Japanese Cloisonne Enamel Vase Hayashi Kodenji


Manner of Hayashi Kodenji

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    Decorated with Butterflies

    From our Japanese collection, we are delighted to offer this Japanese Cloisonne Enamel Vase in the manner of Hayashi Kodenji. The vase of bottle form with a wide globular shape having a stepped shoulder and flared opening rim beautifully decorated with a strong dark blue ground mounted by silver Jungin marked rims. The Cloisonne Enamel Vase decorated with three polychrome butterflies of beautiful quality naturally flying around the vase. The bottom of the Cloisonne vase is signed to the centre letter M framed by a double diamond cartouche. We believe that the mark on the base relates to a retailers mark likely in the USA (compared to other very similar examples) which would have been commissioned by the retailer and the work carried out most likely by the Hayashi Kodenji workshop in Japan with matching decoration and style. The Cloisonne Enamel vase dates to the Meiji period (1868-1912) circa 1895 and is a superb example from the ‘golden era’ of cloisonne enamel work.

    Hayashi Kodenji I student to Hayashi Shogoro (1835-1896) who played a pivotal role in training students in the art of cloisonne was a central figure in the cloisonné enamel industry well into the 20th century. Kodenji was the founder and head of the Shipo-cho enamelers guild and in 1894 he opened a school to train cloisonne workers that operated until 1907. He ran a showroom in Nagoya from 1907-1914 and also operated a sales branch in London. As a master of cloisonne wears he went on to win medals at expositions in Nuremberg 1885, Chicago 1893, Paris 1889 and St. Louis 1904 and finally a price at the Liege in 1905. He was awarded the Medal of the Green Ribbon in Japan (Ryokujuhosho) in 1902. Kodenji I went onto produce cloisonne wears with his son Suguemon (1859-1922) known as Kodenji II with virtually no easy distinction between either maker. They were both followed by Hayashi Tomijiro, Kodenji III (1879-1944) and Kurakichi Kodenji IV, (1904-1982).

    Jungin character mark 銀 製 is found on objects containing silver and literally translates to pure silver. It was used primarily during the Meiji period (1868-1912) and for a duration after

    Cloisonne is a technique of decorating metalwork objects with coloured material separated by wire often made from precious metals. In the first instance the decoration is formed by creating a stencil on the metal object by affixing wires to the surface which will be visible once the product is finished allowing the artisan to craft beautiful scenes such as blossoming flowers or mythical animals by filling in the spaces with various colours. For further information please see our news article ‘Cloisonne | A Japanese Masterpiece‘.

    Meiji Period was an era of Japanese history that spanned from 1868 to 1912. It was the first half of the Empire of Japan, when the Japanese people began to build a paradigm of a modern, industrialised nation state and emergent great power, influenced by Western countries and aesthetics. As a result of radically different ideas, the changes to Japan were profound and it affected the social structure, politics, economy, military, and foreign relations across the board. The period corresponded to the reign of Emperor Meiji and was preceded by the Keio era and was succeeded by the Taisho era.

    Cultural Art during the Meiji Period was of particular interest to the government and they overhauled the art export market which in turn promoted Japanese arts via various world’s fairs, beginning in Vienna at the world fair in 1873. The government heavily funded the fairs and took an active role organising how Japan’s culture was presented to the world including creating a semi-public company named Kiritsu Kosho Kaisha (First Industrial Manufacturing Company). The Kiritsu Kosho Kaisha was used to promote and commercialise exports of Japanese art and established the Hakurankai Jimukyoku (Exhibition Bureau) to maintain quality standards. For the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, the Japanese government created a Centennial Office and sent a special envoy to secure space for the 30,000 items that would be displayed. The Imperial Household also took an active interest in arts and crafts, commissioning works by select artists to be given as gifts for foreign dignitaries further emphasising the high quality and importance of Japanese art. Just before the end of the 19th century in 1890, the Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist to the Imperial Household) system was created to recognise distinguished artists. These artists were selected for their exceptionally high quality wares and talent in their own industry. Over a period of 54 years Seventy artists were appointed, amongst these were ceramicist Makuzu Kozan and cloisonné enamel artist Namikawa Yasuyuki.

    Enamel (vitreous enamel) also known as porcelain enamel, is a material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 °C. The powder melts, flows, and then hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating. The word vitreous comes from the Latin vitreous, meaning “glassy”.

    Antique a collectable object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its age and quality. Objects of this nature are generally considered antique at 100 plus years of age.

    Measurements 20cm High x 21.5cm Wide (7.9 x 8.45 Inches)

    Condition Very Good, there is one very small circular loss to the enamel, no cracks or hairlines (please see photos).

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