May 16, 24

The Art of Japanning

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and it may be most true for the European lacquer work known as Japanning. In the 17th century, the East India Trading Company graduated from exporting Asian spices to large casegoods, and the popularity of exotic Chinese and Japanese lacquered furniture skyrocketed. Its expense and rarity led to craftsmen in England, France and Germany replicating the effect as best they could with locally-made varnishes and technique.

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