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Appraisal Values & Pricing Factors for DECORATIVE ENAMELS


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RUSSIAN ENAMELED SILVER BOXEnameling refers to a process of depositing and fusing pulverized glass of various colors onto a surface, usually metal or porcelain. For more technical & historical details on this decorative method, please see Wikipedia's article on Enameling. In general, it requires a skillful series of steps, a kiln for firing as well as several tools and chemicals that are used to prepare and later refine the finished surface. In addition to industrial applications, most common objects in the Decorative Arts that are now collectible or antique, include Enameled Silver, Enameled Jewelry, Cloisonne, Champleve, Enameled Porcelain, Enameled Glass or Crystal and many other objets d'art.

Because of its ancient origins, the art of enameling has spread far and wide around the world from old cultures to more recent or current popular art forms. Chinese, as well as European and American folk art, was until recently the principal domain of enamel-ware, but nowadays most artisans work at studios or as skilled craftsmen for makers of luxury goods. The dazzling color combinations with enamel's characteristic sheen and brilliance are second to none in adorning and embellishing beautiful pieces that can be worn or displayed with pride and admiration.

Although a relatively low-cost process, the real overhead in creating enameled masterpieces are the patience and skill that are required. Exquisite enamel designs demand painstakingly long hours of attention to detail and extraordinarily experienced mastery of this technique. The artistic value of creating enamelware relies mostly on the selection of alluring colors and the size or multitude of the applied surfaces, that eventually render an appealing composition as the finished product. This affects its worth as a collectible in a very direct way and although age & condition are also key factors as always, the overall aesthetic weight is of the utmost importance.

The subject matter or theme and of course the artistic style on decorative enamels, make them desirable to collectors depending on their fancy or taste and are highly subjective reasons. However, an interesting provenance [historical significance] or other precious materials that have been combined to create a piece, can have a notable effect on its appraisal value. For example, antique Chinese enameled porcelain or glass have historical dimensions and are highly desirable. Similarly, enameled silver jewelry or ornate enameled old European porcelain, have a high intrinsic value that must be added to their beauty. Intricate work, such as in the case of Cloisonne, especially older Japanese or Russian examples, have a particular appeal to collectors and fetch high prices at auction. Folk enameled jewelry, for example by Native American artisans, is pretty and collectible but is usually up to the beholder to value it fairly.

Below are some examples of enamelware of all types from our Pricing Guides database.

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  • JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ ENAMEL VASE ???????? Japanese
    cloisonné enamel vase; of wide ovoid form, with blossomed cherry tree and bird design in silver wires on midnight blue ground, with silver rim and foot; H: 4 3/4" ... [more like this]
  • FIVE JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASES Five old Japanese
    cloisonné enamel vases: pair small green with pink and white roses, each H: 4 5/8"; pair small ovoid with rose on red, each H: 2 1/2"; wide ovoid with pink and white peonies ... [more like this]
  • Two Japanese cloisonne enamel vases and a
    Chinese cloisonne enamel three-stack box Estimate $ 60-80 Comments added 5-31-2011...... *Vase with figure- large section broken out of back exposing base metal *Floral vase- ... [more like this]
  • Large Japanese Cloisonne Enamel Vase. Silver
    meta metal trim. Mum, cherry blossom and iris floral designs on garnet background. Not marked.-- Dimensions: H: 12 inches: W: 6.5 inches: D: 6.5 inches --- ... [more like this]
  • FINE LARGE JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASE ????????? Large,
    beautifully executed and highly unusual, Japanese cloisonné enamel vase of wide baluster form; with design of a flock of birds in formation above "waves," on pale turquoise ... [more like this]
  • ANTIQUE JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASE Unusual,
    small and antique, Japanese cloisonné enamel vase of footed bottle-form with design of a writhing dragon surrounding the vase on sky blue ground (minute firing flaws), Circa ... [more like this]
  • THREE JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ PIECES Group of
    two, Japanese cloisonné enamel vases: small ovoid vase with cranes in flight on black ground, H: 5"; tapered form vase with heron in flight on deep red ground, H: 7 1/8"; ... [more like this]
  • A PAIR OF JAPANESE CLOISONNE ENAMEL VASES
    with angular shoulders and decorated with floral roundels reserved on a dark blue ground, h: 9.25 in.; together with another baluster vase decorated with aventurine ground ... [more like this]
  • FINE JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASE Fine, small
    Japanese cloisonné enamel vase, Hayashi School, of somewhat compressed, globular form with very fine bird and wisteria silver wire designs (minor wear), early 20th Century ... [more like this]
  • FINE JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASE Fine miniature,
    Japanese cloisonné enamel vase (Hayashi School); of somewhat compressed, globular form with very fine bird and wisteria silver-wire designs (very minor wear), early 20th ... [more like this]
  • PAIR JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASES Pair of Japanese
    cloisonné enamel vases: each of ovoid form with green bamboo on bright yellow grounds, silver-mounted rims (minute wear); each H: 7 1/8" ... [more like this]
  • JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASE Japanese cloisonné
    enamel vase of ovoid form, with design of silver wire blue irises and green foliage on "pigeon blood" red ground; H: 7 1/8" ... [more like this]
  • PAIR JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASES Pair old Japanese
    cloisonné enamel vases of squat bulbous form; each with three goldfish and lily pads on "pigeon blood" red ground; H: 4 3/4"; wood stands (stands mismatched) ... [more like this]
  • PAIR JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASES Pair old Japanese
    cloisonné enamel vases of globular form; each with elaborately detailed and strikingly colorful, phoenix in flight on bright yellow ground, silver rims; H: 4 3/4"; wood stands ... [more like this]
  • PAIR JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASES Pair slim
    ovoid, old Japanese cloisonné enamel vases, each with well detailed phoenix perched on rockery with bamboo leaves on peach ground; H: 7"; wood stands ... [more like this]
  • PAIR JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASES Pair old Japanese
    cloisonné enamel vases of ovoid form, each with blossoms and foliage on yellow ground; H: 7 1/4"; wood stands ... [more like this]
  • JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASE Finely detailed,
    old yellow-ground Japanese cloisonné enamel vase with iris design, silver rims (minor wear); H: 7 1/4" ... [more like this]
  • TALL JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASE Very unusual
    and tall, old Japanese cloisonné enamel vase with ginbari designs on teal-grey ground, fine detailing (small flaws and crazing, Circa 1900; H: 14 1/2" ... [more like this]
  • MASSIVE ANTIQUE JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ VASE
    Massive and beautifully decorated, antique Japanese cloisonné enamel vase with very elaborate design of lilies on a brilliant cobalt blue ground (some usual small repairs), ... [more like this]
  • JAPANESE CLOISONNÉ BOTTLE VASE ????? ??????? Japanese
    cloisonné enamel vase; of slim, attractive bottle-form with slightly inverted mouth; design of cranes flying around the body executed in silver wires, on deep "spinach" green ... [more like this]

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