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Antique Chinese Enameled Brass Silent Butler - Cloissone style
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Antique Chinese Enameled Brass Silent Butler - Cloissone style
Antique Chinese Enameled Brass Silent Butler - Cloissone style
Antique Chinese Enameled Brass Silent Butler - Cloissone style

I am not completely sure that I would regard this enamel work as cloisonné as I have known it to be, as it does not have the tiny wire framework surrounding the colored enamel areas. This piece appears to have a panel on the lid that was first heavily embossed with a very detailed scenic pattern, and then the color was applied in the openings and fired. There is a very detailed panel affixed to the handle and similarly colored and fired. Finally, there are three oval medallions on the box depicting some type of winged creature.

This is larger than most we have seen. The box section of this silent butler measures 6-1/2" across and 4-7/8" from front to back. With the handle included, it becomes 8-1/4" overall. It is just over 1" deep. This is also the first one of its kind that I have encountered with the corners cropped to create an eight sided piece. The knob is of brass and the single word, "CHINA" is stamped into the underside of the box.

The condition of this Silent Butler is excellent. The brass areas definitely need cleaning; however, I do not know the safe and proper way to clean old brass. We always prefer to let the purchaser choose the method of cleaning and handle that process themselves. Too many times I hear of antiques with values diminished by well intentioned cleaning. The only flaw in the enameled areas was almost overlooked as I scanned the piece with a magnifying glass. On the edge of the center medallion, behind the opener knob, there is a very small bit of the dark blue enamel missing. Once the brass has been cleaned up, this piece should be quite striking.

I try to describe the items on this site as accurately as possible; however since most of the items are either antique or at best vintage, due to their age, they are sold in "as is" condition. Please examine the pictures and contact us with any questions, to request additional pictures, or to contribute further information, by using the Contact tab on our Home page. We are not experts and always welcome your input.
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