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Tall Japanese Cloisonné Vase with Kannon Upon a Dragon

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Japan Anonymous, Japanese
Tall Japanese Cloisonné Vase with Kannon Upon a Dragon, early 20th c.
Enamel on Brass
11 13/16 in. x 3 7/8 in. x 3 7/8 in. (30 cm x 9.84 cm x 9.84 cm)

Object Type: Cloisonné
Technique: Cloisonné
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Douglas and Pamela Routh
Accession Number: 2002.9.35

There are three labels on the bottom of the vase, which read: "234/1b9/60/12-7-64," "1-E," and "3-18."

Multicolored enamels and foil on a cast brass base.

Object Description
Bulb-shaped vase with long narrow neck and everted opening with applied rim and base-plate. The metal body of the vase has been hammered with a ground design of tiny pine-needle motifs and then covered in silver foil (ginbari). Thin wires delineate a design of the bodhisattva Kannon standing upon the back of a dragon rising out of the waves. Kannon’s skin and hair is filled in with opaque enamels, but the rest of the design is colored using transparent enamels that show the hammered foil ground. The artist has skillfully blended his enamels to create gradations of shading for a painterly effect in the folds of Kannon’s clothing and the tossing waves. The background enamel shades from a light green on the vase’s neck down to the white sky behind Kannon before hitting the blue crests of the waves.

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