Collection 5. Blue squares and super spirals

Many workshops added brightness to traditional cloisonne by adding metal foil under transparent enamel. This became more sophisticated over time but in the early stages at least one workshop seems to have used small squares of metal foil. They also had a liking for super size wire spirals mirrored as a decoration.

Looking at the blue foil squares in detail it is easy to see that the broad design is the same across these two objects.

The large spirals as a feature appear on both vases. Each is paired with a mirror image. Each seems to have been formed using thick twisted wire.

Another vase seen earlier has some similarities. Object 2 (see below) also has the decoration with blue squares. It doesn’t have the large spirals but it does share other features with Object 34. Note the roundels which are surrounded by small circles, a relatively unusual design. Both also have ‘half roundels’ in the lower neck area.

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