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Cloisonne netsuke

Discussions, identification and analysis of Ceramics
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Vlad
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Postby Vlad » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:44 pm


I have recently come across and acquired this piece because I have never handled a cloisonne netsuke before and the price was more than reasonable.

It doesn't look like much and obviously is not signed, but from what I have read about the technique of cloisonne production, the time and the effort that goes into it's creation doesn't support it to be easily mass produced, especially with the use of different enamel colors.



A quick search brought up another similar one sold in a group at Bonhams SF in 2005 (I even first thought it might've been the same one before noticing significant differences), and one other cloisonne netsuke in Bushell's "Netsuke Familiar and unfamiliar" (#347, p. 151)



Does anybody else have some more of those and possibly knows something about their possible age and origin? Are they even necessarily Japanese?
Attachments
1257891_Frog_cloisonne_1.JPG
1257896_frog_cloisonne_1_Bonhams_SF,_2005.png
1257895_frog_cloisonne_2011.JPG
1257894_frog_cloisonne_4.JPG
1257893_frog_cloisonne_3.JPG
1257892_frog_cloisonne_2.JPG
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

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DSW90049
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Postby DSW90049 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:14 pm

Vlad, most interesting!Image

Give Richard Silverman a call about this one.
Don't know if there is any relationship between this material and his porcelain netsuke collection featured in his recent book, but I'll bet he knows something about this material.
Is it a frog? Kind of cute in a rough-hewn way . . .
Not too big, judging from the others in the group pic.


"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
Netsukes: Their Makers, Use and Meaning, H. Seymour Trower(1898)~~~~David

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Vlad
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Postby Vlad » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:40 pm


Wikipedia:

Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials. The resulting objects can also be called cloisonné. The decoration is formed by first adding compartments (cloisons in French[1]) to the metal object by soldering or adhering silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges. These remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel or inlays, which are often of several colors. Cloisonné enamel objects are worked on with enamel powder made into a paste, which then needs to be fired in a kiln.



The metal usually used for making the body is copper, since it is cheap, light and easily hammered and stretched, but bronze, silver or other metals may be used. Cloisonné wire is made from pure silver or gold and is usually about .010 x .040 inches in cross section; brass and occasionally copper can also be used. It is bent into shapes that define the colored areas.



Vitreous enamels in the different colors are ground to fine powders in an agate or porcelain mortar and pestle, then washed to remove the impurities that would discolor the fired enamel. Each color of enamel is prepared this way before it is used and then mixed with a very dilute solution of gum tragacanth. The vitreous compound consists of silica nitre and lead oxide to which metallic oxide is added for coloring. Using fine spatulas, brushes or droppers, the enameler places the fine colored powder into each cloison. The piece is left to dry completely before firing, which is done by putting the article, with its enamel fillings, in a kiln. The enamel in the cloisons will sink down a lot after firing, due to melting and shrinkage of the granular nature of the glass powder, much as sugar melting in an oven. This process is repeated until all cloisons are filled to the top of the wire edge.
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

fkc
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Postby fkc » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:29 pm

The cloisonne technique has been used in Japan since the Edo period, mainly for dishes, vases, jugs, etc. I don't know whether it came via Europe or China, or some other source. Quite a lot was produced for export during the Meiji period.

I suppose that means that some cloisonne netsuke might be as early as the late Edo period, but it's more likely that they are Meiji.

The reason I know a little about this is that I was left some small silver Chinese cloisonne pintrays - early C19th - so decided to do some research on the technique in the Far East. The technique started to appear in China as early as the C15th, brought via Muslim traders along the Silk Routes.

Freda http://fiedesigns.blogspot.com/

OldKappa
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Postby OldKappa » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:45 pm


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Vlad
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Postby Vlad » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:56 pm


Thank you, OK. I guess it would be one of those from your link:

"... As of now, with the advent of internet selling, China has renewed it's vigorous cloisonne exportation. The quality has greatly suffered, in fact, hardly recognizable, when compared to their antique pieces. You can also access the Chinese website fingfa.com, for current yet new, traditional cloisonne offerings.":roll:



I still wonder if someone has seen, handled or even better - can share a true Japanese one for comparison, as the picture in the Bushell's book is quit poor. The only way to learn the good from the bad is by comparison...
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

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AFNetsuke
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Postby AFNetsuke » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:20 pm


Vlad, I've seen a few cloisonne netsuke but they were more geometri patterns on manju type bases as I recall. None in the form of an animal although there are plenty of other types of antique animal form cloisonne pieces out there (such as hippos, etc...in fact I think I recall a large hippo piece from China on the cover of one of the books published through the Asian Art Museum of SF)
Alan

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NetsukeManiac
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Postby NetsukeManiac » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:57 am

Vlad wrote:
I have recently come across and acquired this piece because I have never handled a cloisonne netsuke before and the price was more than reasonable.

It doesn't look like much and obviously is not signed, but from what I have read about the technique of cloisonne production, the time and the effort that goes into it's creation doesn't support it to be easily mass produced, especially with the use of different enamel colors.



A quick search brought up another similar one sold in a group at Bonhams SF in 2005 (I even first thought it might've been the same one before noticing significant differences), and one other cloisonne netsuke in Bushell's "Netsuke Familiar and unfamiliar" (#347, p. 151)



Does anybody else have some more of those and possibly knows something about their possible age and origin? Are they even necessarily Japanese?





Nice looking Kaeru you have there. Here is a cloisonne piece that I acquired as part of a lot of seven pieces. When you go after one that you do want, you end up with stuff you don't want. But I kept it anyway. The netsuke depicts a monkey eating an anko filled manju. It appears very Japanese, but as Kanegae-san said "it is not from Japan". The bottom has two crudely punched holes that are supposed to be himotoshi I think.
Attachments
1258070_P1000675_(640x455).jpg
1258069_P1000674_(458x640).jpg
1258068_P1000673_(449x640).jpg

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chonchon
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Postby chonchon » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:17 am

For reference

This is a Japanese (I believe) cloisonne barrel Netsuke (butterflies with Karakusa) I acquired in June 2008:
http://netsuke.websitetoolbox.com/post/show_single_post?pid=26622247&postcount=156

And some may recall this unusual cloisonne lacquered (?) Ojime that I found in Nov 2011:
http://netsuke.websitetoolbox.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1271067891&postcount=759
Piers

Size is something.

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NetsukeManiac
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Postby NetsukeManiac » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:30 am


Those certainly appear to be the 'real deal'.



SC


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