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Japanese Cloisonné

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Japan Anonymous, Japanese
Red Cloisonné Vase, early 20th c.
Enamel on Silver
7 in. x 4 in. x 4 in. (17.78 cm x 10.16 cm x 10.16 cm)

Object Type: Cloisonné
Technique: Metalworking
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Edward Nagel
Accession Number: 71.1.302

There is a label on the bottom which reads: "K (illegible) 12350." "C-15" is painted on the bottom as well.

Transparent red enamel over a silver metal base.

Object Description
Vase with transparent red enamel over a lightweight silver metal base with applied rim along opening and along base. The body has been hammered to produce a nanako ground of tiny “fish roe” dots and engraved with a sparrow among bamboo leaves. The sparrow is supposedly obsessed with its honor and the repaying of debts, making it a popular motif in Japanese art, where it is usually paired with bamboo or rice stalks. The transparent red enamel is known as akasuke, or “pigeon’s blood,” and is believed to have been invented around 1880 by Ota Jinnoei and Honda Yosaburo. A clear counter-enamel is used on the interior lip of the vase.

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