Pair of monumental ormolu-mounted Chinese cloisonné enamel vases


Set atop spectacular French gilt-bronze mounts, these beautiful Chinese vases cast colourful motifs of flora and fauna in impressive cloisonné enamel.


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This sensational pair of large vases elegantly synthesises the design styles of the East and the West. The stunning Chinese cloisonné enamel vases are paired with ornate French gilt-bronze mounts, creating a pair of superb decorative wares for the appropriate space.

The vases are ovoid form, with flared rims and feet. The body of each vase is fantastically decorated with brightly coloured birds, that rest amongst lush flowers and foliage. Charming butterflies can also be spotted perching amongst the flowers, or flying around the space. The natural scene is applied on top of a cream-coloured ground with an intricate geometric motif that covers the entire body. The intricacy of the designs, which feature delicate shading within the gold-bordered cloisons, is truly astounding, especially given the complexity of the cloisonné technique.

The necks of the vases are decorated with similar designs, with the gold cloisonné especially visible around the bird and tree design. Both the neck and foot of each vase also feature geometric patterning, which expertly mirrors the natural colour palette of the main designs.

French gilt-bronze mounts complement the vases. Surmounted by a pierced gilt-bronze acanthus crown with pineapple motifs, the vases sit atop four ormolu feet cast in the form of impressive 'Foo' winged lions. These gilt-bronze elements complement the gold tones of the cloisonné, and add further lavishness to these remarkable pieces.

Combination pieces such as these proved immensely popular in the late 19th century, with European metalworkers adorning and embellishing Chinese wares with inventions and designs of their own. As such, this piece is a superb combination of global styles, bringing together beautiful Chinese enamel wares with magnificent French gilt bronze.


From the collection of Larry Flynt (American, 1965-2021)


Country of Origin
Chinese, French
Date of Manufacture
20th century
20th Century
Chinese Interest
Enamel - Cloisonné, Ormolu (Gilt Bronze)


215 cm / 84.6 inches
78 cm / 30.7 inches


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