What was a Jappaner in the 1800s?
According to Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (published in 1956, Standard Reference Works Publishing Company, Inc., New York,) a "jappaner" was one who "japans". "Japan" is:
1. Work varnished and figured in the manner practised by the natives of Japan.
2. A liquid resembling lacquer or varnish made by boiling shellac or a similar resin with linseed oil and other ingredients and thinning the product with turpentine.
3. Any of various black varnishes.