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|1890-1910 Chinese Cloisonne Desk Set Millefleurs Cloisons
Welcome to idcloisonne.com published since April 2009:
It is designed
to answer your basic questions about Chinese and Japanese cloisonne: what is it and how old is it? These answers
should help you with the value. Specifically, we will cover the identification of Oriental (Far-East)
JAPANESE and CHINESE decorative, or 'free-standing' cloisonne pieces, covering the 1850 to 1950
century of production, by a visual identification method, using actual
item photos, a short description and several pages of marks.
This site is your first step in identifying your
Oriental cloisonne items. If you think that what you have in hand is a rare and valuable piece of cloisonne, I would recommend
you approach educated professionals in this field in your area, and have a formal appraisal done, for insurance and investment
IN A HURRY?: Use the QUICK
CHECK page for identifying the most common types of cloisonne pieces, vases, jars and boxes.
In 2013, the highest prices on the market are
for the best quality Chinese antique and vintage cloisonne pieces, and signed antique Japanese masterpieces, both rare, most
of which are unavailable, either owned by collectors already, or displayed in museums. Some of these items, damaged,
yet still appealing can be found easily enough on the internet auction sites.
There was and is much more Chinese mass-produced cloisonne
items than Japanese, 'supply and demand' dictated that Japanese cloisonne would usually fetch more. On the other hand,
Chinese enamelware and cloisonne values are skyrocketing, due to China's and other Asian countries newly found interest in
these old exports, as well as dealers looking for a profitable transaction.
Most of the vintage cloisonne items found at estate sales,
flea markets, the internet and live auctions are the unmarked, mass produced, Chinese and Japanese cloisonne items, exported
during the first half of the 20th century, and the many post 1950s machine-made (assembly line manufacture) cloisonne
From 1850 to 1950, there was room for innovation
and creativity by the Chinese and Japanese cloisonne craftsmen. There are still some rare, completely hand crafted, unexpected
treasures available from that period, those pieces are the most sought after by the savvy cloisonne
collector (including me).
DO NOT TRUST the vendor/owner to be accurate:
may sound harsh, in light of the increasing sophistication of internet sellers regarding Oriental antique exports. Consider
that there are many reasons why their information might be inaccurate. One example is the highly lucrative Chinese antique
market right now, with the Chinese law that prohibits under severe penalty for any antique to be exported or shipped
out of the country today, and the fact that some Chinese sellers are modifying cloisonne items to look much older than
they are, or putting together parts from various pieces for a large seemingly good item.
Some sellers think that identifying a cloisonne piece as Chinese is a sure fire way
of doing well. Even with reputable auction houses, we see a steep increase in pieces described as antique Chinese objects,
when they are post 1950, or vintage Japanese. Buyer beware.
What is going on with Ebay prices and sellers? In the last few
years Ebay has changed it's fee structure for sellers. The cost of selling on Ebay is now driven by sales only not by listings
plus sales, a 10% fee is applied to the final sale price and the shipping amount paid and none is applied for listing
the piece of merchandise. This is completely opposite to their approach from 1997 to 2007 when fees were directly applied
to the amount of the initial listing as well as for the final sale price, but none applied to shipping dollars.
For instance in the past, a listing for a $1.00
cost 35 cents, a listing for $100.00 cost $5.00. This explains why many items on Ebay are now sold for hundreds of dollars,
many hugely overpriced. If you want to see what the value should be, go to Ebay's completed sales and check what sold
and for what amount. By doing that, you will notice that most of the those overvalued pieces were ignored.
|1900-1920 Japanese Cloisonne Millefleurs Desk Box
|Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Plate Millefleurs 1870-1890
THIS SITE'S DISCLAIMER:
Sorting out every Oriental cloisonne piece is a difficult
and complex process, with many challenges and pitfalls. The available reference material (books), that should help with
this venture are themselves at odds with each other sometimes. Each author/collector/researcher adding a mix of subjective
and objective opinions and guesses, with other information garnered from various sources (not necessarily irrefutable), and previous
author's publications on this subject.
How can anyone else be able to correctly, and consistently identify Oriental cloisonne and date it accurately? It's
impossible. There are a few sources of data from the countries involved: China and Japan. As with most knowledge, the
longer the time frame, the less reliable the second and third hand witness accounts are. While choosing to use my own judgment
in some instances, you will note I don't agree with other's dating or value.
Most of the cloisonne items produced there, were
considered a secondary craft export product, designed to please Westerners, with their inferior tastes and not meant
for local commerce. It was a lucrative endeavor, viewed not as an
art form, nor as treasured national masterpieces, except for the short 30 plus year period of Japanese golden age cloisonne,
from 1880 to 1910 or so. It is only in the last decade that Japan and China
have finally taken a second look at these exports and become interested in their history, creation and value. Establishing
new collections and exhibits in their own country's museums.
Here, I have tried to combine what is known absolutely, for the very
specific period of 1850 to 1950. This does leave many unanswered questions. What
I am saying is that all information provided here is meant to be accurate, but may not help your particular needs. There is
much more about Oriental cloisonne that is not known yet, or covered on this site. My
aim is to cater to most site visitors with interesting and helpful information, for both the experienced collector and the
Any website content that is original content
as found here, is automatically protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. My
website information is not available to be copied or used by anyone, unless I have given specific permission
to do so. I'm aware of the 'fair use' exceptions.
As this 'free' site and it's innovative content represent much hands-on knowledge, years of research, with unique images
(acquired with permission or owned by me), any type of usage by other parties devalues the site, and is not FAIR. I will
be adding my site tag in the middle of cloisonne mark images, to discourage unlawful copying.