Ormolu mounted cloisonné enamel jardinière


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The jardinière is set on an ornate openwork ormolu (gilt bronze) base, which is raised by four elephant head feet. To decorate the curved jardinière body, metal strips were soldered onto the object's surface, creating cells of space (called 'cloisons') which were then filled with vitreous enamel. Known as cloisonné, this enamelling technique was widely employed in China during the Qing (1644-1911/12) dynasty, to which the enamel bowl of this piece dates.

The jardinière body is decorated with green, light blue, and pink flowers and plants, with similarly coloured butterflies fluttering between them. These are placed against a cream ground. The gold coloured boundaries of the cloisons (cells) have left beautiful geometric patterns on the jardinière’s surface. The jardinière’s neck is decorated with a blue meander, and its mouth is edged with an openwork ormolu gallery. This gallery is fitted with two dragon-form handles, whose heads rise high above the mouth of the jardinière; the dragons’ hind legs sit on the shoulder of the bowl, and their tails fall in tandem with the curve of the piece’s body.

The enamel bowl of the jardinière was produced in China during the 19th Century, while the ormolu mounts, which also date to the 19th Century, were added once the bowl was imported into France. The piece thus demonstrates the taste for Chinoiserie that was so prominent in 19th Century French decorative arts.


Country of Origin
Chinese, French
Date of Manufacture
19th Century
19th Century
Chinese Interest, Chinoiserie
Enamel, Enamel - Cloisonné, Ormolu (Gilt Bronze)
Gold, Multi-coloured


37 cm / 14.6 inches
46 cm / 18.1 inches
33 cm / 13 inches


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