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October 23, 2017, 10:16:09 am
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Cloisonne, enamel, champleve..what is this?

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Author Topic: Cloisonne, enamel, champleve..what is this?  (Read 122 times)
Rube
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« on: July 06, 2017, 06:49:32 pm »

Greetings,

I'm sharing another bottle with y'all, it's a square bottle with rounded shoulders, copper with enamel, measuring 2 5/16", and it has a coral stopper.   It was purchased in Hong Kong around 1964.  I see Fo dogs but what else is on the face? I'm guessing mid range cloisonné? Actually, I'm wondering if this is actually some form of champleve?  Per usual, I'm also curious to know if anyone can help supply clues to it's dating? Any help is greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Rube.


* FullSizeRender copper enamel 1.jpg (107.04 KB, 480x640 - viewed 20 times.)

* FullSizeRender copper enamel 2.jpg (83.8 KB, 480x640 - viewed 10 times.)

* FullSizeRender copper enamel 3.jpg (150.85 KB, 480x640 - viewed 19 times.)

* FullSizeRender copper enamel 4.jpg (95.52 KB, 480x640 - viewed 12 times.)
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 06:58:45 pm by Rube » Report Spam   Logged

Rube, 4th Generation Collector

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George
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2017, 10:37:03 pm »

A most unusual enamel on copper bottle Rube..

I have seen a lot of enamel on copper bottles, but never like this one.

Not champlevé though..  I am having a real hard time making out any of the figures, and can not see what it is about the foo dog face that your asking about..

Can not help with dating, except to say that I think mid 20th century.. 
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Rube
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2017, 04:34:51 am »

George,

Thanks for your reply.  I didn't mean the face of the foo dog, I meant the
other figures on the face or field of the bottle.  I can't make out what they are either.

Cheers,

Rube.
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2017, 02:19:27 pm »

It sort of looks like some fish are there...

Also, not sure..., but might be some flaming pearls there as well..
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Joey
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2017, 06:10:50 pm »

Dear Rube,

     I also haven't seen one like it, but the subject seems to be Foo dogs with brocade balls, and I'd vote repousse copper with enamel; as for dating, I think ca.1870-1930.

    A very interesting bottle.
Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

Rube
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2017, 06:16:58 pm »

George,

I thought I saw pearls too.  Still thinking this is champleve, but not fully filled in with enamel.   Isn't the box material hogged out and stipled, and the leftover copper then carved to create dogs, pearls, fish, what have you... the wavy lines are the connectors and everything was supposed to be filled in with blue enamel but didn't go the extra step?  Is that process still considered champleve?  The carving is actually fairly detailed, so I'm thinking it may be older than midcentury.

Cheers,

Rube.
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2017, 06:17:43 pm »

Thanks Joey! I need to study repousse...

Rube.
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2017, 09:45:11 pm »

George,

I thought I saw pearls too.  Still thinking this is champleve, but not fully filled in with enamel.   Isn't the box material hogged out and stipled, and the leftover copper then carved to create dogs, pearls, fish, what have you... the wavy lines are the connectors and everything was supposed to be filled in with blue enamel but didn't go the extra step?  Is that process still considered champleve?  The carving is actually fairly detailed, so I'm thinking it may be older than midcentury.

Cheers,

Rube.

Tom gives a good description for champlevé..
http://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,325.msg8819.html#msg8819
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2017, 10:14:26 pm »

George,

Thanks for linking Tom's post.  I read it before I shared this bottle with the Forum, and it was this post that made me think it might be champleve.  The foreground is definitely stipled but not filled.  I also read Giovanni's comment from another post showing the three pics of Cloisonne progression, thinking it was the second stage, but there is no soldering on this bottle that I can tell, so it's ruled out. 
I never heard the term repousse before. (Actually, I think I may have during Ward Bissel's
Art History Lecture at the University of Michigan, but it was an 8am class, so I probably forgot!)

Cheers,

Rube.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 10:20:41 pm by Rube » Report Spam   Logged

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Joey
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2017, 05:43:00 am »

Dear Rube,

     Have you any way to see the interior surface of the bottle?

     On the interior wall of a repoussee bottle, it will be possible to see or feel the 'negative' of the exterior design. On a champleve bottle, the interior wall will be smooth, since it is thicker and the cavities holding the enamel are simply gouged out.

     Repousse is when you take a relatively thin piece of metal, apply asphalt or another cushioning material to the 'outer' side, and hammer a design from the 'inner' side in reverse (like a negative for a photo). The asphalt absorbs most of the force of the hammering, so the metal doesn't get pierced (a problem in this technique).

      Once the design is finished on the two halves of the vessel, the cushioning material is removed, and the outer side is finished (polished, incised, enamelled, etc.), and the two halves are soldered together. and final finishing is done.

      I WASN'T asleep during my silversmithing and metalwork classes a part of Art Studies in Grades 7 through 10 at my Hebrew Day School in Toronto... Roll Eyes Grin  And re.the problem of piercing the surface of the copper sheet being worked on; I speak from experience, sadly.

     I never succeeded in making a repousse piece, though I did do copper and silver jewelry pieces involving cutting with a jeweler's saw, soldering, cold-forging, casting, and champleve enamel [though not all on the same piece, of course. Roll Eyes] I also didn't succeed in doing any cloisonne - too fiddly for me -  because of my dispraxia [a posh way of saying clumsy! Shocked Roll Eyes]. 

     This is also the reason I like keeping bottles in padded boxes, and won't myself remove a bottle I want to see, from a cabinet.

     Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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Rube
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2017, 06:03:37 am »

Joey,

Nice description of the process.  I'll ask my brother to scope the inside of his bottle, or try to feel it with a probe.  You're fortunate to have had first hand experience with these two techniques.  I've done some very crude forms of repousse using salvaged copper gutters and tools like ball peen hammers for a barfront I built, but never anything requiring fine workmanship.  At least now I know what it's called.

Cheers,

Rube.
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