Enamel painting came to China in the beginning of
the 18th Century. It was introduced by Jesuit Priests. The Priests
were commissioned by the Emperor to teach the techniques to the
craftsmen of the Imperial Workshops. Bottles made of Brass or Copper
were used. These were painted with enamels then fired in a kiln to
fuse the paint. This art also spawn the Guyuexuan style. Guyuexuan (
Ancient Moon Pavilion ) was first produced in the Late 18th Century.
To produce these items, first a clear or milky white bottle was
made. They are then painted with enamels. The bottles are fired in a
kiln at a very high temperature to cure the enamel and fuse it to
the glass. What makes this process so difficult is that the melting
point of the enamel is just below the point at which the bottles
melt and collapse. Many items are lost during this process. Today
with computerized kilns it is a little easier. The value of these
bottles is usually determined by the detail of the painting.