The word originated in the 17th century. Although often referred to as lacquer it is distinct from true east asian lacquer.
The Development Of English Black Japanning 1620 1820 Victoria And
William Mary Period Japanned Lacquer Cabinet 597289
Godson Coles Object Details An Exceptional George Iii
To the untrained eye lacquer and japanning can appear to be the same.
Japanning lacquer. Nowadays the term lacquer is applied to both oriental lacquer and european japanned furniture. As early as the 17th century lacquered pieces of furniture were being imported from asia. Many 17th or 18th century moldings or carved trim that were gilded utilized the water application technique.
However japanning is a european imitation of lacquer and is less refined. Water gilding can be burnished to yield a highly polished real solid metal appearance if not rubbed through to colored bole beneath. A number of surfaces can be japanned ranging from snuff boxes to tables and this lacquering technique enjoyed a period of immense popularity especially in the 18th century.
Lacquer began to appear in the finest english country estates in the early 17th century. In 1614 the inventory for lord northamptons london town house itemised a china table. The method applied to european furniture is called japanning and generally consists of oil and spirit varnishes.
Oil and water gilt can be done in gold platinum silver bronze or aluminum. A history of japanning in england. Oriental lacquer urushi is very different in appearance and is the closest natural substance to plastic.
It was first used on furniture but was later much used on small items in metal. In the inventory of hatfield house in 1611 there is mention of one china table of black gilded and painted as well as 1 high chaire the frame guilt china worke by the end of the 17th century. Japanning is a lacquering technique which is meant to imitate the lacquer traditionally produced in japan and other asian countries.
Japanning is a type of finish that originated as a european imitation of asian lacquerwork.
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