The lacquer finish technique found on some Chinese furniture originated in Japan, around 7,000 BC.
Basically, lacquer is a clear or colored coating, which when dry produces a hard, durable finish. It is polished to a very high gloss, which gives the illusion of depth. Most popular color was and still is, black and red, made from iron oxides.
The main ingredient to make lacquer originated from the secretions from the Lac insect, then resin from trees and now is water based.
In the late 1600’s lacquered work, mostly furniture reached Europe from the Orient and rapidly gained in popularity.
Europeans furniture makers did not have the main ingredient of lac –so they instead used many coats of varnish—but this was not as effective, as beautiful or durable as real lacquer.
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