5. Fancy fans

This is a stylish vase, certainly of a higher quality that those we have seen before. The decoration uses fan shapes to group areas of decoration. There are also lots of other attractive touches, and a wide range of enamel colours and related techniques are used.

Here is a selection of four of the fans. The first uses a lovely green enamel over (presumably) reflective foil. The others have lovely floral designs on different solid coloured backgrounds. Another, seen in image 5.1 above, has two butterflies. All of these are designed and executed to a high standard in both the wirework and the enamel.

How else do we know that it is executed to a high standard? One sign is from the spiral ‘strength’ wiring which is small, neat, and closely packed. As can be seen on the spirals imagebank, the average width of a single spiral is about 3 mm, which is smaller than others we have looked at so far.

ref 5.7

Another interesting thing about this vase is that it is missing its base. That shows us how the construction worked. The clean metal ring that remains shows that there was once a solid metal disk attached here. It also seems that the enamel edge is unbroken, so the base was almost certainly attached after the enamel work was complete.

Despite the lack of a base this is a lovely vase to have in a collection. From every direction it has something to catch the eye. It may not be by one of the great masters, but it shows the high quality of work that was achievable by a workshop in the later period of creating ‘wired’ cloisonne.

Object 5. Vase height 12.5 cm weight 149 gm.

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