One of a Pair of Imperial Cloisonne Vases with Bougainvillea Design

Ando Jubei (Japanese, 1876 – 1956)
Circa 1905
Enamel, silver
Work : 17 3/8 x 7 1/4 x 7 1/4 in. (44.13 x 18.41 x 18.41 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Worldbridge Partners and The R. Scott and Lannette Turicchi Collection
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Cloisonné is made by affixing thin metal wires (cloisons) to a metal object to create a decorative design. The spaces between the wires are filled with powdered enamels made of crushed glass mixed with other substances to help the glass melt. The object is then placed in a kiln to melt the enamels and adhere them to the metal. Depending on the complexity of the design and the thickness of the enamels, one piece might be fired multiple times to achieve a smooth, level surface and large, complex pieces could take months or even years to complete. Cloisonné originated in Europe and was brought to China sometime around the 14th century. Japanese artists did not begin making cloisonné on any significant scale until the middle of the 19th century, but the art developed rapidly during the Meiji period and achieved heights of technical brilliance that have never been equaled.

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