Le goût pour les laques d’Orient

en France aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles

Although it was already known, the word “lacquer” began to be used in its current meaning in the 1720s and developped in the 1740s, particularly in the sales catalogues, and replaced the word “varnish”, which however was in use until the end of the 18th century. Nowadays the word “lacquer” used in the feminine form in French indicates the raw material while it refers to a lacquered object in the masculine form.
This book presents a review of the history of taste for “lacquers” in France in modern time, from their establishment to their use, either practical or as collector’s piece. This will enable us to distinguish the convergences and the divergences with the porcelains trade due to the nature of the objects, to their technique, to their uses… The interest provoked by these lacquered objects shows the Europe’s fascination for the fabulous Asia’s products. The sources and archives remain rich and varied, even though the commentaries on “lacquers” are generally much less abundants than those on porcelains maybe because of their relative rarity on the market. This book does not claim to be an exhaustive study of all the collections but tries to define the main line which characterised the market and the taste for “lacquers” and their evolution through two centuries, in order to follow the tendencies’ progression regarding these objects which always fascinated the Westerners.

20.5 x 27 cm
292 pages
about 150 illustrations
Hardbound under laminated jacket
ISBN: 979-10-96561-09-4 46,45