Interesting 1960s? Chinese cloisonne beads from Greece
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Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
01/11/2018, 12:04:16

There was a U.S. embargo on Chinese imports for twenty years, from about 1950 to after Nixon's visit in the early 1970s. During that time the cloisonne workshops in Beijing enjoyed government sponsorship in the quest to produce Chinese export that would earn foreign exchange.

Greece appears to be one of the countries that was allowed by the Chinese to visit the Beijing Enamel Company and purchase directly, judging from the number of 1960s-1970s style cloisonne pieces that have been coming from Greece, as well as the account of an heir to one of the importers.

So when this necklace appeared on eBay from a Greek seller, I purchased it in hopes that it was an example of early 1960s cloisonne beads.

That seems to be the case. Attached is a photo noting what I see as some of the significant distinguishing characteristics, few of which survived to appear in beads from the late 1970s-80s.

The amber enamel seems to have been the only transparent enamel in use by Chinese cloisonne workshops throughout the first half of the 20th century, and these are the only beads I've seen in which it appears in small leaf motifs.

The beads are comparatively small - only 10mm - and the wirework and enamel filling very neatly done for such a tiny space.

60sCloisonne.jpg (159.0 KB)  

Modified by beadiste at Thu, Jan 11, 2018, 12:05:17

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