19th Century French Bronze Enamel Onyx Champlevé Dresser Tray

2805-851143 (Click to Inquire About This Item)

2.5H x 15W x 9D

Location: Dallas

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19th Century French Bronze Enamel Onyx Champlevé Dresser Tray is a remarkable example of French craftsmanship, with the semi-translucent onyx base contoured to fit the elaborately scrolled and decorated bronze framework with handles.  The Champleve process is virtually identical to the cloisonne pieces that are believed to have originated in The Orient.  Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects. In recent centuries, vitreous enamel has been used, and inlays of cut gemstones, glass and other materials were also used during older periods. The resulting objects can also be called cloisonné. The decoration is formed by first adding compartments to the metal object by soldering or affixing silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges. These remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel or inlays, which are often of several colors. Cloisonné enamel objects are worked on with enamel powder made into a paste, which then needs to be fired in a kiln.

Circa 1880s

Measures 2.5H x 15W x 9D