Ginbari-jippo Cloisonne’ Miniature Bottle Shape Vase | Kumeno Teitaro

Ginbari-jippon pieces are one of the most appreciated of the different cloisonne’ enamel techniques and can be found at the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1868). The scope of designs and motifs incorporated by this cloisonne’ enamel is extremely wide. However, judging by the percentage of extant pieces with floral themes, they appear to have been the most commonly produced motif. Ginbari-jippowork is one of the most sought after types of shippo-yaki (cloisonne’), as most examples impart an attractive and festive or colorful (hade) appearance. A wide area of translucent enamel permits the silver foil to reflect, creating a brilliant radiance. Vitreous enamels in the different colors are ground to fine powders in an agate or porcelain mortar and pestle, then washed to remove the impurities that would discolor the fired enamel. Early cloisonné had a finely formed copper, sterling or brass base, which at the time was inexpensive, light and easily hammered and stretched.

As shown in this Bottle Shape turquoise vase, the silver foil is embossed or impressed with a repeating motif, which includes this overall textured surface and flora and fauna pattern design. This particular piece has all three designs incorporated, with an egret, (which is quite rare), beautifully rendered on the under layer base foil which is on a sterling base. The use of various colored opaque and translucent enamels over the silver foil or foundation enables the artist to create a dramatic effect here with the use of the iris (shobu) motif.

Ginbari-jippo pieces are extremely fragile due to their relatively thin enameled surface. This piece is from the Meiji period (1868-1912), with impressed mark – Kumeno Teitaro (Nagoya 1861-1939) on the bottom. Dimensions: 4-1/8”h x 2-0” dia.

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