Lacquer comes from the sap of the lacquer tree (Rhus vernicifera), which is indigenous to Japan, China, and Korea. The liquid lacquer, usually coloured black or red, is applied in repeated layers to an object base, frequently made of finely sanded wood. Each layer is allowed to dry and then sanded before the next layer is applied. The extremely time consuming and labour intensive technique of applying layer upon layer of lacquer can take months or years to complete before the object is ready to be decorated. Because of the durable nature of the material, lacquer objects have kept their beauty and survived centuries. European made lacquers, while similar in appearance, are different from those from the East as they are not made with true lacquer tree sap, but rather various varnishes and resins made to resemble Oriental lacquer. World fairs such as the 1873 Vienna Exposition did much to promote the Japanese lacquers, which had been publicly exhibited in small quantities in Europe as early as the Great Exhibition of London in 1851.
Vancouver Museum, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts,

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