In Imperial China, lacquers were revered due to their time and superior craftsmanship required to produce items from cinnebar. The lacquer is created from the sap of a native Chinese tree, Rhus Verniciflua. The lacquering technique dates back 3,000 years and involves the application of up to 200 thin layers of processed sap. The sap produces a natural varnish that protects the wood. Carving the lacquer is equally arduous and is considered a true art.