This Large rather impressive Vase stands 20 1/2 inches tall sitting on its wooden plinth......it is 10 inches in diameter at widest point. This is a Genuine older piece.....probably Circa 1900 to 1930's...we have listed as VINTAGE to be safe.
The Modern pieces post 1930's are usually made of plastic or new solid colour resin rather than the traditional tree sap resin with Mercuric Sulphide providing the Red Colours (CINNABAR).
There is a little damage at base rim of the vase and here you can clearly differentiate the opaque layers of tree resin under the cinnabar coloured lacquer layers. Just to be certain we also applied some Nail Polish remover on the cinnabar and removed a little colour spot.....with the modern pieces being solid colour plastics or resin you will not be able to remove the colour at all. This Vase has a base of Bronze on which the thick lacquer resin layers have been applied ...The artist has then cut the decorative designs into the lacquer and on this Vase they appear to be up-to 1/8th inch deep in the main panels.The inside of the vase has an alloy insert for added protection when used with water as a flower vessel. A quality Piece at a Very Good Price.
Lacquer was a popular form of decoration and protective covering in ancient China. It was used to colour and beautify screens, furniture, bowls, cups, sculpture, musical instruments, and coffins, where it could be carved, incised, and inlaid to show off scenes from nature, mythology, and literature. Time-consuming to produce, Chinese Lacquerware became highly sought after by those who could afford it and by neighbouring cultures.
Lacquerware describes objects made of wood, metal, or just about anything similar which have been covered in a liquid made of shellac or melted resin flakes dissolved in alcohol (or a synthetic substance), which forms a hard protective smooth coating when dry which remains relatively light in weight. The ancient Chinese artists used the sap of the tree Rhus vernicefera (Toxicodendron vernicifluum), which was native to eastern and southern China and was sometimes referred to as the 'Lacquer Tree'. The resin is drained from a cut in the living tree and becomes an opaque white liquid on contact with the air.
Lacquer existed in many colours by adding certain chemicals to the resin, for example, black was made by adding carbon, yellow by adding ochre, and a brilliant red was achieved by mixing in mercuric sulphide (aka cinnabar). These were the three most popular colours in ancient Chinese lacquer painting.
The resulting lacquer, when dried slowly in humid conditions, is remarkably resistant to heat, damp, and chemicals. For this reason, lacquer was often used to coat and protect goods of more perishable material which might be easily damaged such as bamboo, silk, and wood. Lacquer can quickly degrade, though, if it cracks, and this has led to a scarcity of finds in ancient tombs and other buried contexts.
As the lacquer is very thin when applied it requires many coats to provide an even finish, but an advantage is that the lacquer can be used to cover almost any type of surface, uneven or otherwise. The preceding coat must be absolutely dry and be highly polished before applying the next one, with some objects having as many as 100 such layers, illustrating that the production of lacquerware was a time-consuming and expensive business.
Large Chinese Cinnabar Lacquerware Vase - Early 1900's
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