An Introduction to Chinese Lacquer Ware
Chinese lacquer ware refers to household utensils, handicrafts and artworks coated with lacquer in ancient China. It is an ingenious invention and a pearl of Chinese artworks.
Lacquer ware boasts a long history which can be dated back to the remote ages in China. From the Neolithic remains were unearthed a number of lacquer-painted black pottery objects, and during the Warring States Period (475-221 B. C.) lacquer ware was well developed. In the Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 220) lacquer ware was widely used as household utensils and by the time of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) many techniques and hundreds of varieties of lacquer ware had come into being, which ushered in the most flourishing epoch of Chinese lacquer ware.
Chinese lacquer ware boasts a pearl-like luster polished as radiant as that of porcelain. Originally only wood and bamboo were used as its roughcast base. Later, various materials were adopted and more exquisite and complex techniques were developed, such as inlaying, color painting, etching, coromandel, cover-coating and wrapping with jades as well as stones.
Chinese lacquer ware enjoys a full range of varieties, such as the inlaid gold and silver lacquer ware (Jinyin PingTuo) in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), plain lacquer ware (Yise Qiqi) in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), carved lacquer ware in the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368), the stone-decorated lacquer ware (Baibao qian) in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and bodiless lacquer ware in the Qing Dynasty.
Like porcelain and silk, lacquer ware is a significant component of Chinese cultural relics and a gem of world artwork.