This Japanese antique pair of Cloisonné vases is highly decorated and very beautiful. They date to the 19th century Meiji period pair of 1868-1912. They are considered Kyoto style cloisonne, with dense and colorful standard enamel and wire applications. They are a mirror image or true pair, with designs facing each other. They are decorated in rich enamel of traditional and overlapping geometric designs and cherry blossom trees, irises, and chrysanthemums. They are highlighted with the yin yang symbol; and two colored borders. The base is made of copper. According to a cloisonne expert, few of these pieces have survived in excellent condition. I did clean the brass rim up a bit but not with polish so as not to remove too much patina but just really wanted to check the quality. I have taken pictures of all the sides, please use the pictures to complete the description and condition report. One vase has an imprint mark about the size of a small thumbprint, please see the last picture. One has a craze along the beveled fold line less than an inch long. However, unless closely inspecting them or without these enlarged pictures, these are not so noticeable due to the heavy decor. These are old, traditional Japanese cloisonné vases.
SIZE: Height 5 1/4" or 13.3 cm, Diameter 2 1/2" or 6.35 cm
Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials. The resulting objects can also be called cloisonné. The decoration is formed by first adding compartments cloisons in French to the metal object by soldering or adhering silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges. These remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel or inlays, which are often of several colors. Cloisonné enamel objects are worked on with enamel powder made into a paste, which then needs to be fired in a kiln.
The technique was in ancient times mostly used for jewellery and small fittings for clothes, weapons or similar small objects decorated with geometric or schematic designs, with thick cloison walls. By the 14th century this enamel technique had spread to China, where it was soon used for much larger vessels such as bowls and vases; the technique remains common in China to the present day, and cloisonné enamel objects using Chinese-derived styles were produced in the West from the 18th century.
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