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Attractive cloisonné (*) enamel lady’s table mirror depicting three yellow five-clawed dragons on black ground, in pursuit of flaming pearls. This item was made in China in the late 19th or early 20th Century, probably during the reign of the Guangxu emperor 光緒帝 (reigned 1875-1908).

(*) Cloisonné 景泰蓝

Although popularly associated with Chinese art, the word “cloison” is actually French and means “compartment.” The technique was common in many parts of the world. Ancient Egyptians were the first to employ the cloisonné method.

Cloisonné enamel techniques were brought to China from Persia during the Yuan Dynasty. The techniques were developed further in the Ming Dynasty and became widespread during the reign of seventh Ming Emperor Jingtai 景泰 (reigned 1449-1457). This is the origin of the Chinese name for cloisonné Jingtailan 景泰蓝, with lan 蓝 (blue) being the most common background color. To produce a cloisonné utensil, the artist first produces a copper roughcast, attaches some copper wires forming decorative patterns, adds enamel between the spaces in the wires, and then fires the item in a kiln. Chinese cloisonné is sometimes confused with Canton enamel, a similar type of enamel work that is painted on freehand and does not utilize partitions to hold the colors separate.

Chinese black cloisonné

 

 

2012 The Year of the Dragon

As per the Chinese Zodiac, the coming year of 2012 is Year of Dragon that would commence on 23rd January 2012 and go on till 9th February, 2013. The Dragon is the fifth sign and signifies luck, especially for the Dragon people. Some people say 2012 is a Black Dragon or Water Dragon year.

The Year 2012 is the 4709th Chinese year. The Chinese believe that the first king of China was the Yellow King (he was not the first emperor of China). The Yellow King became king in 2697 B.C.

People born in the Year of the Dragon share certain characteristics: energetic, enterprising, self-assured, brave, passionate, innovative, optimistic, intelligent and ambitious.

 

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