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Case Containing Plaques

Asian Art

This group of plaques shows the steps in the process for making cloisonné. Technically, cloisonné employs the diverse skills of painting, engraving, metalworking, casting, and firing. To create designs on metal vessels, enclosures made of bronze or copper called cloisons (French for “partitions”) are bent to the desired pattern and either pasted or soldered onto the body. Enamels are essentially glass, colored with metal oxides, that is ground to a powder, mixed with water, and placed as a paste inside the cloisons. The vessel is then fired at a low heat between 1280 and 1328 degrees Fahrenheit. During firing, the enamel may shrink; after cooling, the process is repeated and re-fired until the cells are completely filled with fused enamel.
MEDIUM Cloisonne enamel on copper alloy, wooden box
  • Place Made: China
  • DATES late 19th–early 20th century
    DIMENSIONS Box: 1 3/16 x 10 13/16 x 12 in. (3 x 27.5 x 30.5 cm) each enamel: 2 1/2 x 3 1/8 in. (6.4 x 8 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 33.287a-n
    CREDIT LINE Museum Collection Fund
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Case Containing Plaques, late 19th–early 20th century. Cloisonne enamel on copper alloy, wooden box, Box: 1 3/16 x 10 13/16 x 12 in. (3 x 27.5 x 30.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 33.287a-n. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.33.287_detail4.jpg)
    IMAGE detail, storage inventory project, CUR.33.287_detail4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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