Dating: 19th century
Material: Enamelled Copper (Cloisonné)
Dimensions (cm): 28 x Ø 41,5
Inv. no.: PD1165 / MNMC6087
Circular terrine with two handles and a lid topped by a spheroid knob. It has an extraordinary composition with concentric coloured bands, in shades of green, blue and pink. The body, which rests on three feet, is richly decorated with birds and plant motifs.
This tureen is enamelled in Cloisonné – from the French word ‘cloison‘ (partition) – an ancient decorative technique used on metal objects (usually of copper). The technique is believed to have been created as an showy alternative to the expensive process of adorning metal pieces – gold, silver, copper and bronze – with precious and semi-precious stones.
The process consists in perpendicularly welding metallic cables or plates – of gold, silver or other – to the object’s surface, in order to create several sections according to the predefined decoration. Inside these sections, pieces of coloured enamel were set, strongly pressed, fired and, lastly, polished, until the desired finish was obtained.
This ages-old technique, which attained its peak in the History of European Art during the Medieval Ages, had its origin in the 4th century AD, during the fall of the Roman Empire. It was mainly used in the manufacture of jewellery and decorative arts. Since the 19th century, it has often been used in serial manufacture and of domestic appliances, usually in kitchen utensils.