Starting in the 17th century lacquered pieces known as Coromandel were exported to Europe. Coromandel is a trading post belonging to the East India Company. There are many types of engraving on lacquer but the most important found in Europe, at least in numbers, is what is known as "Coromandel laquer".
The Coromandel lacquer technique was not imported in the olden days, all the work was done directly in China. But artists of the 18th century tried to overcome this technical ignorance by creating what is know as “Martin varnish”, European substitute for lacquer.
It is only at the beginning of the 20th century that Coromandel lacquer was used by European artists. It was the height of fashion in the Art Deco period between 1910 and 1930.
- photo : example of Coromandel lacquer decoration.