25. Enamel challenges

This next vase is one of two that are very similar, almost certainly from the same workshop at around the same time. It is four sided, and three are decorated in simple regular patterns. The other has butterflies on a goldstone background.

We can see that this is a vase which is densely covered in decoration, but the maker seems confident in the enamel. that is, the wiring seems to exist to demonstrate the quality of the object not merely to add strength. take, for example, the bottom band (image ref 25.3).

ref 25.3

This area would be one of the most vulnerable places for breakage, but the wiring on it is sparse and delicate. That suggests that the vase was made in the period when enamels were becoming stronger. At the same time the person who applied the wirework seems a lot more skilled than the person who applied the decorative enamel.

The lefthand image is not bad, but the red on the righthand motif looks smeared on. Indeed if we look at the butterflies in more detail this impression is confirmed.

Of course this may be unfair, and the person applying enamel wanted a more artistic effect. Also of course the vase seen at real size remains lovely. It is only with the benefit of photographic magnification that these things stand out.

Object 25. Vase height 9.7 cm weight 74 gm.

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