Thursday, February 14, 2013

French Marquetry......Beautiful To Decorate With

One of the popular techniques used for decoration of furniture was the technique marquetry. Marquetry (from the French marqueterie) is the mosaic of thin plates of valuables sorts of wood of 1-3 mm thick different by color and texture sticking on the base of simple sorts of wood. Using this technique the table tops and doors of wardrobes, wall panels and cases were decorated. Marquetry got violent growth in Europe in Renaissance. In XVI century the furniture masters used about 100 sorts of wood both exotic and such wide-spread as lemon, pear, apple, maple, nut. Richness of color and texture of material allowed creating complicated compositions with expressing light and shade and the smallest details were painted using the engraving. It's beautiful, it's expensive, and it's POSSIBLE to find a piece at a good price. I found an English washstand with inlay on the door and detailing the legs, drawers etc. underneath a mountain of junk in the back room of an old used furniture store once. Just a piece of old furniture to someone who didn't know what they had. Fabulous bargain for me!!!

Dutch Marquetry Inlaid Card Table (circa 1840-1880)

A Dutch Burr Walnut and Floral Marquetry Bombe Fronted Bureau

French Marquetry Portico Clock

Oak veneered with marquetry cabinet on stand French 1675


From the Chateau de Chantilly, France

Mahogany and Satinwood 
French/German, circa 1840’s

Lovely piece in the background in this scene from Downton Abbey. If you watch this series on TV you will no doubt see many marquetry pieces.

A French Louis XVI marquetry chest is the perfect place for a pair of antique neoclassical candelabra and a cobalt ram’s head urn.

A pretty piece in this room by designer William Eubanks.

My washstand with marquetry on the door. It's hard to see in the light of this photo but it also has inlaid trim around the legs and back.

The is a close up of the door.

Both these pieces have small amounts of marquetry. Sometimes I prefer just a touch on a piece, depending on what sort of furniture it is.

Beautiful Louis XV  Desk

I adore marquetry designs on hardwood flooring.
. The trellis design in the marquetry floor matches the pergola design painted on the ceiling above in this Portuguese 18th-century palace.

These doors are beautiful also!

Inlaid with mother of pearl, from the Ch√Ęteau de Chambord, France.

French rosewood and amboyna cabinet inlaid with marquetry and parquetry designs in various exotic timbers from the Napoleon III period circa 1860.

This is a beautiful design. The gold ormolu makes it perfection!

A French mahogany table with marquetry inlays of satinwood, ivory, and exotic woods on the top and the apron.

A French 19th century Louis XVI table with tulipwood marquetry.

Like I said, it is possible to find smaller pieces today that are affordable. Some like this chair can be found in antique malls and flea markets. I would definitely buy this one and get it give it new life!!

Some people enjoy collecting marquetry boxes and........

other small items.


Last but not least, even the lid of les toilettes has marquetry !

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Lisa Farmer
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