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Cloisonne enamel censer and cover

Cloisonne enamel censer
Cloisonne enamel censer

CCE665

Ming dynasty
Length: 4 in, 10.2 cm

heavily cast, the oval section vessel is supported on a rounded, spreading foot, and two gilt-bronze lion-mask handles are set on the short sides. The sides are enamelled with a bold lotus scroll in various colours on a turquoise ground, above a band of S-scrolls and a small floral scroll around the foot; the rims are gilt. The cover is enamelled with a similar scroll to that on the foot and is surmounted by a gilt-bronze curling dragon chasing a flaming pearl amid cloud scrolls, pierced for the release of the incense smoke.

 

A painted enamel ruby-backed saucer

Painted enamel ruby-backed saucer
Painted enamel ruby-backed saucer detail

CPE366

18th century
Diameter: 4 1/2 in, 11.5 cm

the well is painted with a six-lobed medallion of Saint Joseph, sitting on the trunk of a tree, and the Christ Child, surrounded by a floral border, all in the famille-rose palette. The exterior sides are covered with ruby-pink enamel, and the base is painted with a floral medallion on a white ground.

Formerly in the collection of K. R. Malcolm.

 

A rare cloisonné enamel vase

Cloisonné vase

CCE514

18th century
Height: 7 3/8 in, 18.7 cm

of flattened double-gourd form with a spreading rectangular-section foot and a waisted circular-section neck; two gilt-bronze loops are set on the sides of the upper bulb. The vessel is decorated in coloured enamels on a turquoise ground with circular medallions, containing the characters Da ji (Great good fortune), against a ground of scrolling gourds and insects to the main faces; and with the Eight Daoist Emblems on a ground of scrolling gourds, clouds and bats to the narrow sides. The neck is decorated with a cloud-lappet band and C-scrolls, and the foot with another cloud-lappet band. The base is covered with turquoise enamel, and the rims are gilt.

This type of gourd decoration can be seen on a large Qianlong mark and period double-gourd vase illustrated in Brinker and Lutz, Chinese Cloisonné: The Pierre Uldry Collection, no. 294.

Note also a large cloisonné enamel lamp of this form illustrated in Palace Museum, Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Enamels, Vol. 4, no. 42, pp. 80–1.

 

A rare painted enamel candlestick

Candlestick

CPE236

18th century
Height to top of drip-pan: 17 in, 43.1 cm

with a spreading foot, a wide lower drip-pan with an everted rim, a long knopped stem and a U-shaped upper drip-pan. The candlestick is decorated in the famille-rose palette with Buddhist Emblems, alternating with roundels of fruits and flowers, on a pink ground embellished with a gilt geometric pattern, between bands of flowers and leaves, ruyi lappets, and four-petalled blossoms. The knop is painted with a gilt flower scroll on a lapis-lazuli blue ground, and the interior of the upper drip-pan with a large central blossom and a band of pendent trefoils. The interior of the foot is covered with turquoise enamel.

 

A painted enamel ruby-backed dish

Painted enamel dish

CPE224

18th century
Diameter: 8 3/8 in, 21.3 cm

with a short broad foot and a wide flange rim. The dish is painted in the famille-rose palette with a Western gentleman and lady seated beneath a pine tree. The elegant young lady leans against a book and holds one volume in her hand. The cavetto is painted with four lotus cartouches in puce enamel against a yellow diaper ground, and the rim with four large sprays of fruit, peach, pomegranate, persimmon and melon, and insects, reserved against a diaper ground. The exterior sides are covered with ruby enamel; the white base is painted in blue enamel with a stylised dragon amid clouds.

A very similar dish, dated Yongzheng, circa 1735, is illustrated in Howard, The Choice of The Private Trader: The Private Market in Chinese Export Porcelain illustrated from the Hodroff collection, no. 50, pp. 70–1.

For a related example in the collection of the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, see Arapova, Chinese Painted Enamels, no. 131, pl. 79.

