ENAMEL PLAQUE BY THE HON. MRS.
THE ART OF PAINTED
ENAMELS. BY ALEXANDER
In preceding articles I have described in
detail the following processes of enamelling:
champleve, cloisonne, bassetaille, and plique a jour.
All these are intimately related to the processes of
working in metals, and were brought into existence
for the colour decoration of metal objects—perhaps
by metal-workers. The treatment, artistically
speaking, was made subservient—and rightly so—
to the other parts of the object which it adorned.
And thus far we see enamelling had not reached
its full development as it did later, when it could
exist as an art in itself independently of all others.
That was the position of enamelling before the
discovery of the method which I shall describe
under the name of "painted enamels." After this
discovery the art of enamelling assumed a more
important place amongst the fine arts; for it had
a larger and more subtle power of expression, with
far greater freedom and more varied possibilities
of form and colour. I have chosen the term
" painted enamels " in preference to the older one,
" Limoges " ; the latter word is the name of an
old town in France where each kind of enamelling
was developed during a period commencing about
the middle of the eighth century a.d. and ending
during the latter part of the seventeenth century.
The name " Limoges," as applied to enamels, has
been generally used to signify the last development
which ^occurred during the Renaissance. It is
included under the head of " painted enamels."
This term is also descriptive as part of the process,
for the enamels are painted in true enamels and
fired ; but the forms in the design are not enclosed
with a wire line, neither is the metal surface en-
graved, carved, or repousse, as is the case in
those methods previously described. And although
it is historically correct to label painted enamels
of the Renaissance " Limoges," still we cannot
call the higher development which has occurred
within the last twelve years in England
" Limoges," for there are fundamental differ-
ences, not so much of process — although
great developments have taken place beyond the
ancient methods of the enamellers of the Renais-
PRAYER-BOOK COVER IN BY MRS. CARR
SILVER AND ENAMEL