Today I received an email from one of our Auld Curiosities site members - in fact this person has been with the site since just about inception. This is an excellent review of one of the items we have for sale and we have permission for the body of the email to be shared - thank you Nicol
"I admit I was fascinated by the beauty of the blue ginger jar on Auld Curiosities. But it is not only that. It was an opportunity to learn something interesting about two things : ginger jars and cloisonné technique. Well, maybe someone could think that not knowing what a ginger jar is shows you have been living under a rock but I think that most of the people don't know much about them, for instance that these jars had an utilitarian purpose at first and were used for storing and transporting spices from Ancient China to the West world. Something very interesting I found searching about the term : the origin of this jars. It appears that the ginger jars originated in the days of Qin Dynasty, 221 to 207 BC, for storing spices like salt and ginger and when ginger became a chief export to the Western world these jars became known as ginger jars.These jars can be recognized by the high shoulders, rounded shapes, small mouths, domed lids and that they have no handles. On the other hand Cloisonné is a French word meaning "enclosed" and is an old metal-working technique that first developed in the Near East, spread to the Byzantine Empire and from there along the Silk Road to China, Korea and Japan and eventually
to Europe. I found that "To produce cloisonné, patterns such as flowers or leaves are outlined with thin copper or bronze wires glued or soldered to a metal base, forming cells (cloisons) which are then filled in with thick, colored enamel pastes. The object is fired at a low temperature to harden the enamel". I will not continue with explaining here the whole technique. I just want to emphasize that one single object can be so interesting and intriguing to such an extend that it can make you search and find very interesting information. So I will keep browsing Auld Curiosities, admire the beautiful and interesting things that are displayed here."