21. More blue beauties

These are a lovely pair of vases on blue ground which seem to be both early and mature. That is, they still rely on spiral ‘strength’ wiring but it is becoming more of a decoration than a necessity. Indeed the gilded wire, or equivalent, contributes greatly to the feel of the vases. The general decoration is also simple but satisfying. They are a pleasure to both look at and feel.

The wirework and enamel seems very confidently put together, achieving broadly similar designs on the two vases without restricting the artistic freedom of the craftsperson involved too much. The small differences that result add to the interest in the vases, where in later times there would probably be quality control standards which would ensure a more sterile product.

In fact each vase only uses three roundel designs, repeated twice, first at a higher level and then at a lower. If we select three appearances of a simpler roundel we can see the relative level of freedom allowed. This feels like an early production line of a mid range product where everyone involved knows how to keep the quality high while working quickly.

These vases demonstrate how much can be achieved with simple designs and colours that are well executed. Where some designers would have added lots of additional ‘coins’ and other small decorations, these vases are well balanced using only a few simple forms.

Object 21. Pair of vases height 15.7 cm weight 214 gm (each)

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