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gesso+lacquer cover citations

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In: _Islamic Bindings & Bookmaking_ by Gulnar Bosch, John
Carswell, and Guy Petherbridge (1981; The Oriental Institute
Museum - Univ. of Chicago) pp. 70-71:

"Lacquer painting on bookbindings was first introduced by craftsmen
from Herat in the early 15th. century as the result of close ties
from China. ...

"A thick coating of gesso or chalk was first laid on.  Then several
coats of colourless lacquer served as a base for the drawing and
painting of the composition in water color.  Finally, to protect
the water color, several coats of colourless, transparent lacquer
were applied to which could be added embellishments of gold, silver,
and shimmering mother of pearl."

This suggests that Asian lacquer was used.

Useful information about Asian lacquer (Urushi, in Japan) is contained
in: _Urushi_ from the Getty Conservation Institute (1988), and _Urushi_
from The Caber Press (1995), and _Characteristics of Japanese Art that
Condition its Care_ from the Japanese Association of Museums (1987).

The second Urushi citation is my own publication of an 1896 technical
report to the British Government by John J. Quin 'Her Majesty's Acting
Consul at Hakodate', and it the best description I've seen to date
of the tools, materials, and application of lacquer.

Hope this helps,


Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab.
Portland, OR  97217

503/735-3942  (voice/fax)


"The lyfe so short; the craft so long to lerne."
Chaucer  _Parlement of Foules_ 1386

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