Japanese Lacquerware at Jcollector

Recently we traveled to Japan and New York where, among other items, we found some exceptional lacquerware.
Lacquer has played an important part in Japanese culture for more than two thousand years but came into full bloom during the Edo period (1603-1868).  The finished product is so sublime as to appear simple to produce, but lacquer craftsmanship is perhaps the most complex of all Japan’s artistic traditions. For example, just creating a black- or red-lacquer ground can require as many as 30 stages, including the application of increasingly fine grades of lacquer mixed with different powders and then several additional layers of even higher-quality lacquer.

On our trip, we came across several sets of covered bowls,

delicately rendered serving trays,

accessories for use in the Japanese tea ceremony such as natsume and kogo,

storage boxes for letters, make-up or keepsakes,

and inro,

the decorative containers traditionally worn at the belt of the samurai to carry pills, ink, seals and other necessities.

You’ll find a great website for information on Japanese lacquerware at the following link:

Also, Daruma magazine, Issue 33, gives a detailed explanation of lacquer methods, materials, tools and processes.

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