Ando Cloisonné Company, located in Sakae, Nagoya, central Japan, specializes in Japanese cloisonné. The company has offered handcrafted cloisonné from accessories to artworks since 1880.
Introduction of Cloisonné to Japan
Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork items with colored material separated by wire or metal strips, usually made of gold. The compartments are soldered to the metal item by affixing gold or silver as thin strips or wires placed on the edges.
The foremost production centers of cloisonné enamel in Japan occurred in Owari province. Andō Jubei established the Ando Cloisonné Company in the 19th century, at a time when the Andō family ran a pipe shop in Nagoya.
While Japanese companies produced large quantities of high technical quantity cloisonné from the mid-19th century, the objects reached a technical peak during the Meiji era, as producers created techniques and compositions more advanced than ever before.
The period between 1890 and 1910 is referred to as the Golden Age of Japanese enamels. During this time the Ando Cloisonné Company was the leading producer of cloisonné enamels, known as shippō-yaki in Japan.
After 1901, Andō Jubei and his brother-in-law Andō Juzaemo appointed Kawade Shibatarō as the studio’s head in Nagoya. Kawade introduced several technical innovations as studio head, expanding the colors and techniques that could be rendered in enamel. He also developed the company’s methods of plique-à-jour.
Plique-à-jour is a technique of vitreous enameling in which the artist applies enamel in the cells somehow like cloisonné, but without backing on the final object. This way, the light can reflect through the translucent or transparent enamel, much like a miniature version of stained glass. Technically quite challenging to create as it is highly time consuming, plique-à-jour can tak up to four months for each item.
This technique was invented in France and came to Japan when Andō Jubei bought enamel made by André Fernand Thesmar in the 1900 Paris Exposition. Kawade Shibatarō keenly observed and analyzed this enamel piece in order to replicate it.
Growth of the Ando Cloisonné Company
Following the 1900 Paris Exposition, enamel work from Japan came in high demand in the West. The Ando Cloisonné Company was given an Imperial Warrant of Appointment to the Japanese court, and Ando cloisonné became popular as gifts of state.
The company won the gold medal at the Glasgow International Exposition, and the grand prize of honor at the Russia International Exposition. The company still operates in Japan, as one of the few traditional cloisonné companies that remain.
Ando Cloisonné Company is famous for various enamel techniques, differing in how the enamel and wire are applied to the piece. The enamels can be opaque or transparent or somewhere in between, while the wire used may be gold or silver, and may be prominent or dissolve into the base.
In addition, the Ando Cloisonné Company is known for their signature floral prints on cloisonné vases. These may use Sakura, Ume, Daffodils, white roses, plum trees, and more.
The Ando workshop makes a number of cloisonné vases in a distinctive shade of green. Their objects, such as trays, bowls, accessories, and especially vases, feature a green ground under the cloisonné enamels.
The cloisonné artworks created by Ando Cloisonné are quite valuable, with prices ranging from $300 to $35,000 and above, depending on the size and enamel technique applied to the object, as well as its age and the complexity of its design. There is steady and reliable demand for Ando Cloisonné objects among collectors and art enthusiasts.
Appraise and Sell Ando Cloisonné Company’s Work
If you have an object produced by the Ando Cloisonné Company, especially their vases, bowls, trays, or accessories, get in touch with our experts at Revere Auctions. If you would like to sell your Ando pieces, you can auction them at our location in St. Paul, Minnesota. We also offer our services online.
You can contact us anytime for a free auction estimate if you want to sell Ando Cloisonné. We have a very simple process. After you send us the photos of the work, our experts will take a look, analyze, and provide you an estimate of the amount the artwork is likely to reach at auction.
If you need an appraisal for Ando Cloisonné, we provide a certified appraisal report that can be used for estate taxes, donations, and insurance coverage. Our appraisals are compliant with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and are accepted by insurance companies, charity agencies, and the IRS.