Incense Perfumer, Chinese Antique Cloisonne Enamel Koro Ching Superb
Circa: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Size: 4" tall x 3 1/2" not including two earrings.
We are offering for sale this EXQUISITE antique Chinese cloisonne enamel incense burner acquired from a Palm Beach estate. Perfect
original condition, 4" tall, gilt bronze mounts BEAUTIFUL QUALITY ENAMEL. Guaranteed as represented.
This vessel is made in the shape of a Ming style cloisonne enamel incense perfumer. It has an everted mouth, a full belly with lotus
blossom decor, three full legs, the base of the vessel has lotus blossom decor, also cloisonne enameled with multi colors, the cover
has lotus bud decor, the top of the cover is open carved with plum blossom decor, the earrings at both sides have linked rings. I believe
it was made in Qing dynasty to imitate Ming dynasty incense perfume as it was so popular in Ming dynasty
Most Ming dynasty enamel ware vessels are made in the shape of ancient ritual vessels, e.g. Ku, breakers, brush washers, incense
perfumers, Tou food vessels, plates, Tsun etc. During the Ming dynasty cloisonne enamel ware predominated. Painted enamel ware
did not emerge as a major art form during this period. A special shade of cobalt blue was used as the base color enabling other colors
such as the reds, yellows etc., which are comparatively brighter, to blend together harmoniously. The typical Ming dynasty color scheme
consisted of red, yellow, green, indigo blue, greyish purple, while the cobalt blue, and green were semi-transparent. The decorative
patterns and designs on the vessels were made from thin copper plate-strips which were welded into cells and then filled in with
enamel glaze. The surface of some piece's have no cells, but are coated over with cloisonne enamel which forms a base design.
During the Ming dynasty, the sharp petal Indian lotus was the most significant motif. It appears on the incense perfumer, on the flower
holder with seven holes, and on the cloisonne enamel vase. The Ching-tai color schemes are also varied. They include such colors as
aniline red, light red, light green, dark green, light yellow, and grape purple. All of these colors have the luster of glass, and the appeal of
precious stones. Although the colors are varied they never clash. The shades are of medium brightness and have a sturdy, solid air
During the early years of the Qing dynasty, the rulers set up a Manufacturing Bureau which was located in the Wu-ying Palace. Directly
underneath this bureau was an Enamel Ware Manufacturing Bureau. In the 57th year of the Kangxi Emperor's reign (1718 A.D.) this
bureau was merged with the Enamel Ware Manufacturing Bureau which was located in teh Tang-hsi Palace. After this date enamel
ware began to be mass produced. Before the Kangxi Emperor's reign, enamel ware was comparatively scarce. The enamel were
produced during the Kangxi period (1662-1722 A.D.) was not especially noteworthy. It was not unitl the Qianlong era that this art
reached its peak. During this time even ordinary enamel household utensils were being produced. Enamel ware cups, plates, bowls,
chopsticks, tables, chairs, beds, flower holders, flower vases, wine containers, writing implements, pen stand, ink-slab stands, jewelry,
buttons, scroll-heads, plaques, ornamental screens, and Buddhist ritual implements were all made to order.
Differences between Ming and Qing enamel ware products:
1. Ming dynasty vessels are thick and heavy. THey have an elegant air about them. Air bubbles appear in great numbers on the surface.
Qing dynasty pieces (especially Qinglong ware) are exquisite and even luxurious. The number of air bubbles appearing on the vessel
surfaces has been reduced.
2. During the Qing dynasty the number of colors used ot decorate the surface was increased e.g. pink appears, green background color
and a bright yellow background color came into use, transparent color became prevalent. The art of using both dark and light shades
came in to sue. Cloisonne enamel pieces began to feature medallions.
3. The decor used during Qing dynasty became more complex. In addition to Indian lotus designs we now find all kinds of flowers and
birds painted on the vessels. These flowers and birds had been adapted from Chinese painting. Techniques used in producing silk
tapestry, brocade (a favruc wiveb wutg a raused oatterb), and Western type of portraits and landscapes made their appearance. During
the Qing dynasty, there were innovations, but older forms also were retained.
4. Ming dynasty vessels are made mainly in the shape of ancient bronze vessels. Qing dynasty vessels in addition to utilizing these
traditional shapes, display a great deal of Western influence. All kinds of solid human figures and beasts were produced in the QIng
period e.g. elephants, buffaloes, unicorns, wild ducks, phoenixes, cranes and turtles.
The above is a general description of conditions which prevailed during the Qianlong era. Not only was enamel ware produced for
official households, but also for daily use by the common people.