Coromandel Lacquer Screens
Coromandel is an area of the east coast of India between the Godava River and Nagapatnam. Contrary to what its name implies, Coromandel lacquer does not come from this region but from China. Although almost all museums with a major Oriental art collection own a Coromandel screen, no monograph has so far been dedicated to that theme. This is the first book to directly address this subject. Aimed at a public with an interest in Oriental art, this book is divided into four parts. The first part gives a brief overview of trade relations between East and West. In order to place the emergence of Coromandel screen in its proper context, the first part also details the evolution of Chinese lacquer. The second part deals with the origin of Coromandel lacquer technique and the third part describes the various decorative patterns to be found in the screens featured in the book. By comparing the style of the dated screens with that of undated ones, the authors have formed a theory of how the Coromandel style developed. Part four includes a research into the materials and techniques used in the manufacture of a Coromandel screen. Here old Chinese texts on lacquer techniques are consulted and fragments of Coromandel lacquer are examined.
This book provides the first step toward broader and deeper research on the subject and should encourage more discussions on the subject. It will become one of the classic references that breaks new ground in this much-neglected subject.