If there was ever a combination of happy colors, it must be pink, yellow and blue, with a smidgen of green. These are a pair of the most beautifully and richly hand-enameled on copper Chinese vases I’ve ever come across. They are so pretty, I just want to pick them up, hold them and admire them. The painting is exquisite; certainly the work of a very talented and skillful artist.
Although the largest flowers, which seem to be open peonies, run across the center of the design, there are no two painted exactly the same. The same can be said for the blue and pink flowers gracefully flowing around the pot, each painted just a little differently than the other. Each is a little work of art.
The scrolling and fanciful green design that unites all the flowers possibly represents their stems, intertwined but somehow separate. The resulting effect of the intense enameling with rich, warm colors and an outstanding design gives us a charming and beautiful object.
The condition is excellent on one of the vases, but the other, although still high in quality, has suffered a few losses. There is a small dent and the consequent loss of enamel painted on this one. This would have to be expected with such objects that are well over a century old. The area with the paint loss shows through the copper body that the vases were fashioned from. Chinese artists often used copper to paint on and many of the highest quality enameling has been done on copper during the 18th and 19th century. These are no exception.
The vase that has suffered no damage does have a little wear as can be expected around the rim, and one tiny chip of paint loss on one of the peonies, consistent with its age and type.
The inside of these small vessels look as if water has been used on occasion as some of the inside enameling has worn off. No doubt some of their former owners placed small and beautiful flowers in them to display on a small table. These pieces are so highly decorative that flowers are really not necessary to place in them, although some pink and blue ones could create something magical in your home.
These vases were made in the late 19th century. The bottoms look as if there was some brown wax that originally would have had studio or maker’s stamps. This has all but disappeared on both pieces, leaving only remnants of the wax seals.
These are the type of Chinese enameled objects that make you want to not only have these, but to perhaps start a collection. They are indeed inspiring.
Each is about 2-1/8” high and 2-3/4” in diameter at its widest point.
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