A pair of large Chinese gilt and black ground cloisonné enamel vases
Chinese, 20th Century
Height 67cm, diameter 38cm
These beautiful vases are exceptional examples of Chinese cloisonné enamel decorative art. This popular and highly effective technique consists of applying vitreous enamel to cells of space (cloisons), that have been marked by small sections of metal wires soldered onto an object’s surface. Here, this technique has been superbly utilised to adorn the vases with vibrant, detailed, and delightful scenes of flowers and exotic birdlife.
The vases’ ovoid bodies feature birds perched on the branches of plum blossom trees, accompanied by green foliage, as well as a variety of flowers in various tones, shown in full bloom. The vases’ waisted necks and feet are intricately decorated with geometric motifs and stylised foliate patterns which are demarcated and delineated by bands of gilding.
The beautiful designs have been set against a black ground – an unusual and rare choice – yet one which bears its fruits immediately: both the gilding and the rich tones, particularly the blues of the birds, work beautifully against the rich dark ground, making these rare and exceptional works of Chinese enamel art.