Permanent Collection

  • Late 19th century
  • Japanese, Meiji era
  • Height:  19 in.
  • Enamelware

Enameled copper alloy vase with green background and swimming red carp.  Japanese enamels (shippo) were originally used as decorations for samurai sword guards (tsuba) and architectural features. By the 1850s, cloisonné production had evolved to include an array of highly decorative objects. Made by applying an enamel paste in wire compartments atop a metal body, this exquisite art form required enduring patience to execute minute details.  The word shippo means “Seven Treasures” and refers to the rich colors found in cloisonné. The dramatic enamels quickly became a popular export item.
Accession number: 1998.517
Photo credit:  Win Wolloff