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Natural lacquer should come from the sap of the lacquer tree. The Chinese character for lacquer, pronounced “ch'i”「漆」, is pictographic.  One of its components, pronounced “mu”「木」(meaning wood), forms the top part of the word. In the middle two side strokes protrude downwards like taps that have been sunk into a tree.

The lower part of the word is formed by a component, pronounced “shui” 「水」(meaning water), which signifies the flow of sap from the wood.

Lacquer-wood (Mahogany) Octagonal Tray

  • The oldest lacquerware discovered dates back to the Warring States period (403-221 B.C.). the craft has been transferred to Japan, Korea, and other parts of Southeast Asia. The value of a piece of lacquerware only begins with the materials used to make it. A high quality piece of lacquerware requires the skills of several different elements: lacquer, layers, core materials, decoration, colours, design and process.

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