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Japanese Cloisonné

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Japan Anonymous, Japanese
Tall Japanese Cloisonné Jar with Phoenix Decoration, c. 1880
Enamel on Bronze
14 7/8 in. x 7 3/8 in. x 7 3/8 in. (37.78 cm x 18.73 cm x 18.73 cm)


Object Type: Cloisonné
Technique: Cloisonné
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Dorothy Adler Routh
Accession Number: 73.3.45


Commentary
Produced in approximately 1880, this jar demonstrates the beginning of the peak of sophistication for Japanese cloisonné. Many of the pieces made during this time were to be displayed at the world exhibitions and for general export. The blue and brown colors and the phoenix decoration of the vase create an enchanting and delicate look. The phoenix is resting on the branches of a paulownia tree, the two of which are intimately linked in Japanese legend. In both Japan and China, a long tailed phoenix also represented the symbol for the Empress. The bird was known as an auspicious symbol, as well as embodying the warmth of the sun.

Sydney Sibelius (student, 2016)

Marks
The embossed foot marking reads "Fukushima Shuzo" (casted by Fukushima). "5290" is engraved on the bottom, and an illegible number is written on the bottom in black.

Medium
Multicolored enamels on a bronze or copper base.

Object Description
Tall, cylindrical Japanese jar with phoenix and foliage decoration. The design is executed in the casting with multicolored enamels on a light blue field, in four bands on the body and two on the neck. The jar is widest at the top.

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