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This August, LET’S LEARN ABOUT… Enamelling!
What is enamelling?
Enamelling is a decorative art technique in which coloured glass is fused onto metal surfaces.
The enamelling process
The first enamelled objects may have been made in Cyprus in the 13th century, during the Mycenaean period. Skilled craftsmen from different parts of the world have used this technique to design jewellery, vases, and other decorative items. These objects are valued for their beautiful designs, striking colours, and durability. Check out some enamelled objects from the ACM’s collection below!
China, Guangzhou, mid-18th century
Painted enamel on copper, height 23.5 cm
This pedestal dish, also known as a tazza, features flowers and scrolling leaves in brightly coloured enamels. It may have been used for decoration, or to serve fruits or candies to guests.
More than 200 years ago, there was an imperial workshop in Guangzhou that specialised in painted enamels. The intricate patterns and watercolour-like flowers on this object demonstrate the skills of Chinese enamellers.
View the pedestal dish up close in our Maritime Trade Gallery on Level 1.
India, Benares, 19th century
Gold with semi-precious gemstones and enamels, diameter 8.4 cm each
This pair of colourful bangles was made by skilled craftsmen in Mughal India. Why do you think they chose elephant heads?
If you look carefully, you’ll notice that pink flowers and scrolling vines are enamelled along the inner edges. Enamelling was introduced to India in the late 16th century when craftsmen from the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar were sent to learn the technique from European craftsmen in Portuguese-ruled Goa.
Take a closer look at the bangles in our Court and Company Gallery on Level 1.
Enamelled objects are valued for their vibrant colours and intricate designs. Download here a printout of the painted enamel tazza from the ACM collection and use watercolour pencils or paints to bring it to life!
Remember to tag us @ACM_SG #LearningatACM to share your creation!
Visit NHB’s one-stop heritage portal Roots.sg to read more about the objects featured here.
Elephant head bangles
Come back every month for more resources like this.
Missed a post? We’ve got you a covered; past topics can be found here.
What else would you like to learn about? Tell us here.
Check out videos and other e-resources inspired by the objects in the ACM collection.
A monthly series of online resources to learn about our objects through topics, fun facts, quizzes, videos and sharing from ACM folks. See all past Let's Learn About... resources here!
Listen to child-friendly audio clips that inspire close looking and encourage children to engage with ACM objects in a meaningful way.
24 Sep 2023, 11am to 3pm
If you had a diary, what would you write about?
In partnership with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (YST), Lunchtime Concerts return to ACM.
Visit Singapore’s national museum of Asian antiquities and decorative art today