This lovely vintage Chinese Cloisonne vase is has a uniform pale yellow-green enamel background applied between thin brass wires in the shape of tiny clouds. Photos #1 to #4 show different views of the vase as it is rotated clockwise. The first view shows a song bird welcoming the cherry blossoms. In the second view a branch of the cherry tree reaches around the vase. There is a spring morning glory on the back of the vase (photo #3). The fourth view shows the left side of the cherry blossom branches on the front cherry blossoms. The domed cover (photo #5) has a branch of cherry blossoms and the border around the knob repeats the pattern at the base of the neck of the vase (photo #6). The base of the vase (photo #7) and the interior of the vase and cover are painted with blue enamel. The silver sticker on the bottom has an image of a pagoda and the words Zi Cheng. This vase measures 10" H x 5" W and its base is 3.625"W.
Because of its age, there are some slight imperfections and discolorations in the enamel background, in the coloring of the flower petals. There are several very small spots on the cover near the knob where the artist painted blue enamel where it should be green.
Foreign influence contributed to the development of cloisonne during the early fourteenth to fifteenth century in China. Cloisonne is the technique of creating designs on metal vessels with colored-glass paste placed within enclosures made of copper or bronze wires, which have been bent or hammered into the desired pattern. Known as cloisons (French for "partitions"), the enclosures generally are either pasted or soldered onto the metal body. The glass paste, or enamel, is colored with metallic oxide and painted into the contained areas of the design. The vessel is usually fired at a relatively low temperature, about 800°C. Enamels commonly shrink after firing, and the process is repeated about twenty times to fill in the designs. Once this process is complete, the surface of the vessel is rubbed until the edges of the cloisons are visible.