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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


18th - 19th century

Known as Tihong in Chinese, lacquer furniture was made as early as the 15th century. It required covering the wooden core with multiple layers of lacquer, each of which had to be thoroughly dried and polished before the next could be applied. When the individual layers of lacquer are different colors, the carved motifs reveal each of these colors, enhancing the decorative effect of the design. In examples where the layers of lacquer have the same color—as in this pair of chairs—the carver may emphasize the depth of the primary motifs, achieving a sculptural impression on the relief.

Cinnabar lacquer
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "Tangible Grace: Chinese Furniture from the Museum Collection", July 5, 2004 - June 12, 2005 (7/5/2004 - 6/12/2005)

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.