Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cloisonne Maegan

One of the thrills of thrifting is finding items that are unique and collectible. Chinese Cloisonne is one such item that I have found in my travels and collected over time. The best source for Cloisonne for me has been eBay, and after that estate sales and thrift stores. Although not plentiful at garage sales and stores, it can be found especially if you thrift regularly.

The Chinese enamelware called Cloisonne dates back to the 12th century. Malleable copper wire is placed onto an object, such as a vase, formed and hammered into a design and soldered. Colored pigments are ground into a powder and mixed with alkaline, boric acid and saltpeter. The pigments are added by hand then the object goes through a several step process of being fired and polished.  Cloisonne originated in China, but other countries have their unique take on it, such as Japan, Russia and France. To read more about Cloisonne, click here.

So without further adieu, let's take a look at some different examples of Chinese Cloisonne.

This cloisonne vase has a beautiful design.

This vase is very striking with it's simple design and red color

This pair of vases are simply gorgeous with their blue on blue color scheme

This set looks more modern because of the lime background

Cloisonne beads on a necklace

These Cloisonne pendants are miniature pieces of art

Cloisonne "Creatures"

Small cloisonne plates such are not too difficult to find. Measuring 3" - 5" in diameter, a grouping of them can be quite lovely.

DelicateCreations (first egg)

Cloisonne eggs are charming and look pretty on their little stands or in a bowl

A bowl such as this could be used for displaying cloisonne eggs or used on its own

The small boxes on the right are for matches and the larger ones perhaps are for ciga-rettes, but they could be used for small trinkets or just for display.

The variety of designs and colors makes Cloisonne well worth collecting

Pair of Cloisonne Jars

Cloisonne Napkin Rings are not easy to find. The best source that I have found is eBay.
Wouldn't these look great with green or brown plates? White would really set them off.
I don't own any, but would like to buy a set sometime. I would use them for family holiday dinners or special occasions.

Stan Zimney (bottom)wintersoul1 (top)
Close up of some of the beautiful details that can be found in Cloisonne pieces

If you're interested in Cloisonne, keep your eyes open, it may turn up in unexpected places. Finding it at a thrift store or garage sale will be the most economical option, but not as common. Estate sales can yield surprises and bargains can be found on eBay. If you're looking for a specific piece, especially one that is in demand, expect to pay more. Designs that are more elaborate or that have elements that are not as common, such as birds or the color yellow, are more costly and sought after.

On a separate note, my postings will be sparse the rest of the summer as I go back and forth to be with my dad as he recovers from serious illness.

This post is linked to:

The Shabby Creek Cottage, Transformation Thursday
Blue Cricket Design, Show and Tell Linking Party


  1. Nice to see you back again Jil, a post now and then is better than no post at all...your Dad's recovery is the most important thing right now and I hope he makes a speedy one.
    I always learn so much from your posts and today's was no exception...I've never really considered Cloisonne before, you've inspired me to give it a bit more attention next time I spot a piece. Take care Jil x

  2. Thanks for all your kind words Kylie!

  3. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and have awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award at my blog on: on August 25, 2011

  4. Ruth - thank you, I really appreciate it!

  5. I love Cloisonne. I still have a pendant that I bought 30 years ago that is Cloisonne. Happy hunting.

  6. look at my ebay auctions or contact me as I have a large qty and variety of cloisonne in my inventory I will be selling baumgalleriesllc. Thank you....