1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lacquer

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LACQUER, or Lacker, a general term for coloured and frequently opaque varnishes applied to certain metallic objects and to wood. The term is derived from the resin lac, which substance is the basis of lacquers properly so called. Technically, among Western nations, lacquering is restricted to the coating of polished metals or metallic surfaces, such as brass, pewter and tin, with prepared varnishes which will give them a golden, bronze-like or other lustre as desired. Throughout the East Indies the lacquering of wooden surfaces is universally practised, large articles of household furniture, as well as small boxes, trays, toys and papier-mâché objects, being decorated with bright-coloured and variegated lacquer. The lacquer used in the East is, in general, variously coloured sealing-wax, applied, smoothed and polished in a heated condition; and by various devices intricate marbled, streaked and mottled designs are produced. Quite distinct from these, and from all other forms of lacquer, is the lacquer work of Japan, for which see Japan, § Art.