Circa 1820 China
A 19th Century Lacquer Casket
Height 10 1/2 inches (26.67 cm)
Width 17 1/2 inches (44.45 cm)
Depth 12 inches (30.48 cm)
An early 19th century Chinese Export lacquer casket of rectangular form, profusely decorated with pagodas, flowers, birds and trees in a mountainous landscape having chamfered corners and the original brass carrying handles.
Lacquer is made from the sap of the Rhus Verniciflua tree, a close relative of poison ivy. Raw lacquer is resistant to water and can be applied to nearly any surface. Whilst lacquer can be found in Chinese artefacts dating as far back as the Neolithic times (10200 BC – 2000 BC), carved and painted lacquer works first appeared during the Warring States period (475 BC – 221 BC). Today, they continue to be sought after items in which both collectors and interior designers share an interest.