59.00
Buy It Now

Antique Vintage Chinese Asian Bronze Cloisonne Enamel Vase 19th 20th Century
Antique Vintage Chinese Asian Bronze Cloisonne Enamel Vase 19th 20th Century $249.95
Time Remaining: 29d 20h 1m
Buy It Now for only: $249.95
Buy It Now

PAIR OF ANTIQUE FINE CHINESE CLOISONNE BOTTLE VASES 3 SIDES 3 COLORS
PAIR OF ANTIQUE FINE CHINESE CLOISONNE BOTTLE VASES 3 SIDES 3 COLORS $229.00
Time Remaining: 6d 15h 50m
Buy It Now for only: $229.00
Buy It Now

Pair Antique Chinese Brass Cloisonne Enamel Floral Decorated Vase
Pair Antique Chinese Brass Cloisonne Enamel Floral Decorated Vase $107.99
Time Remaining: 18d 9h 22m
Buy It Now for only: $107.99
Buy It Now

Antique Japanese Cloisonne Vase with Top Urn
Antique Japanese Cloisonne Vase with Top Urn $58.00
Time Remaining: 29d 18h 58m
Buy It Now for only: $58.00
Buy It Now

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.