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Antique Glossary

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Made from the sap of the lac tree, which turns hard and black on exposure to air and sunlight, and applied in successive layers, lacquer is used as a ground for Chinese or Japanese decoration, usually of figures in landscapes etc. More rarely, dyes were mixed with the sap to produce various colours. It can also be carved, and polished, and layers of differing colours, carved and etched, were often used to great effect.