59. A familiar phoenix

This relatively modern vase has the dragon and houou bird theme seen many times before here. It contrasts wonderfully with the many older designs, not least in the near perfection of its execution. It is the imperfections in earlier cloisonne objects that make for much of their attraction of course.

When we look at a new vase of this type the easiest way to make comparisons is to compare the Houou bird and the dragon with those on other objects. On this website there is a ‘Houou Bird imagebank‘ that helps with this. That leads to a match with Object 16, a vase of very similar appearance. The colour scheme is different but the basic design is very close between the vases.

The next step is to compare the dragons. Both are keeping a close eye on their flaming pearl though those are executed differently. The dragons themselves though, and the pattern of flames surrounding them, are much the same.

Looking at the vases side by side we can see that they have a broadly similar style, not least in the use of circular bands of small circles to separate decorative layers.

The analysis of the earlier vase in the blog post for object 16 showed some similarities with marked examples from the Ando Cloisonné Company (安藤七宝店). That does not mean that vase or this vase are Ando vases – only that there is probably some connection.

Object 59. Vase     height 18.1 cm      weight 254 gm.

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