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Purple Japanese Cloisonné Vase with Dragon

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Japan Anonymous, Japanese
Purple Japanese Cloisonné Vase with Dragon, early 20th c.
Enamel on Copper
4 13/16 in. x 2 3/8 in. x 2 3/8 in. (12.22 cm x 6.03 cm x 6.03 cm)

Object Type: Cloisonné
Technique: Cloisonné
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Douglas and Pamela Routh
Accession Number: 2002.9.28

This cloisonné piece depicts a dragon that expressively twists, undulates, and loops against a background of deep violet enamel, surrounded by natural flowering motifs. The scene’s sense of movement guides the viewer’s eye around the perimeter of the cylindrical vase. The use of a dragon within this work of art references traditional elements of Japanese mythology in the midst of a transformative era of modernization and westernization. The presence of bright, shimmering colors and Eastern symbolism within this vase highly appealed to foreign audiences.

Greta Long (student, 2016)

The appraisal lists the object as Chinese.

There are two stickers on the piece which read: "1-29," and "1/29."

Multicolored enamels and foil on a cast copper base.

Object Description
Small, roughly cylindrical Japanese cloisonné vase with a narrow neck and applied rim and base-plate. A three-clawed dragon colored in transparent blue enamels floats over a densely covered field of purple foiled butterflies and flowers over a black enamel ground. Circular geometric motifs run along the rim and base.

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