Our story starts with a special species of tree that grows across parts of southern China. It was around six thousand years ago that our ancient ancestors discovered that a liquid from a particular tree growing in southern China could be used as a sort of paint. The tree was the lacquer tree, and the liquid was lacquer which was resistant to heat, moisture and corrosion, and which significantly prolonged the life of any utensils painted with it. By the time of the Warring States Period, some two and a half thousand years ago, the production of lacquerware was becoming quite sophisticated. And in the Qin and Han Dynasties that followed, it had developed into a complex and highly refined art that incorporated carving and inlaying. So stay with New Frontiers to explore more about the history of Chinese lacquerware.
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