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Carved lacquer or Qīdiāo (Chinese: 漆雕) is a distinctive Chinese form of decorated lacquerware. While lacquer has been used in China for at least 3,000 years, the technique of carving into very thick coatings of it appears to have been developed in the 12th century CE. It is extremely time-consuming to produce, and has always been a luxury product, essentially restricted to China, though imitated in Japanese lacquer in somewhat different styles. The producing process is called Diāoqī (雕漆, carving lacquer).
Though most surviving examples are from the Ming and Qing dynasties, the main types of subject matter for the carvings were all begun under the Song dynasty, and the development of both these and the technique of carving were essentially over by the early Ming. These types were the abstract guri or Sword-Pommel pattern, figures in a landscape, and birds and plants. To these some designs with religious symbols, animals, auspicious characters (right) and imperial dragons can be added.Tuoyuan pan (oval tray) with people in a landscape, 24.5 cm wide, Yuan
The objects made in the technique are a wide range of small types, but are mostly practical vessels or containers such as boxes, plates and trays. Some screens and pieces of Chinese furniture were made. Carved lacquer is only rarely combined with painting in lacquer and other lacquer techniques