A book press in cast iron and brass black japanned finish. Height 35 cm
japanning. Japanning is the early eighteenth century technique used by European craftsmen to imitate the oriental style lacquer work that became popular in England, France, the Netherlands, and Spain in the 17th century.
The lacquer used was based on the lac beetle dissolved in alcohol (as used in French polish) and differed from the Chinese lacquer which was based on tree sap.
Each layer of the lacquer was allowed to dry and then sanded down. It was applied over cream, yellow, green, red, or black grounds. Japanning using gold leaf was also widely used with lacquer work. The technique can be found on bureaux, cabinets, chests, longcase clocks, and chairs.
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