Condition: Excellent

“Tree-Bark” Cloisonne | Japanese Jiki-shippo Cloisonne’ on Porcelain Bulbous Vase

Jiki-shippo literally, “porcelain-enamel,” is enamel work that is decorated on a porcelain body or foundation that has been fired at a high temperature. Also commonly referred to as totai shippo, a more general term used to include ceramic, earthenware or porcelain bases. “Tree-bark” cloisonne’ is relatively fragile due to the delicate surfacing technique which will sometimes chip or crack around the edges because of the porcelain base.

The process of making cloisonné is rather complicated. It begins with the porcelain base formed into different shapes of vases, jars, and bowls, to which flat bronze wires are then affixed in decorative patterns. Enamels of different colors are applied to fill the cloisonné or hollows.

This antique Japanese vase is called “tree-bark” cloisonne’, and emphasizes the treatment of the enameled body to simulate the rough, natural, tree surface. Totai Cloisonne’ vases were only made for a short period of time and discontinued because of the difficulty in producing specimens that were not flawed or damaged in manufacture. Specimens of this quality are getting very difficult to find in excellent condition.

This bulbous vase with elongated neck features a bird, butterfly, and floral motif, and has a very finely crafted porcelain body surface in lacquered brown. The flowers and bird are exceptionally detailed and show wonderful variations of color in shades of brown, green, orange and red enamels making the design natural and realistic. The neck and bottom of the vase have a geometric motif with the white porcelain portions seen just below the throat of the neck and bottom of the piece. Notice the beautiful deeply textured relief simulating wood bark. Most Jiki-shippo cloisonne’ ware were not signed or marked by the artist or studio. No markings or stamp. Age: Meiji period. Dimensions:10-1/2”h x 4-1/4”dia.

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