The box is a compressed circular form with a dome-shaped lid and a high flared foot. On the basis of comparable marked pieces, including a variety of shapes that might have originally been parts of sets, it appears that the present box, like the boxes illustrated here, is a product of the Qianlong period (1736-1795) (figs. 1-3). The color and character of the enamels (including two shades of green and a distinctive pink hue), an abstraction and geometricization of the floral motifs that appear more emblematic than naturalistic, the density of the florid design, the appearance of cobalt-blue ruyi-head borders are some of the important characteristics of 18th century Chinese cloisonné enamelware.
Fig. 1: Cloisonné covered box, Qing dynasty,
Qianlong mark and period, after Sir Harry Garner,
Chinese and Japanese Cloisonné Enamels, London,
1970, pl. 69A right.
Fig. 2: Cloisonné covered box, Qing dynasty,
Qianlong mark and period, Clague collection
after Claudia Brown, ChineseCloisonné:
The Clague Collection, Phoenix Art Museum,
1980, pl. 54, p.121 (lower left).
Fig. 3: Cloisonné covered box, Qing dynasty,
Qianlong mark and period, after Treasures:
Cultural Relics in Jiguzhai, Beijing, 1997, pl. 214.