The vicissitudes of the Market for Lacquer work in Paris during the 17th century. The commerce of lacquer work illustrates the passionate aspect of the artistic exchange established between the Far East, especially China and Japan, and the West, mainly Holland, England and France. Although England and Holland, rapidly, developed and intense trade with these two Asian countries, at the beginning of the 17th century, unfortunately, owing largely to the warlike comportment of these two European countries, France was obliged to wait more than a century before establishing direct trading with China. Japan was definitively closed to the West, except for Holland, from 1853. At the beginning of the 17th century, chinoiserie developed in Paris, where pieces of little worth were imported through Portuguese merchants and sold at fairs, namely that of Saint-Germain. On the other hand, in order to obtain the most beautiful pieces of art, and, especially Japanese lacquer work that was reputed to be, indeed, the most beautiful of this period (and, therefore, extremely expensive), Parisian merchants, as noted in numerous documentary archives, were obliged to go to markets in Amsterdam. This considerably augmented the cost of the objects and it was for this reason, that only the rich (the King of France and the Nobles) were able to obtain these works. There existed a double market : on one side, the important high scale merchants, the only ones who were able to propose pieces of quality to their clients, and on the other, the merchants of curiosities, whose prices were considerably lower.
Wolvesperges Thibaut. Les vicissitudes du marché des laques à Paris au XVIIe siècle. In: Histoire de l'art, N°40-41, 1998. Extrême Orient. pp. 59-73.
free text keywords: China ; Japan ; Europe ; lacquer work ; furniture ; decorative arts ; art market, Paris, 17th century., Asian country, Period (music), Decorative arts, business.product_category, business, History, Order (exchange), China, Portuguese, language.human_language, language, Economic history, Chinoiserie