LACQUER

Asian lacquer has been used for millennia as a coating and pigment binder for the creation of strong, versatile and visually pleasing surfaces on everyday items, furniture and works of art. 

Asian countries developed their own techniques and materials, often made from country specific tree sap, to create beautiful, functional and highly desirable lacquerware.

The Portuguese  and The East India Company introduced fine lacquerware items to Europe at the end of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, included writing desks, chests, screens, utensils and tableware.  As these exotic items became more desirable an export trade was established with bespoke items being produced applying Asian decorative techniques to European designs. 

As demand for Asian lacquerware furniture increased beyond supply in Europe, European cabinet makers and craftsmen sought to replicate the beguiling finish of lacquer using materials available to them and Japaning was created to replicate Chinese and Japanese "home made" furniture.

The umbrella of laquerwork covers pieces from many different countries and time periods, all representing slightly different techniques of manufacture and, therefore, conservation. Through techniques of analysis, our team can identify items of Lacquer from domestic to export markets and select appropriate treatments.

Shibayama cabinet panel
Shibayama cabinet panel
press to zoom
Coromandel lacquer
Coromandel lacquer
press to zoom
Japanning
Japanning
press to zoom
Coromandel Lacquer
Coromandel Lacquer
press to zoom
cross section of substrate
cross section of substrate
press to zoom
Lacquer conservation
Lacquer conservation
press to zoom