Vietnamese lacquerware is sought after by collectors for its beauty and durability, and is applied to everything from paintings to dishes. Lacquer is a natural varnish made from a tree in the cashew family. Production in Vietnam dates back to the 18th century. The best lacquerware is handmade. A time and labour-intensive process, it can take more than 12 stages of production in each piece and a tray requires 75 days to make.
Local insight: Look for details like air bubbles in the lacquer to evaluate the quality of production.