This pretty vase measures 5"high by 2 5/8"diameter at the shoulder - the top is 1"diameter and the base is 1 1/4"diameter. The pink and silver tulips are done in the gin-bari technique - with vivid green leaves highlighting the flowers. The flowers are done of a dark black ground with very tight cloisons. This is indicative of the dating to the early to mid Meiji period, circa 1880s. At that time, cloisonné artists had not yet mastered the art of large areas of the design in a pure solid color. They had to use these much smaller cloisons to contain the powered glass that was then melted in the kiln. It was not until almost the turn of the 20th century that these artists learned to execute large solid colored areas without using small cloisons.
The vase is in very fine condition. There is one tiny area on the end of one of the green leaves that has a very small section of oxidation from an imperceptible tiny crack. This actually makes the leaf look as if it is turning brown at the end as it has aged. We date the vase to the period of 1880-1890.
In gin-bari, a copper or brass body is generally covered with a thin sheet of silver foil which frequently has a stippled or other repetitive design embossed upon it. The foil is then covered with transparent or translucent enamel, so that the reflective quality of the foil enhances the color and gives the piece a shimmering effect. The background portion of the piece has some similarity to basse-taille in that light traverses the transparent enamel layer to shine from the hollows and ridges of the design. The foreground in gin-bari is like standard cloisonné in that it is made of wired cells filled with colored enamels, either transparent, semi-transparent or opaque. The cloisonné wires are affixed to the enamel coating by means of a vegetable glue, and the process of enameling is continued as usual.