Marquetry is an intricate art that was practiced by the Egyptians three thousand years ago. They decorated all their woodwork with inlay. Nearly all of King Tut’s tomb possessions were inlaid with wood and other precious materials. China and Japan also composed designs with inlay on furniture, chests and other items.
The decorative technique of French marquetry was first devised in the fifteenth century. Wood, ivory, bone, metal, or other materials are inlaid into a sheet of veneer that is in turn fixed to the surface of a piece of wood, typically furniture. Andre Charles Boulle, the principal ebeniste of the 17th century, perfected the brass and tortoise shell marquetry that came to bear his name. Boulle marquety was incorporated in work produced by the leading French cabinetmakers of the 18th and 19th century. With the advent of factory-made furniture in the nineteenth century marquetry declined. In the twentieth century the technique has made a return and is practiced for the wealthiest of individuals and is practiced by a limited number of artists.
Please view some examples of French Marquestry on this site and visit other web sites to see other works by other artists to obtain ideas for your order.