Translated by Flavia Perugini
Published on the occasion of an exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum focusing on the conservation of the Victoria and Albert Museum's Mazarin Chest, from March 3 to May 24, 2009, this is the first English translation of Jesuit Filippo Bonanni's eighteenth-century treatise, considered the most important and comprehensive early study of Chinese lacquer in Europe. Bonanni relates various authors' attempts to understand and analyze the composition of the newly imported Chinese lacquer. He lists a variety of recipes of the time as well as their effectiveness—including several European recipes developed as an affordable alternative to the Chinese import—and offers what he considers the most reliable recipe, as well as his own appraisal of the best uses and applications of the lacquer. An invaluable primary source for scholars and conservators.
Flavia Perugini is associate objects conservator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.