Cloisonne enamel box (detail of décor)

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Postcard of Cloisonne enamel box (detail of décor).
© National Museums Scotland

Cloisonne enamel box (detail of décor)

Animals, birds, insects, flowers, and plants are often used in Chinese decorative arts to convey auspicious wishes.

The pair of mandarin ducks, which are colourfully enamelled on the top of this box, symbolise happiness in marriage.

Cloisonne enamelling is a technique whereby the design is first outlined by threads of copper wire, forming different cells, or cloisons, which are to be filled in with enamels. The fired enamels will be polished until they are flush with the cloisons.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-001-266-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1874.30.7 A
Date: late 18th - early 19th century
Probably 18th century AD
Material: Cloisonne enamel
Dimensions: 5.50" H x 13.75" D overall
What: Box cover
Subject: Cloisonne
Where: China
Description: Circular box cover of cloisonne enamel: China, probably 18th century AD
  • Wilkinson, Jane and Nick Pearce. Harmony & Contrast: A Journey through East Asian Art. Edinburgh: NMS Publishing, 1996. 
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