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Pair of monumental Kaji Tsunekichi enameled cloisonne vases with wide flared mouths, decorated in intricate red and green floral designs, butterflies and birds. Each is heavily worked with meticulous detail.
The renaissance of Japanese cloisonné manufacture is credited to the former samurai, Kaji Tsunekichi (1803 - 1883) of Nagoya in Owari Province (modern Aichi Prefecture). Kaji, like many other samurai of his time, was forced to find ways to supplement his meagre official stipend. It is believed that around 1838 he obtained a piece of Chinese cloisonné enamel and by taking it apart and examining how it was made, he eventually produced a small cloisonné enameled dish.
By the mid-1850s he was sufficiently confident take on pupils and by the late 1850s was appointed official cloisonné maker to the daimyō (feudal chief) of Owari. He based his designs on the motifs and colour-schemes of Chinese cloisonné enamels and his early works are characterized by the use of a larger number of background wires. These were decorative, forming an integral part of the design, and practical in that they prevented the enamels from running during firing. Kaji’s pieces stop short of absolute mastery. They are both breathtakingly beautiful and made to a stunning level of technical perfection.
Good Overall - Gentle wear/pitting throughout; some chipping; one repaired base section; see pictures
10” x 19” (Diameter x Height)