The word “cloisonné” was derived from the French word for “compartment.” To create a piece of cloisonné, the metalsmith starts with a rough metal shaped into the desired design. To lay out the framework for a design, narrow strips of metal, called cells, are soldered to the body of the piece. The cells in cloisonné are compartments that give the design its form, and create a map in which to place the enamels. After a number of firings, the enamel becomes filled-in but is rough in texture. The next step is for the piece to be hand-polished with pumice and the top edge of the wires gilded unless they are already formed of gold. Actually samples of cloisonné enameling can date back 5000 years and was widely used in Egyptian jewelry. During the Middle ages and the renaissance, enamelling was also perfected in the cultural centers of Europe, especially in France where much of the nomenclature of the technique now used today originated. Cloisonné was also widely employed in China and Japan during the latter part of the 15th century, and eventually it regained popularity during the 19th century, when a fascination for arts and decorative objects from the East was at its peak. The pieces were imported from Asia and enjoyed by Victorians.
This floral beauty is made of 14 karat gold, with wonderfully articulated diamond centered zinnia flowers resting atop a cloissoné enameled paisley shape, decorated with a burnt orange lily, and intricate leafy decorations. A complicated, ornate brooch showing beautiful craftspersonship just as lovely today as when it was first worn.
Dimensions: 33mm x 20mm
Weight: 4.3 grams
Materials: Gold, diamond, enamel
Metal: 14K yellow gold
Condition: Very good antique condition; missing some gold elements of flower