 

A small cloisonné enamel box and cover

Cloisonné box and cover

CCE520

17th century
Length: 2 7/8 in, 7.3 cm

of fan shape, with straight sides and a recessed base. The top is decorated with two dragons confronting a shou (longevity) character, and the sides with leafy five-petalled blossoms, all in coloured enamels on a turquoise ground.

The design of two dragons confronting a shou character can be seen on a Kangxi period wine pot in the collection of the Phoenix Art Museum illustrated in Quette, Cloisonné: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, cat. 60, p. 254.

Note also two ring-shaped jewel cases with a similar design in Brinker and Lutz, Chinese Cloisonné: The Pierre Uldry Collection, no. 166; and in Quette, op cit, cat. 61, p. 254, in the collection of Les Arts Décoratifs-musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris.

See a somewhat larger, later box of fan shape in Palace Museum, Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Enamels, Vol. 3, no. 272, p. 313.

 

A rare cloisonné enamel box and cover

Cloisonné enamel box

CCE544

17th century
Diameter: 2 5/8 in, 6.7 cm

supported on a recessed foot ring and of circular form with steeply flaring sides. The shallow-domed cover is decorated in coloured enamels on a turquoise ground with a chilong and a peony that issues from a pierced rock. The sides of the box and cover are each decorated with a band of simplified lotus scroll. The rims and base are gilt.

A smaller box and cover decorated with two similar chi dragons, dated early Qing, is illustrated in Palace Museum, Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Enamels, Vol. 2, no. 82, p 108.

 

A cloisonné enamel moon flask

A cloisonné enamel moon flask

CCE531

Ming dynasty, 16th century
Height: 6 1/2 in, 16.5 cm

supported on a short oval foot, the circular body, of flattened oval section, rises to a cylindrical neck; two gilt-bronze cloud-shaped handles are set on the shoulder and neck. The vessel is decorated in coloured enamels on a turquoise ground with a coiling smooth dragon surrounded by lotus scrolls to each face. The mouth rim and foot are gilt.

Formerly in the Reid collection.

Illustrated: Till and Swart, Antique Chinese Cloisonné, no. 11.

This shape is well known in porcelain of the fifteenth century: see, for example, Garner, Oriental Blue and White, pl. 30A, from the Clark collection.

For very similar cloisonné enamel flasks, dated sixteenth century, see Brown, Chinese Cloisonné: The Clague Collection, pl. 12, pp. 40–1; and Spink & Son, The Minor Arts of China III, no. 89, p. 74.

Note also vessels of similar shape but with different decoration in Avitabile, Die Ware aus dem Teufelsland: Chinesische und japanische Cloisonné- und Champlevé-Arbeiten von 1400 bis 1900, no. 13, p. 55, in the collection of the Linden-Museum, Stuttgart; and in Brinker and Lutz, Chinese Cloisonné: The Pierre Uldry Collection, no. 204.

 

A pair of fine painted enamel jardinières

Enamel jardinieres
Enamel jardinieres close-up
Enamel jardinieres panel
Enamel jardinieres side
Enamel jardinieres side close-up

CPE242

Qianlong period
Length: 11 3/8 in, 29 cm

each has a rectangular section with concave canted corners, four cloud-lappet feet, S-shaped sides and a flange rim. Each is painted in the famille-rose palette with eight shaped cartouches on a millefleurs ground: the cartouches on the sides with birds amid flowers and rocks, and those on the corners with landscapes. The rims are painted with a classic scroll to the top and key-fret to the sides, and the feet with puce bats on a yellow ground. The base of each is painted with a pair of confronting archaistic geometric phoenixes on a white ground.

For similar, less elaborate examples, see Lloyd Hyde, Chinese Painted Enamels from Private and Museum Collections, no. 40, p. 32; and Palace Museum, Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Enamels, Vol. 5, nos. 154 and 155, pp. 208–10.