Cloisonne, Yesterday and Today
Irwin Weiner ASID - While there are tacky examples of decorative cloisonne, we love the contemporary takes on this ancient enamel technique that flowered in fourteenth century China. Robert Kuo is doing some fantastic cloisonne tiles for Ann Sacks and check out his amazing Hua Drum Stool (below) forMcGuire Furniture; he's one of the few top designers working in cloisonne today. (Maybe we'll cover French cloisonne in a future post; it's wonderful, with more swirling and blending enamels versus the distinct wire-bordered patterns and colors of the Chinese form.)
Fine art and collecting cloisonne are other matters, and I can't recommend more highly the Bard Graduate Center's exhibition Cloisonne: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties, running from January 26 through April 17, 2011 (see photo at top for a spectacular tripod basin). It's exciting to see highlights of the famed cloisonne collection from the Musee des Arts decoratifs in Paris along with top cloisonne from U.S. museums. Don't miss this rare opportunity to get such a sweeping overview of this beautiful art.
Our featured video is a quick overview of the diversity of cloisonne for the collector. It's a video produced by Value My Stuff, a website that offers an interesting online at and antique valuation service.