Antique Chinese Turquoise Enamel ‘Fish Scale’ Wire Cloisonne Bowl | 1900

This wonderful, classical-shaped Chinese shallow bowl incorporates a fish scale pattern and turquoise enameling. Its tight brass wire design and trimming, with a ruyi band around the lip, and a red CHINA stamp (under-glazed) indicates it was made between 1900-1920 and prior to machine-made mass produced pieces. The interior and bottom is glazed in a turquoise color. No dents, dings, or scratches. Dimensions: 6-0” dia. x 4-1/4”h

Additional Information—
Among the wide variety of artistic expressions of China, Cloisonné, also called Fa Lang, is perhaps the most comprehensive, traditional enameling technique combining high-level craftsmanship in bronze. The technique originated in the Middle East. However, upon its arrival in China in the 13-14th centuries, it found significant potential for expansion among the Beijing elite, including scholars and artisans. During the Ming Dynasty year, (1368-1644), cloisonné enamel reached a high level of complexity and sophistication.

The term “cloisonné” refers to the technique as well as to the finished product. It comes from the French word “cloison” which means “partition”. The metal filigree creates small compartments that are filled with enamel paste made of glass powder colored with metallic oxide ingredients, which is then fired, similar to how ceramics were produced. Finally, the piece is polished until the bright metal filigree becomes clearly visible. The combined brightness of the metal and the color of the enamel results in a finish with great harmony and sophistication. The entire process of a finished piece involves an average of 37 steps.

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