Sunday, January 26, 2014

Puzzling Evidence - The "Lotus" Clasp is a Morning Glory

In a prior post I discussed a style of cloisonne box clasp with a mysterious flower design that, for want of a better idea, I named the "Lotus Clasp." [post since updated to reflect name change]

This just goes to show the hazards of being unfamiliar with artistic iconography from another part of the world, as an online auction recently listed  one of these clasps as a "morning glory."
Duh!  Of course!  

It seems to be an especial favorite of Japanese artists, whose rendering seems more typically to match that of the clasp - here's an example of a set of lovely Fitz and Floyd plates featuring the morning glory motif:
Courtesy of eBay vendor maggie-magnolia
Notice the little vine tendril - after wondering what that little brown worm-like thing on the cloisonne clasp could be, now I know.

The clasp typically seems to be a machine-stamped design, but here's an example featuring an actual hand-wired cloisonne box clasp:
Sold on eBay for $15 by eBay vendor vickysdesign917who offers many other nice things at what seem like similarly affordable prices.
For comparison purposes, here are examples of cloisonne morning glories in Chinese and Japanese work:


Could this clasp design possibly be of Japanese, rather than Chinese, inspiration?
Puzzling evidence...

Update - Chinese morning glories with JingFa clouds in a very pretty design:
Courtesy of eBay vendor spikesstuff44

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