Japanning, a process of imitating oriental lacquer with varnish, became highly popular in England by the end of the 17th century, particularly after the publication of John Stalker and George Parker's Treatise on Japanning and Varnishing in London in 1688, which provided an extensive illustrated repository of ornamental motifs in the Chinese taste suitable for use on both furniture and small objects like trays, boxes and toilet mirrors. Other important iconographical sources for japanned decoration were the engraved illustrations in Johannes Nieuhoff, L'Ambassade de la Compagnie orientale des Provinces Unies vers l'empereur de la Chine (1665) and Athanasius Kircher, China monumentis illustrata (1667).
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