The history of Japanese lacquer has its origins in Ancient China. Lacquer cups, shields, tables, toilet boxes, and musical instruments have been found in Chinese tombs dating from the 5th Century B.C. Decorative techniques used at that time involved attachment of pieces of gold and silver foil, ivory, and mother-of-pearl shell, since lacquer is also a highly effective adhesive. The varied techniques of lacquer application later spread to most Southeast Asian countries along with Japan. However, it wasn’t until centuries later that interest was shown nationwide in lacquerware as a commodity, and the Japanese lacquer industry became increasingly active with support of its government and craft guilds. Carpenters throughout the country were producing lacquer bowls, trays, and tables. Beginning with such utilitarian lacquerware in cinnabar and black, cities such as Kyoto, Edo (Tokyo), and Kanazawa begun producing lavishly decorated lacquerware featuring Maki-e (gold dust), silver, and mother-of-pearl inlay. It is clear to all that Japan’s lacquerware enjoyed great popularity, similar to that of Chinese porcelain in Europe during the 17th and 18th Centuries.
mingeiarts prides itself in its range of Japanese antique decorative and vintage lacquerware for everyday use.