Art création décoration

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History of marquetry


Also see in this web site :


Books about marquetry

Technique of  marquetry

How  are made the marquetry ? Somes of informations about this.





Napoléon III box

Here is a box with brass

encrustation : do not confuse

with marquetry !

Inlaid work with wood or marble existed before Jésus-Christ. In fifteenth century, the technique of intarsiatori consisted to scoop out a solid wood panel to set in pieces of mother of perl, pewter, ivory or stone. We musn't confuse marquetry with this kind of technique which came from Orient.

Intarsia didn't interest french artisans contrary to marquetry. The Italians (Florence) created a technique which made it possible to cover furniture or object with a veneering. The fine leaves of wood were cut with the help of a small saw "le bocfil".


The Flemish, the Italians, the German and the Dutch artists will master this art before the French who will practise it brilliantly afterwards. The french king Henri IV will send some artisans in Germany and Flanders in order to they study this method of veneering.


The German artisans will invent a technique of "marquetry named "by superposition" that André-Charles Boulle will improve. This technique will take the name of this cabinet maker of king Louis XIV. André-Charles Boulle is the first one acquiring a international fame. In inlaid work, he used particularly scale of tortoise and brass.


At the end of nineteenth century, this art declined. Under Napoléon III, all previous styles are imitated.


The beginning of twentieth century saw the rebirth of marquetry with Modern Style. Gallé, Majorelle and others knew to make this magnifical art renew.


At the present time, industrialization made it lost all of its charm. However it still existes talented artisans who restore the wonders which come us of past. Fortunatelly, this technique isn't lost. All the more as a new method named "by pumicing" has been discovered. This one makes it possible to realize effects very interesting of transparency.

The same open box

The same open box : inside,

there is marquetry with veneering of gnarl elm and rosewood.


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